Friday, August 5, 2011

DIY Adventures

We had this little table in our entry way:

Like most of our furniture, this table was carried over from David's bachelor days.  It's functional, and not totally hideous, but the golden tone of the stain didn't match a single piece of the (already mismatched) furniture in our house.  Except it kind of matched the mirror that hung above it.  But even so, these pieces looked kind of "country" and also kind of lame.  Not exactly inspiring for the first thing you see when you walk in the front door.

It seemed like the time to spruce things up a bit.

I didn't want to just replace the table because even though it's a cheap piece of furniture, it's doing its job quite well.  It works well in that space just inside the front door because it's relatively small, but it has good-sized cabinets, plus a small drawer.  We use one cabinet to house dog leashes, wipes for doggie paws, and doggie poo bags.  The other holds the kind of random stuff we're not sure what to do with--cell phone box and instruction manual, wristlet purse I sometimes grab when we're going out the door, pedometer, and iPod.  Stuff that's a little too bulky for small drawers, and nothing that we would want to display on an open shelf.  So rather than try to replace it, I decided it just needed a coat of glossy black paint to give it a new life.

I researched (read: googled) an online tutorial for painting furniture and determined that I needed (1) a good primer (2) some good paint (3) clear polyurethane.

The wood had some kind of finish on it that was worn off in places, so first I sanded down the whole thing.  That was gross and resulted in me being covered with a kind of yellow dust from the golden-colored stain that was on it.

And it still looked the same:

So then it was ready for a coat of primer.  I used Glidden's gripper primer in a gray color since I'd decided to paint the whole thing black.

My first coat looked like this:

Tons of the yellow wood still showing through.  I know that primer doesn't have to be perfectly even, but I decided to give it one more coat.  It still didn't look perfectly even, but it was better coverage.

I went to Sherwin Williams to get the paint.  They had some super glossy stuff that had a built-in top coat, so the girl told me that if I used it, I wouldn't need to add a coat of polyurethane once I finished.  I decided that cutting out one step sounded like a great idea, so I took her word for it (so far it seems to be working just fine).

The first coat of paint looked terrible!

Gray primer showed through everywhere.  In fact, this might have been after two coats.  I know darker paints take more to cover, but I really thought two coats would do it.

I ended up doing FOUR COATS of black paint, on top of TWO COATS of primer to get the sucker covered.  Also it was a million and six degrees outside and I was a sweaty, soggy mess as I worked on this.

I brought it inside to the final coat(s):

Finally it started looking glossy, just like I'd imagined it.

And this is where we ended up:

I got some little blue glass drawer pulls and I think they look cute.  I'd considered a starburst mirror above the table, but so far I'm liking the look of this one.

All in all, I think I spent more money on paint and supplies than David actually paid for table.  Also the cabinet doors sometimes stick because of all the coats of paint.  And it took much more time than I expected since getting good coverage was not easy.

But it looks good!  And I was glad to have a project occupy my time AND turn out pretty well in the end.  I'm happy with the results, and I can say that I refinished a piece of furniture myself!

This DIY stuff could be addictive.  Now I find myself looking around the house for other things I can paint...


  1. Proud of u and ur paintbrush! An yay for distractions!

  2. I love it! I also love being able to make what you already have and kinda like into something you are very happy and satisified with. It looks great!

  3. Wow! That turned out really great! Now it's almost too fancy for poo bags and leashes ;)

  4. Way to go! You are making me feel like an underachiever for just sitting here in the sun doing nothing. But, oh well!! lol Good for you Brooke. You will be ready soon for your featured article in "Better Homes and Gardens" or "Style at Home"! It looks so great!

  5. I always get annoyed when a seemingly simple DIY project turns into a full time job for something you anticipated would take just hours.

    But... makes you appreciate the final product a lot! I think it looks fantastic and the country look is definitely gone!

  6. Look at you go! :)

    Looks great! I wanna know what's up next?! :) Little Mac best start behaving herself...

  7. I love the new mirror w/ the black table!

  8. you can come look around my house for things to paint - That look great!

  9. Refinishing furniture is the most fun ever for me:)!!!!