Friday, June 11, 2010

My First Attempt at Re-finishing Furniture

I have a horrible habit of starting a hobby and then dropping it half way into it. I have scrapbook supplies, knitting yarn and needles, a sewing box, paint and canvasas and so many other items cluttering up my spare closet. It is rather sad to look at all of that supplies and think about how much money was spent on something I didn't truely love to do (with the exception of scrapbooking...that will resume when I have the space to do it). So, in order to prove to myself that I don't quit all things, I decided to pick a project and stick to it. Mark and I will hopefully be moving in the next couple of months to a bigger apartment and because of that, we need a few more pieces of furniture. I could have gone to Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel (two of my current addictions) but instead of spending WAY too much money, I decided to peruse Craigslist and Kaanga for something used that I could refinish. I found lots of junk but finally stumbled upon a man that buys furniture at estate sales and garage sales and then sells them out of a storage facility near my parents' house. I bought this gem from him...

It started out in very good shape which was nice because there wasn't much repair needed. It only needed some sanding and a few coats of paint to make it look like something fun!

First, I sanded down all the varnished surfaces. This was actually very easy because my wonderful father let me borrow his electric sander.

I then applied a base layer of primer mixed with a little bit of lime green paint. Yes, you heard me correctly, lime green. You see, my goal is to have a black chest with a tiny bit of green showing through like it has been around for a while and had a long life.

I then did an all lime green layer. The piece looked SO ugly at this point. It is a good thing I was painting at my parents' house because Mark would have told me to give up at this point.

I then had to paint three layers of black paint. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but seeing that I was doing all my work at my parents house in very hot weather in a very humid Houston, it made it a month long process.

Finally, I sanded the black some so the green would show through. It looked so good at this point but I knew I needed a top coat. Here is where I made my biggest mistake. I went for the cheap, aerosol can of top coat. What I didn't know at the time of purchase was that spray paint and very hot weather do not mix well. The incredible heat causes the paint to dry before even making it to the furniture. This caused a gross white dust that had to be sanded off. After finally getting all of that off, without sanding through the black layers, I did a paint on top coat and it looked great. I added the awesome knobs I bought at Anthropologie and viola....awesome new chest!

Don't you love how Bacon wanted to be in the picture??? I love that little girl.

So, although it was a very exciting project that had a great end result, I do not think I will be doing much refinishing any time soon. I think I will wait until I have my own garage to work in and the weather isn't so misserable.