Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Return to Paradise

Yes...paradise does come in the form of furniture.  Or in this case a $40 Craig's List refinished dresser for my DIY room!

Remember its humble beginnings? (Click here to see the story / adventure of how it ended up in my garage.)

Well, after some sanding and painting it now looks like this...

Don't you just love the color?!?!? Yup, you guessed is Return to Paradise by Benjamin Moore.

As I began the sanding process a couple of weeks ago I revealed lovely wood hiding beneath all the layers of paint.  So I decided to show it off  and leave the dresser top its natural color.  One coat of poly and it came out beautifully.

Now all I need to do is get it up the stairs and into its new home in my DIY room...real wood furniture is heavy!  If you want more details on how to refinish and paint furniture like this keep reading for a step-by-step break down.  (Otherwise just enjoy the pretty pictures.)

The how-to breakdown...

Tip 1: Find solid wood furniture - you do not want to do this with mdf / laminate furniture.  It wont work.

Step 1: Sand!  Paint sticks to wood and primer.  It does not stick to other paint as well.  So you need to rough up the existing paint.  This is also a great way to get out scratches, dings and damage.  You can also fill larger dings with wood putty.  You can sand by hand but if you plan on painting even more then one piece of furniture I really recommend buying a sander.  Not sure which one to buy?  Read this!

Step 2: Prime or Paint In the case of this dresser I did not prime it because it is not going to get a ton of hard use.  However, when I refinished our kitchen table I primed it first because I knew it was going to get a lot of "love".  So either put a coat of primer on now or move right to the first coat of paint. 

Step 3: Paint Some More Depending on the color / furniture / paint brush / alignment of the stars you will need 2 or 3 coats of paint so be patient.  And use long strokes to eliminate lines.  And light coats to avoid drips.  You can also use a small foam roller rather then a brush.

Tip 2: If you like a more rustic look try this...once the paint is dry (before you do the poly coat) lightly sand small areas to let the wood and / or former paint peak through.  Like this.

Step 4: Poly Coat  I like to use a light clear coat on areas that I know will get more use.  For example, I put a clear coat on the top of this dresser.  But you can do the entire thing just to ensure you wont have to go back and repaint later.  Again, go light on the brush and use long strokes. 

So that is the scoop.  If you have any questions at all just comment below or email me at  Happy painting!

This post was shared on...