Sunday, April 6, 2014

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing Furniture

 Last week, I bought a bed off Craigslist for my soon-to-be two year old.  The kind couple who sold me the bed were planning a move and offered this piece of furniture for free with the bed.  It was in bad shape, but they offered it to the right person - I knew I could unlock its potential.  It had chips and dinks and stains, but nothing that some effort and elbow grease couldn't take care of.
My supply list:
  • furniture piece
  • electric sander/sandpaper
  • medium grit sandpaper sponge - I used the 3m, angled one from Lowes (perfectionists would probably want a fine grit too, but I was pretty happy with the results from the medium)
  • primer - I used 1-2-3 Bullseye from Lowes
  • Paint - I used Valspar Ultra White Satin Finish
  • Drop Cloth
  • High Density Foam rollers - I used the kind meant for cabinets
  • Small foam brushes - for the corners
  • paint pan
Here is what it looked like when I started - not so cute.  I started with an electric sander and sandpaper that was rough.  This helped to remove the previous lacquer and get rid of some of the little imperfections that were present.  I should mention that I sanded in line with the wood grain - what that means is that I sanded in the same direction that the wood seemed to run.  My dad is an expert woodworker and this is a trick I picked up from him.
 Here is what it looked like after that first sanding.
 Next, I used this 150 grit sandpaper sponge, which I used to smooth the flat parts and then to get in all the little nooks and crannies.  I really liked the spongy aspect, because it kinda mooshed into where I needed it.  I bought the angled edges too (there was also a straight block option) and this turned out to be a really good choice as well - it really helped near the corners.
Here is the next sanding done.
 My next step was priming - I used 1-2-3 Bullseye primer.  I did two coats, with the "help" of my five-year-old.  The can said one hour to dry, but it actually took about two.  I also painted in line with the wood grain.
 Here is what the primed version looked like.
 Next, I used Valspar Ultra White Satin Finish paint - left over from the room that this was going into - and a high density sponge roller designed for cabinets.  I was careful to not get too much paint on this brush.  The trick is to make sure the brush looks dry, but the color shows up all over the brush) this did prove a bit challenging with white.  I used a small foam brush for the corners.
 Here is is after the first coat.  I ended up doing two coats.

 Here is the finished version.  Much improved.  There were still a couple of dings - like the missing edge of the drawer - that couldn't be eliminated, but overall I would call this a success.

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