Painting Furniture

My mother is going to kill me.

I inherited my grandma’s nicely built (but a bit dated) bedroom set of furniture.  My mother made sure that I knew how lucky I was.

Well, I painted it.  And not just some neutral beige, either.  My mother is not a fan of painting “perfectly nice, good-quality wood furniture”, and she tends to gravitate towards white, soft white, off white,–and if she is feeling adventurous–beige.

I’m sorry, but I was not a fan of the darker grain, the weird dark specks added to the finish, and the dated seashell embellishments.  So I decided to paint them.  And different colours too!  This is because the bedrooms of our apartment are too small to fit the whole set in the master bedroom.  Only one bedside table and the upright bureau thingy are in our bedroom.  That leaves a second nightstand and a long, lower dresser.  I decided the nightstand would work perfectly in our kitchen.  We have a variety of light and minty blues in our kitchen, accented with a little yellow.  I chose a pale minty green for the nightstand.

It looks lighter in this pic because of the dust from sanding.
It looks lighter in this pic because of the dust from sanding.


The dresser is in our living room (which sounds odd, I know) and is the resting place for some lamps and picture frames.  Since it was bigger than the nightstand, I decided to tackle the nightstand first, and see how it turned out before I destroyed, er, re-created the dresser.

My dad is pretty good at building and re-finishing things, but unfortunately, since I am trying to keep this project a secret from my mother for as long as possible, I could not ask for his expertise.  Pinterest it was!

I read several articles and blog posts, and stuck to none of them exactly.  Some seemed to directly contradict each other, and few themes were consistent throughout everything I read.  So I decided to just go ahead and get started, because that seems like the safest thing to do, right?

So what did I do?

After removing the door knobs, I lightly sanded the furniture with super fine sandpaper to scuff up the glossy finish.  Then, with a damp rag, I carefully removed all the dust from sanding.  Then I lightly coated it with latex, water-based primer (Kilz brand).

I let that dry for a few hours, then got out the water-based, satin paint and got to work.  I actually only bought a sample size thing of paint for this piece of furniture.  The piece of furniture is fairly small, and this way I would not have a bunch of expensive paint leftover that I did not need.  I would normally have gone with semi-gloss for furniture, but sadly samples only come in satin.  Fortunately, after I finished painting it, I used two coats of clear, water-based, semi-gloss Minwax polycrylic.  That added all the shine I needed, and protected the furniture so it will not be scraped up so easily.

DSC_0778 DSC_0780

I had originally intended on buying some metallic spray paint to refinish the door knobs, but the tarnished bronze actually looked pretty good with the mint, so I left them as they were.  After applying the polycrylic, I let the furniture sit for 4 days before I put the door knobs back on, or fully closed the drawers.

It looks like it was built in to the kitchen.  Success!


Hopefully my mother will like it too…..


9 thoughts on “Painting Furniture

  1. Ok, I am totally with your mother on this one. You DO NOT paint perfectly good furniture! However . . . that means you don’t use perfectly good furniture because it doesn’t “go” with the rest of your furniture or you don’t like it. So . . . I think you are brilliant! I wouldn’t/couldn’t do it, but YAY YOU! From the picture it looks like it matches great with your blender. I hope your mother forgives you. Perhaps she will understand that it is better to use it — in a way that makes you HAPPY — then to preserve it in its original state!

    What color are you painting the dresser?

    1. Well, as I will have in a post soon, my family came to visit last weekend, so my mom found out about the furniture — it went over surprisingly well! She was just like, “Oh, ok! It’s yours, you can do what you want with it!”, and that was it.

      1. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Well, really, whatelse can she say at this point? It helps that you did a great job. Mine probably would have come out bad and so it would have been more like, “Well, that’s what you get for painting perfectly good furniture.” Ha, ha, ha!

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