People often comment on the great light we get in our house. A lot of that has to do with the good fortune of having big windows and a bright western exposure. But wherever you live, there are some tricks … Continue reading
I’m decorating our foyer and wanted to feature a beautiful console table. While I found some already-finished options I liked, I needed something very specific to help disguise a radiator – but not block it off – so I decided to dive in and customize my own!
I knew I wanted the feel of a lacquered Chinese table, but I couldn’t find one in the right size and shape. I looked for something else with simple lines and hoped that with a few tweaks, some paint, and new hardware, I could pull off a transformation!
I started by assembling the sideboard except for the lower shelf. I wanted to leave the bottom open for baskets or stools. I had to fill in a few holes with wood filler. I also filled in the holes for the hardware and drilled new ones to match handles I bought on Etsy.
After sanding for a smooth finish, I started painting. I really debated the color choice, because the hall is already quite dark. In the end, I just knew I had to go with the color I loved and (with credit to Tim Gunn on Project Runway) make it work!
The navy paint is Nocturne by Behr, which I also used to repaint our master bath vanity. After painting, I added several coats of a glossy varnish, both to create shine as well as protect the finish.
My plan is to use some light-colored and neutral accessories to balance out the darker table.
Finn, the rug model, and the new console.
Can’t wait to see the whole space put together!
You may know that doing the Avon 39 Walk for Breast Cancer is an annual tradition for me. The two-day walk gives lots of time for long talks with my friends. Last year, an old friend asked our group to think about what our “dream job” would be. I already have my dream job, but I took the opportunity to reflect on what an alternate or next career could be… something I love doing, but which is not so practical… the easy answer was that I’d love to refinish old furniture with fresh looks.
It makes me so happy when I can take a piece of furniture with great classic style but a little (or a lot of) wear and turn it into something beautiful and full of personality. I’ll list some of my favorite past projects at the bottom of this post.
Now on to today’s post… It has been a while since I picked this little end table up off the side of the road. My oldest was with me and remarked, “There’s mom being mom” in the affectionate way you talk about a lovable, quirky relative.
While I loved the Chinese/ Chinoiserie style of this little table, I was a bit intimidated by its poor condition. You can’t really appreciate in the picture how water-damaged, chipped, and uneven the wood was. Still, it was sturdy enough, and with my newfound love of gardening and greenery, I thought it would make a great plant stand.
I sanded the table aggressively, used wood glue on one of the legs that was cracked, and then painted it with three coats of white latex enamel (leftover from the interior trim of our house). I didn’t even try to fully even out and fix the surface, letting a lot of the dents and scratches show and add character.
The white paint did a good job brightening up the table and made it look more finished, but it was kind of plain… time for a touch of gold spray paint to cap the legs, and I love the finished product!
Here is my new old table in our living room. I think I’ll probably move it up to my bedroom later, but I’m still experimenting with how to use this handsome accent piece!
If you like this project, check out some of past “fabulous furniture makeovers”:
- Turquoise storage chest and wooden screens
- Queen Anne Chairs
- Chippendale arm chairs (pictured above)
- Chippendale side chairs
- Antique marble-top coffee table
- Lacquered Chinese cabinet
- Reupholstered storage ottomans
- Mid-century nightstand makeover
- Coastal Ikea dresser makeovers
Wow, that was a longer list than I expected. I guess I have a good start on that next career, when I’m ready!
Happy furniture hunting and painting!
I think you know by now that I love a great vintage find – what a great way to add character to your home, save money, and keep things out of the landfill.
My latest treasure is a marble-topped coffee table I found on Craigslist. I looked for a few weeks before finding something the right size and style for our space. This table has just enough curves and details to show its history – the seller said, it was his grandmother’s from the 1950s – without being overly ornate or fussy.
A quick paint job in glossy black gave the base of the table an elegant new look, and there was a small chip in the marble top that I repaired.
I think our living room is finally complete, so I will post some more pictures of the space soon!
I’m always amazed at how easy it is to beautify a bookcase by decorating the back. There are lots of great examples out there of using paint, wallpaper, wrapping paper, or fabric.
In my most recent project, I wanted to add some color and personality to our baby/ toddler’s room. I was thinking of a solid red background for his shelves, but then I lucked out and stumbled upon this fun graphic paper from nineteenseventythree.com. At four dollars a sheet, I was able to cover the entire back of the bookcase for twenty dollars and have some gorgeous paper leftover for cardmaking or another art project. The company is based in Britain, but I found the paper at a local store, Lavish, in Hayes Valley.
For our first’s nursery, I spray-painted the backs of old white Ikea bookcases with blue, masking off some white “stripes” with painter’s tape, and I loved that effect, too. I was able to take the back piece off to paint, which made it a lot easier. I never took a picture of the furniture specifically, so you will have to make do with a baby pic and the shelf in the background.
I think the nursery projects were my favorite results, but I’ve also experimented downstairs with our living room and kitchen storage. I went through a die-hard Arts and Crafts phase, when we bought a lot of very heavy wood pieces in that style. I still love these bookcases for their classic look and incredible quality, but I wanted to brighten them up for our current decor. I chose Imperial Trellis wallpaper in Silver by Schumacher for its gorgeous classic pattern and the glow of the silver. It’s pricey, but you need so little for a project like this that I bought a single (well, it comes as double, though you can find it sold as a single with a cutting fee) roll for this project and one wall in our powder room, and I will still have some left over. I have to say that the effect was not as dramatic as I hoped, because they are still very dark and heavy, but I think it’s a move in the right direction, and I couldn’t bear to paint or alter the shelves in any other way.
Finally, I also applied some fabric to the back of some glass-front shelves in our kitchen. I got the idea, because I felt that our white bowls, cups, etc. were just “disappearing” visually in the white cabinets, so I wanted to add some color for a backdrop. It was a quick fix using fabric scraps from another project, but I think it’s an improvement!
Mounting tip: In the past, I have used 3M mounting strips of various kinds for attaching fabric or paper to the back of a bookshelf. With the wrapping paper project, I was eager to get started and didn’t have time to run to the store, so I just used blue painter’s tape, and it worked fine. Since the wallpaper came in small sheets, I also used tape on the back to join the pieces as I applied them. If you are using a heavier material – such as fabric or wallpaper – or a material that you want to preserve, the 3M strips are stronger and photo-safe (not that these are photos, but I assume that means they are not acidic, etc.). I definitely wanted the photo-safe for mounting on our Arts and Crafts style bookcases, for example. However, the blue painter’s tape is an easy and inexpensive tool, if you’re in a hurry and hanging something light and not-too-valuable.
More favorite papers:
Hope you enjoy making your furniture look outside-the-box by decorating inside it!
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