Today I’m going to share something not quite related to fashion. I just finished this little DIY project for my new St. Louis office and I just had to share it with you all!
About 6+ months ago I saw this amazing little mid-century mod end table on Craigslist for just $15. The listing mentioned it needed a little TLC, but I loved the bones of this piece so I had to have it. Once I arrived at the previous owner’s house and saw it, I still loved it but it quickly became obvious that ‘little’ was a very subjective word! The top looked pretty rough and had some deep gashes in it.
I’ve been meaning to refinish it for a long time but never really got around to it. Now that we’re getting settled in our new home and I have an office of my own, I knew I needed to take the plunge and do it!
For the most part, I followed the fabulous Kate of Centsational Girl’s step-by-step directions on painting furniture.
First, I started by removing the hardware (see above) and then I gave it a good sanding. I just bought a medium 80 grit sanding block and went to town. This piece had a bit of stain on it, but overall it was easy to sand. I didn’t worry about getting all of the stain off. I just sanded it enough that it was rough all over.
This is after my sanding. As you can see, the top really needed some TLC!
(Ignore the mess in the background. I just moved, remember?)
To repair these gashes on the top, I used some Elmer’s Wood Filler. This stuff is pretty cheap and makes a HUGE difference. Basically, you just slop a bunch on with a putty knife and then smooth it out. Let it dry according the to directions and use your sanding block to remove any chunks that may have formed.
Once you finish that, I took a slightly damp paper towel and wiped all of the dust off of the table. This just makes sure it’s a clean surface for painting.
Then, begin priming! Following Kate’s recommendation, I bought the Zinsser Cover Stain with the brown label. Warning: This stuff stinks! Use in a well ventilated area. Brush that stuff on covering every place you intend to paint. I wasn’t sure if this would be necessary, but it really did result in a super smooth table. Another tip for less experience painters (like myself): don’t forget to buy ‘mineral spirits’ to clean your brushes after using this stuff. Apparently latex paints require a special solvent to clean your brushes. I didn’t have this and ended up scrubbing brushes for a long, long time. Just buy it!
Once that dried, I began painting. I just bought your standard flat house paint in the colors I wanted. I also mixed each quart with a tiny bit of Floetrol. This stuff is supposed to reduce paint streaks and must have worked pretty well because I have very few drag marks.
I ended up painting two coats of paint to get the color I wanted.
I let this get really, really dry before I started my next step – stenciling.
I had bought a wall stencil awhile back from Cutting Edge Stencils to use on this and I love the one I chose.
To paint the stencil, I used painter’s tape to hold it in place while I brushed on my second paint color. While I typically use lots of paint on my brush, it’s really important to have almost no paint on your brush or you will end up with your paint bleeding under your stencil. I barely dipped the tip of my brush and then dragged it around on a styrofoam plate until there was no excess paint. Then, you’re ready to gently paint your stencil on. This is time consuming and pretty messy. I ended up with my left hand covered in blue paint. I only needed one coat of this to get it right.
Then, I used two coats of Minwax polyurethane (I used the oil-based because I couldn’t find the water-based) to give it a final protective coat and a slight gloss. I think I bought the mid-level gloss.
Overall, this project took about a full day with dry time. It was very little active work time and I found myself cleaning and watching movies as things dried.
Here’s the big finish!
I bought new knobs super cheap from Target.
That’s it! What do you think?
Have you tried a similar project before? What tips do you have for a first timer?