How (not) to: Repainting Furniture

NOTE: Please go read basically anyone else’s blog. We are not exactly success stories here. There will be no instructions, just some process shots. And possibly advice about how not redo a piece of furniture.

It started when I found this awesome piece in my basement. Every unit in my building I think used to have one in the dining room; some still do. I didn’t, and I thought they were awesome. I asked for permission and everyone was ok with me taking this last one in decent shape (there are two others, but they have both been used as workbenches and really aren’t salvageable).

I wanted to restain it, but closer inspection showed that would be pretty tough. I would have to sand and strip it all the way down, which would take ages. Painting it, by contrast, would take a day. Sold.

So we bought supplies (all those people who say you need to use a dense foam roller? Geniuses.)  and got down to it.  We didn’t want an obvious color, and I thought a nice navy would coordinate well with my curtains and not be too in-your-face in the room. We sanded. We cleaned. This isn’t a detailed piece, which made both sanding and painting a lot easier.

There is a mirror that is supposed to be attached to the back (it was attached by a single ruler when I found it), but sadly it just wasn’t in good enough shape.

We did need to patch the gap the mirror is supposed to slot into, and got lucky with a furring strip in the dimensions that we needed.

Then we sanded some more, primed, and got on a few coats of paint. And….

Two coats in, we could tell it was NOT what we wanted. Good= a really deep dark blue (almost black, really rich). Bad= Americana blue (too gray, too pale, not deep or dark).

(Not) ta-da!


I called up my paint color guru/friend’s husband, and after a good search we decided having the original paint retinted (to up the blue and the dark) was likely to get me close, and either way I was out a quart of paint I didn’t like. Worth a shot.

It worked.

It doesn’t clash now. Still wish it was a touch darker, but it’ll work!

Stay tuned for the full room!


One thought on “How (not) to: Repainting Furniture

  1. Pingback: Stenciled Wall (+ some bonuses) | homemade•handmade

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