I was on the hunt for some new bedside tables when one day I stopped and actually glanced at what I had. I suddenly found myself falling in love with a piece I had been sleeping next to night after night, and I really loved the statement these tables made: the size, height, storage and even the hardware. However, I didn’t care for the finish, which made me overlook its potential in the first place. It just wasn’t the right color for me, and the fading and chipping hid its true beauty. This marked the perfect opportunity to turn something old into something new again.
Never overlook outdated furniture. If it’s free or for the right price, sturdy and a great size — don’t let it scare you! There are lots of ways to improve the look of your piece including new hardware, paint or staining. Some people may like to add mirrors or a design pattern, but I was going for something simpler. I decided to keep the old hardware because I liked the original look and I think it’s a nice contrast. It also saves me the hard work of filling the holes and finding something novel.
Before you start, make sure you know what material you’re working with – whether it’s solid wood, laminate or veneer. All of these surfaces can be sanded down but, depending on the chipping to the surface, it may require a different technique if it’s severely damaged. My table was all wood but it had a decent amount of chipping, so I sanded it down to bring the piece back to life. I typically like to stain my wood pieces, but this time I chose to keep the top its natural state and put a few coats of polyurethane on it. I gave the base a coat of paint to freshen it up and brighten my family’s master bedroom. I love the contrast the paint and the hardware gave to the finished product. I can always strip and sand it down again in order to stain it in the future, just in case I want to change it. That’s the beauty of solid wood pieces!
There are three main rules to always consider when starting a new project: prime, paint and seal.
- Step 1: Remove hardware
- Step 2: Sand – medium grits, such as 120-150 grits, are useful to remove old finish and scratches
- Step 3: Wipe down and dry off. If you’re staining or using polyurethane tape off the lines where the paint and wood will meet
- Step 4: Prime and let dry
- Step 5: Paint a coat, let dry and repeat a second time
- Step 6: Seal — seal the top with a few coats of polyurethane. At the base, you can use polyurethane but keep in mind if you’re painting with a white paint, polyurethane can create a yellowish tint over time. However, an acrylic finish will keep the paint from yellowing
- Step 7: Attach the hardware
If you have a piece of aged furniture sitting around the house, embrace it and create something new!