Since getting married, Tony and I have not bought any furniture aside from a mattress. We have been so blessed with generous donations from friends and family that there hasn't really been a need to buy any furniture. However as is often the case with free stuff, a lot of it is in pretty sad shape. Therefore when we bought a house, knowing I wouldn't have any spare money for awhile and also knowing how bad our crappy furniture was going to look in our nice new house, I decided it was time to see what I could do to make the pieces we had look better.
I started with this old dresser that Tony has had since coming home off his mission:
It was in pretty bad shape, so I sanded the whole thing down and painted it black using a roller brush. Once that was dry I covered it in a flat white paint. I have since discovered that flat paint is not the greatest for furniture. A satin enamel or semi-gloss gives you a much better finish and is more scrubbable. I have also learned that a nice paintbrush and a lot of patience gives you a much better finish than a roller does.
Once I painted it I sanded and distressed it. I also decided that rather than paint the top I would stain it. Once that was finished I covered the painted sections with polyurethane and put new black drawer pulls on it. I have since discovered that Home Depot sells an actually clear protective coating and that it covers furniture better and doesn't yellow it. However, As my first piece I think it looks pretty good.
I ended up buying an end table at the DI for 15 bucks and painting it to match the dresser:
I also was given two matching shelves that I painted and distressed to match:
Thrilled with the results and realizing that we had another child on the way, Tony and I spent the afternoon driving to over ten yard sales searching for dressers since Harper's current dresser was a Wal-Mart dresser that had begun to fall apart. We were able to find this beautiful dresser and these two end tables for only 40 bucks.
I started with the dresser. Tony helped me strip and stain the top:
We then painted it with a nice Satin Enamel white. I couldn't strip the two end tables because they weren't a pure wood so I painted them entirely white. Here are the drawers all white:
After painting them white I sanded down all the edges:
At this point I decided that I wanted to try a new technique called glazing. For my glaze I used wood stain. I painted it on quickly and then wiped it off with a paper towel. This left an awesome color scheme that I adored. (Note: All your brushstrokes will show so make sure to paint a smooth finish. Also, anywhere that gets scratched by your sandpaper will also hold the stain so be careful). Once the stain dried I sprayed it with polyurethane (again, protective coating will give you a better look).
Once all that was done I sprayed the old hardware with oil rubbed bronze spray paint and then a protective coating.
Here is the finished dresser:
Tony loved the look of the dresser so much that he asked if he could use it for his dresser. I obliged and then took his old beat up laminate dresser out to the garage to see what I could do with it.
Since the dresser had bubbles and was otherwise beat up I decided to just paint it and not distress or glaze it. Since it was going to be Harper's new dresser I decided to go with straight pink.
Rather than buy new knobs I sprayed the old wood ones gold and then covered them with a protective coating.
Here is the final piece sitting in Harper's room: