{Guest Post} Bright From The Start

We’ve got a good one for you today kids!!  My girl Brittany has been flexing her DIY muscles lately and is here to share one of her adventures.  Talk about turning an inexpensive garage sale find into a fabulous one of a kind piece! Enjoy…

A disclaimer: This was my first-ever DIY furniture refinishing project.  I am by no means a “pro”, but I’m very pleased with the results and would be happy to answer any questions about the processes that I used.

Pinterest has made me look at furniture differently.  There are no shortage of AMAZING before and after pins, that have inspired me to add some character to an outdated piece of furniture and save a TON of money in the process.  I picked up this cute hexagonal end table at a neighborhood garage sale for $10!!  It was actually in great condition when I found it, with all original hardware and very few knicks or dings in the wood.  But…the color was a bit dated for my tastes.

I started my project by removing the hardware (hinges and knob) and giving the whole piece a light a light sanding with 150 grit sandpaper, paying close attention to the details near the top and the insets on the doors.  Next, I applied two coats of Zinsser primer.  I neglected to photograph these first couple of steps – sorry!

After allowing the primer to dry for 48 hours, I was ready to apply the paint.  I wanted to add a bright pop of color to the room.  With the help of the lovely Jillian, I selected a fun shade of aqua – Reflecting Pool, by Sherwin Williams (SW 6486).  Now, my husband and I tend to stick with fairly a neutral color palette, when it comes to furniture and wall colors.  The thought of this bright color on a piece of furniture in my living room made me nervous.  Mostly because I knew that my husband would not like it.  But, once I applied a couple of coats of Reflecting Pool, I was also thinking it was a bit too much.

I LOVED the color, but it was just too bright for the room.  So, I decided to tone it down a little bit.  After reading a blog post about antiquing glaze on The Speckled Dog, I decided to give it a shot.  Her technique involved using the Valspar Antiquing Glaze, in Asphaltum.  It seemed like the glaze was easy to work with and an inexpensive fix to my brightness issue.

So, I gathered my supplies…

…and, started applying the glaze with the sponge brush.

And wiping off with a rag or paper towels.

It was just as easy to work with and idiot-proof as I thought!  As the tutorial suggests, you have about 15 minutes to work with the glaze.  If you apply too much, just wipe it off.  Not enough?  Add some more!  It really was an easy fix for a first-time furniture refinishing DIYer.

About a quarter of the way through the antiquing process, I realized that I was wasting a good bit of the glaze, by using the paint-on-wipe-off process.  In The Speckled Dog tutorial, her examples were fairly small objects, with a lot of detail.  My project was the polar opposite – a large object with a large amount of flat surfaces and a little bit of detail.  So, I abandoned my sponge brush and just started applying the glaze on with a damp paper towel, by dipping it in the glaze and rubbing it directly onto the furniture.  Both techniques worked, but the second one conserved more of the glaze.  In my opinion, the second technique seemed to go more quickly too.  But, do whatever is most comfortable for you!

Once the glazing was finished, I allowed the piece to dry for another 48 hours.  The final step was to add a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic protective finish, which I had left over from another project.  I used the Clear Satin finish, to keep a low sheen on the finished piece.

Without further ado, I present the “after” end table…

I love how it turned out!  By finishing the end table with the antiquing process, I ended up with the perfect color for our living room.  I still have that pop of aqua, but in a muted shade that we could both tolerate long-term.  I decided to use the original hardware, because the knob and hinges also looked aged.

Here is the cost breakdown on supplies:

  • Dated end table ($10.00, garage sale)
  • 150 grit sand paper (already had on-hand)
  • Zinsser primer ($9.47 at Lowe’s)
  • Quart of Valspar Interior Satin paint, color matched to Sherwin Williams Reflecting Pool (SW 6486) ($6.88 at Lowe’s)
  • Half-pint of Valspar Signature Colors Antiquing Glaze, in Asphaltum ($8.47 at Lowe’s)
  • Paint brushes (already had on-hand)
  • Sponge brush ($0.50 at any craft store)
  • Old rag and/or paper towels (already had on-hand)
  • Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish, in Clear Satin (already had on-hand from another project)

So, my total investment in supplies, including the end table, was $35.32!!

Not a bad price for a much-needed end table that provides a fun pop of color and additional storage space in my living room!  It is also worth noting that I barely made a dent in the bottle of the antiquing glaze or the Zinsser primer.  I have since used both supplies on several other projects too.   They were totally worth the investment!

Here is the before and after one last time:

– Brittany

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Posted in DIY

6 thoughts on “{Guest Post} Bright From The Start

    • Thank you! I’m already working on another furniture project. This one was in much worse shape, requiring repairs, a LOT of sanding (with an orbital sander), painting and adding decorative overlays. Yep, I’m hooked and may never pay retail prices for furniture again! 😉

  1. Love me some aqua! This turned out great! (Next time can we get a pic that shows the piece in it’s new home in your living room?) 🙂

    • Thank you! If I had a beautiful, perfectly decorated home (like most of these talented DIY bloggers), I’d surely post a photo of it in my house. I’m still working on furnishing my house….a little bit at a time.

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