I’m excited to start a new series on the blog today called “Fixer Fridays”.
Here’s the deal. I love to fix things up. Give me the nastiest piece of furniture and I will find a way for it to be revived. Show me a house that looks like a dump and I don’t see the bad, I see the good.
When Andy and I were looking for houses I really, REALLY, really wanted a fixer upper. We looked at a couple of “fixers” and I loved all of them. Unfortunately, I am also very practical and knew that with Andy’s work schedule and our budget currently it just wasn’t in the cards for me to get that fixer. So now my plan is to keep at it and eventually buy a cute little fixer that I can transform and then rent out. Compromise.
There are so many reasons why I love our new house, one of them being that there are some definite fixer things in the house. Our kitchen isn’t my favorite. Definitely functional and great bones, but the aesthetics and layout aren’t my favorite. There are a few other things with cosmetic changes coming their way.
Today I am going to show you the first furniture fixer I have done since moving to Cleveland. One issue with the kitchen is the lack of storage. I needed a place to hide small appliances and also something pretty in the room. When I lived in Savannah a precious lady sold me this china cabinet for $35. And it is the best $35 I’ve ever spent probably.
The first step in redoing furniture is cleaning it. I always get a swiffer duster and dust the piece of furniture. Then I go in with a broom and clean the bottom of it to be sure there are no bugs. (I once bought a piece infested with spiders and I can’t even tell you what kind of nightmare that was.)
The next step is sanding. I hate to sand, but you just gotta do it. I get my electric sander and buff all the “shine” off the piece of furniture. 99% of the time I don’t need to do more than a very light sanding to rough up the piece so the paint with grab onto it better. Once you are done sanding, take that duster you used earlier and get all the extra dirt the sander kicks up off of the furniture.
Now it is time to paint! Tape off anything you don’t want paint on and get to it! I personally always use a brush to paint, but some use small rollers. The style I usually paint my pieces is an antique look where it isn’t perfect and looks aged so the brush works better with this technique. On this piece I did three coats, but most of the time two is enough. The paint I used was paint and primer together – Behr from Home Depot. I don’t know the color, but it is just white. I’ve used this quart of paint on 5 projects now. FIVE!
After the paint dries it is time to rough that bad boy up! My favorite part of the process is this part. Sometimes I will look at a piece of furniture freshly painted and think, “oh man…. is this gonna work?!” because I HATE the way it looks sometimes before I rough it up.
To rough up the edges and give it the antique look I take a piece of sand paper and rub it on all the edges that would naturally wear down- like the corners and edges of the furniture. Some furniture and looks you want to achieve require the use of stain. I just rub the stain onto the furniture along the edges and then rub off with a clean rag until the desired amount is on the piece. The piece I’m showing you today I didn’t feel the need to use stain. Next time I do I will document that part and show you!
Once you’ve sanded it the edges and make it your desired amount of “dirty”, you are done! Again, some pieces you may want to put some stain on the edges. If it is a piece of furniture you will be eating on you’ll need to polyurethane. I did my dining room table and added stain and polyurethane and that post can be found here.
So here is the piece before:
It took me about 3 days from start to finish but I didn’t work in long time frames. If I would have had 4 hours without interruption I could have done it all in that time.
I hope you enjoyed this Fixer Friday and that you are inspired to buy something ugly and make it beautiful!
I’m so glad to be able to have something to hide ugly small appliances and also display my beautiful china that Andy’s mom gave to me!
I made a tiny video of the living, dining, and kitchen today. It was pouring down rain so sorry about the lighting!
Happy Fixer Friday!