Friday, February 1, 2013

From Bleak to Chic

There is nothing I dislike more than laminate furniture. It's not the actual look of it that really gets under my skin. It's that I know IT'S FAKE wood. Something about it just drives me mad. 

So, when my boyfriend bought his first house a few months ago, he inherited some unused/unwanted furniture from family. His oldest sister gave him a pair of wood night stands and a dresser for his guest bedroom. I liked the shape of them so I knew I wanted to refinish them rather then spending hundreds of dollars on a new set. Originally, I planned on staining them darker, but once I found out the top was laminate I knew they would have to be painted. 

Being the guy he is, he liked the look of the light wood and was totally opposed to me painting them. After some pleading, he caved in and let me work my magic.

After a weekend, a quality can of primer & paint, new hardware and some good music, I was able to turn ugly things......

into these beauties...

I like instant gratification, so of course, sanding was out of the question. Instead of taking the time to sand (which is sometimes necessary), I opted to buy my favorite primer. Zinsser oil based primer. It is a little bit more expensive than your average primer, but it is well worth it. Be careful with any oil based paint/primer. You will need mineral spirits or paint thinner to remove the paint from the paint brush...or you can do what I do and buy cheap roller brushes and just trash them after you are done painting.

I took out the drawers and wiped down every piece with a damp paper towel. I let that dry and then painted one coat of the primer and then let it fully dry. Make sure to read the back of your primer to see how much time is needed for it to dry since each primer is different.

Remember earlier how I said I didn't want to take the time to sand? Well I ended up sanding after I primed. I lightly sanded with a fine grit sandpaper (I used 220 grit paper) to make sure the color would go on smoothly. Remember, the higher the grit the finer the finish. Don't sand too long in one spot. Just quickly go over the entire piece. Wipe it down once again to get any debris off.

Now for the fun part. The color. For this step please make sure to buy a quality brush. You will spend a little bit more, but it will last a long time if taken care of and will make a huge different in the finish of your furniture. A bad brush will leave brush strokes and even worse, brush hairs on the furniture. You can use a paint additive called Floretrol (this is only for latex paint, but there is one called Penetrol for oil based paint) which prevents brush strokes.

The color I chose is Behr Glowing Firelight in latex semi-gloss. It's a beautiful deep orange that added a a much needed pop of color to the guest room. I did two coats and let it fully dry in between coats. Lastly, I sprayed on two coats of Miniwax Polycrylic protective finish.

By the time the paint and hardware was purchased, I spent around $100! You can't beat that for two night stands and a large dresser. 


  1. Good job! They're beauties, indeed!

    1. Thank you! I love your blog by the way. Your son is adorable!