Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How To: yellow nightstand

Remember this ugly Craigslist purchase? And how I said I loved the lines, hoped it was real wood and couldn't wait to stain it? And then how I sanded off the paint only find a veneer top (side table FAIL post here)? Huh? Remember all that?

Then do you remember seeing that little bit of sunshine just to the right of my bed (in the progress update post here)?

Now what if I told you ugly and sunshine were the same nightstand, only refinished?

Because they are. And look how pretty she (yes, she) is! I mean, completely adorbs, right?!?

So how did I do it? A complete how-to below. Enjoy!

Step One: Sand off the finish.
Now, keep in mind that I was originally planning to stain the table so the sanding pics below are a little extreme. For painting, you only need to take off the finish (read: shiny part) and smooth out any bumps, scratches or chips the surfaces may have. If you have a sander (recommended), you should be done in a couple hours depending on the amount of surface damage and stubbornness of the finish.

Now long did the process shown in the pics below take me? Two days of stripping (totally a gross process, I don't recommend) and about a day of sanding. Uh, huh. Yeah. FAIL.

Step Two: Prep and prime your piece.
Whether a couple of hours or three days after you finish the sanding (sigh), be sure to wipe off the piece REALLY well, removing all sawdust residue and excess finish. I recommend using either tack cloth (it's sticky so wear gloves) or a rag very soaked in mineral spirits. From there, let dry completely (about 15-20 minutes) and prepare yourself for priming.

To prime, I used a can of white spray primer and sprayed just enough to cover the entire surface with a very thin coat. Meaning, you don't have to spray the surface to the point where you don't see any of the wood/paint underneath, just so that the new paint has something to adhere itself to. Make sense? Let dry completely (read the instructions) before applying your actual color.

Step Three: Apply your color.
Once you've finished priming and let dry, continue to apply layers of thin paint until completely covered. In this case, I used two cans of high gloss, Marigold I purchased at my local Ace Hardware. This is the point in the process where you need patience. Apply a thin layer, letting go of the fact that you may be able to see some white coming through still. Wait 10 minutes. Apply a thin layer, and so on. I think this took me about 3 coats and maybe an hour to complete.

Step Four: Apply your finish.
Because this was a table that would be used to hold things like cups of water, I wanted to apply a polyurethane finish to protect the paint and make a little more durable to wear and tear. I waited 24 hours until fully dry (again, read the instructions!) and painted on a thin coat of satin polyurethane, lightly going over each section with a clean rag (read: ripped up t-shirt) to prevent drips and inconsistencies.

Always apply a finish to painted pieces that you need to be durable (i.e. kitchen cabinets, coffee tables, etc.) to prevent color transfer and showing general wear and tear.

So here's where I netted out. Cute, but I thought it was missing something. Then it came to me.

Step Five: Add a handle (optional).
I got this one at Hobby Lobby for $2 thanks to a 50% off sale. Woot woot!

To do this, find the center of the door, measure outward, mark and check to see if the two points are level. From here, drill holes using a drill bit that's slightly larger than the screws you're using to affix the handle.

Before drilling, make sure to double and triple check all of your measurements. I got cocky, only measured once and ended up drilling holes that were completely, 100% not level. Luckily, I was able to rig it so that it looks even now, but I'll eventually have to putty the hole up, respray the door and redrill the second hole.


But isn't she so pretty?!?!?!

1 comment:

  1. p/s: Love the addition of the handle. It makes it! You are a master furniture specialist.