Asked on Apr 18, 2020

What to do?

Furniture Flip GirlCheryl AJohnavallance82


I have wanted to modernize this etagere but upon inspection found that the hinges and pulls are impossible to take off. I don't know if it would look good just painting the frame and leaving the drawers. Any suggestions?

11 answers
  • Nan W.
    Nan W.
    on Apr 18, 2020

    Janna: I am a proponent of taking off hinges, etc before painting. Otherwise it looks like an amateur job.

    However... I did have one piece (an armoire) that I wanted to be truly "shabby chic" -- I painted over the hardware... and rubbed/sanded off where it seemed appropriate. Here's the piece:

    on Apr 18, 2020

    Darn! That’s frustrating that you can’t take the hinges off. Could you very carefully cover the hinges with tape and paint around it?

  • Gk
    on Apr 18, 2020

    Many people just paint the frame of thier furniture pieces and leave some wood exposed. You could restain the drawers to a different color. You can go darker but not lighter if you use General Finishes. I would think you could get the pulls off the drawers and doors off the hinges. I can understand that maybe you can't take off the hardware decor that is present on the doors. Can you show up a picture with the doors open and where they are hinged to the frame?

    • Janna
      on Apr 22, 2020

      I'm resubmitting my answer because of poor voice to text. The nails on the doors don't go all the way through and the ones on the drawers go through and split open. I can't even budge them with pliers.

  • Cynthia H
    Cynthia H
    on Apr 18, 2020

    I ran into this with a bathroom cabinet I painted. I carefully applied painter's tape when I painted. If they need a refresh, you can do the reverse, protecting the unit, and using paint or gilding to improve their look. Good luck and stay well!

  • Beth
    on Apr 18, 2020

    You could try stenciling the top of it or painting just the legs for contrast.

  • William
    on Apr 18, 2020

    I love the look of wood and paint. Paint the frame and shelves. Leave the drawers and doors wood. Carefully tape over the hinges and pulls with blue painters tape. You can polish the hinges, pulls with a a damp toothbrush and a dab of white toothpaste before you paint. Make sure the toothpaste foams up. Wipe well. If the hinges and corner guards are screwed from the back you can use a soldering iron and heat the screws/bolts. They may unscrew easier.

  • Robyn Garner
    Robyn Garner
    on Apr 18, 2020

    You could try seeing if CAREFULLY covering the metal areas with vaseline and painting around them with an artists' brush works.

  • In desperation over the years I have painted furniture with the hinges in place. Perfect, no, but I don't mind a distressed look (as the paint will eventually wear on the hinges). I used a good spray paint, most are made for metal and wood. So I just went over the entire piece with one color so the hardware blended into the piece. I made sure I moved the doors during the drying process so the hinges wouldn't freeze in place. I often paint hinges when I take them off furniture so I never saw a big difference in leaving them on...if they couldn't be removed. Of course, this is not the recommended way to paint but it's worked for me when my only other choice was to toss the furniture.

  • Johnavallance82
    on Apr 18, 2020

    Hello Janna,

    You could always add fabric or decoupage the drawers if you don't want to paint them. I would treat the shelves themselves (not the frame) in the same way as the drawers.

  • Furniture Flip Girl
    Furniture Flip Girl
    on Apr 22, 2020

    You can add tape as others suggested and paint around, then you can reverse it and cover the painted sections and spray paint the pulls and hinges with silver or a hammered style spray paint to give those pieces a fresher look!

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