Family Furniture Ready for a New Generation

13 Materials
2 Days

I was lucky enough to be able to redo a set for a client so that she could hand it down to her son. Originally it was hers as she grew up and it had aged and turned yellow over time.

Deciding on a new look

Since the set was still in great condition..we really just had to figure out what colors would work best in her son's room. She decided on a neutral gray paint and a wood-grained top.


I first started by taking all of the hardware off, and then giving it a good scrub down with a mixture of tsp and water.


Since this set is laminate and hard to get even some of the best chalk paint to stick, I went ahead and used an adhesion primer. I applied a thin coat everywhere I was going to paint and even the top where I planned on using liquid wood.

(Tip... I poured some into a plastic container and applied with a sponge. Super easy and quick)


After the primer was dry, I went ahead and painted. It did take two coats. I did not paint the top since I had other plans for it.

Retique It liquid wood

Normally you cannot sand and stain this type of material. Until now! Well at least staining. 😉 Still no need to sand. I applied a thin coat on all of the tops of the pieces. Then let dry thoroughly. I used the dark version, but the light would have worked as well.

Applying liquid wood
Thin coat

My first coat I applied pretty thin. Your second coat you want to apply it a little bit thicker.

Wood grain tool
Adding wood grain

While your second coat of liquid wood is wet... Slide your wood grain tool across in even lines. The good thing is if you don't like the look you can brush over it while it's still wet and do it again.

Let dry

If you're happy with your wood grain results, let dry totally thoroughly. Also this is when I would touch up my paint on the base. And seal the paint with Retique It polycrylic. It will protect the furniture and make it easy to clean.


You want to make sure that your liquid wood is very dry before you stain. Honestly it only took about 15 minutes. Also don't forget to wear your gloves! (I always think I'm not going to get it on me. 🙄) I love to apply this stain with a rag. Apply one thin coat going with the grain. Then after it dries apply another coat.


After the top dried for at least an hour I went ahead and applied Retique It polyacrylic to the top.

New hardware

We were lucky that the hardware our client chose from D.Lawless Hardware fit the holes exactly. Honestly that does not happen often, but when it does we do a little happy dance!

If we had to drill new holes we would have filled these with a wood filler or even a spackle before painting.

Finished! (Dresser)

Didn't it come out awesome?!

It's so great that she was able to repurpose what she already had.

Finished! (Desk)

The hardware made such a difference in the overall final look. And she spent less than $50 on it. (Use code ESCHIC at D.Lawless Hardware to save 10%)

Finished! (Nightstand)

I am sure her son will be able to use this for years to come. And who knows? he may pass it down to his children someday. ❤️

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Kelly J. Tinney
    Kelly J. Tinney
    on Sep 27, 2020

    What kind of wood look voodoo magic is that!? 😀🤗👍🏻👀😲😉. That is SO COOL! It absolutely looks real. Thank you for sharing. I think I’m going to try this on the top of a sofa table I’m still playing around with that looks like 🤯😩.

    • Shirley
      on Oct 9, 2020

      That's a new one on me. So many uses for this on inexpensive furniture!

  • Jaswan
    on Sep 27, 2020

    After you used the wood grain tool- let it dry - you applied a darker stain over that and it still allows you to see the faux grain? It's amazing!!! How does the laminate hold up to normal wear and tear? Can you use the desk as a desk without damaging the finish?


    • Roberta
      on Sep 28, 2020

      Yes you can still see the wood grain just not the same way without stain. So it looks more natural. Plus it has the texture.with this product you don't even have to use the wood graining tool if you wanted more of a modern look versus rustic. Yes it holds up very well. Just like as if you would have stained regular wood.

  • Connie Sherman
    Connie Sherman
    on Sep 27, 2020

    Can you buy this liquid wood at any hardware store? It's amazing great job the set looks better than original.

Join the conversation

2 of 32 comments
  • Lydia
    on Sep 29, 2020

    Wow! My husband did something similar to a coffee table a LONG time ago and it was so labor-intensive; it came out great but Never Again. However, now I'm eyeing a laminate desk that I was thinking of hauling to Goodwill :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful project.

  • Wendy Stilwell Farricy
    Wendy Stilwell Farricy
    on Oct 2, 2020

    Have the exact same set, was thinking I had to overlay wood on top to get the look I wanted. That looks like fun. Will have to try. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

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