"Ugliest-Of-All-Ugly" Bedroom Furniture Refurb

This bedroom furniture was the first new furniture I bought when I moved to LA in 1988. It is cheap particle board and exceptionally dated, BUT it is very sturdy and has nice, large drawers. Since I can't afford new furniture, I decided to turn this old, beat-up stuff into something I could actually look at every day without cringing. I figured I would start out with the smallest piece first, this nightstand.
Hideous, and there is water damage on the bottom that I would definitely need to fix.
First, I spray painted the handles with this hammered bronze spray paint.
Then, I cut off the damaged part with my happy little jigsaw, then replaced it with a piece of wood from my scrap pile. I screwed it on through the back of the piece so the screws wouldn't show.
Next, I sanded the whole piece just to rough up the surface. Then started painting with homemade chalk paint. This gorgeous sage-colored paint was a returned quart can that I got at Lowe's for $3.00. I mixed 1/4 cup Plaster-of-Paris with 1/4 warm water. Mixed until smooth, then add 1/2 cup of any regular paint. It made a creamy, thick chalk paint that covered this laminate surface in 2 coats. I love this homemade paint. It was very thick, covered really well, dries extremely fast. I did two coats.
Here it is finished. I applied 3 very thin coats of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax over the paint, leaving plenty of time to dry between coats. It left a beautiful lustre on the paint. I understand that polyacrylic top coat is preferable over wax for chalk paint, but I was experimenting with chalk paint and wax. This wax seems to have left a nice sturdy finish, and I definitely did not want this to be shiny. Overall, I really like this product, and it was lot cheaper than the other designer waxes.
Now for the top: I wanted to do something different than just paint the top, and I need something sturdier since the cats use this piece of furniture as a "launching pad". I took some old redwood fence posts I had in my scrap pile, cut them to length and sanded them with 4 different grits of sandpaper to get them smooth as glass. I drilled holes and screwed them onto the nightstand from underneath.
I love all the knotholes and pink ribboning that runs through these boards, so I didn't want to stain them. I did 4 coats of Varathane Spar Urethane (outdoor) formula in Crystal Clear. It left a beautiful satin finish.
I have been working with leather for many years, so I created these two 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" to embellish the top drawer. I found some stained glass patterns that I loved, then recreated them on leather and mounted them with upholstery nails.
Finished product. I am so thrilled with the way this came out. Now, onto the big pieces.
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  • Karen Beth Blatcher Karen Beth Blatcher on Jun 10, 2016
    Is it nessary to put the wax finishing over the paint? What happens if one just paints the dresser?

  • Barbara Grace Barbara Grace on Jun 11, 2016
    Chalk Paint Recipe - Hi, I love what you have done to your cabinet. I have used Annie Sloan Paint and yes it is expensive. Would you mind if I had the recipe please? My email address is charlespuggs@btinternet.com. Kind regards, Barbara

  • Sarah Sarah on Jun 12, 2016
    GREAT MAKEOVER!! Would you ever consider adding retro style legs?

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