First, let me acknowledge that it has been awhile since I have had the opportunity to refurbish a piece of furniture. It is quite lovely living in a home where stairs are at a minimum.
A friend of mine had this little vanity and asked if I could “do something with it”. My answer was, “yes”. With the move and the unpacking (which seems unending and is still going on) – I have not had much free time to refurbish anything. However, the other night this little vanity seemed like a reasonable project to take on.
Although its existing paint job left a lot to be desired, it was structurally sound and had charming lines. Once refurbished, I thought this could be a useful little piece of furniture that brings some charm into a home. It could be a great entryway table, especially where space is limited. It could be a great night stand. It could also be useful in a bathroom for storing odds and ends. It would also make a great desk for a little girl.
Of course, like any furniture project, there were some unexpected findings. First, the top was in tough shape.
There were stains. scratches and gouges. I knew right away that I would have to strip all the paint on the top. Having a clean, clear, blemish-free surface is important. Particularly if the surface would be used for writing on. So,I applied Citristrip twice and wiped down the remaining residue using steel wool pads and denatured alcohol. I talked about this process in this post here and here. As I have mentioned in the past, you can also use mineral spirits to remove the Citrustrip residue. I just find that denatured alcohol works better.
I also noticed that the outside of the drawers needed to be stripped of the existing paint. They were showing wear and tear that required more than simply sanding and repainting. Again, two applications of Citristrip stripped away the old paint and then I removed the remaining residue with steel wool pads and denatured alcohol.
The body of the vanity just needed a really good sanding and cleaning.
The existing paint job really made the vanity look in worse condition than it was in.
This brings me to a question that I receive from time to time. How do you paint the legs of your furniture and not miss any spots or get any drips? Here is my secret. Whenever I plan to paint a piece of furniture with legs, I use two strategies. First, I flip it upside down and I start with painting the legs. Second, if possible, while the piece is upside down, I elevate it onto either saw horses or at least some blocks of wood. Having the furniture upside down allows you to see if you have missed any spots and also allows you to see any drips. Keeping the furniture elevated helps to keep it at eye level and makes it easier for you to reach difficult or awkward places. Once the upside down portion is painted, I flip it over to its right side up position and paint the remaining portions. The last area on a piece of furniture that I paint is the top. So, there you have it. That is my big “secret”.
Another tip for helping the paint application on legs and spindles: I use a 1 inch round paint brush by Zibra.
So that’s the update from this corner of the internet. Check back and I will post the “after” photos. It sure does feel good to be back in the furniture refurbishing business again.