There's something about me that drives my husband nuts. (There may be more than one thing, to be fair.) We'll be driving along, and I'll spy something on the side of the road, and I'll call out for him to STOP! What have I spied? Usually an old table, or chair, or sometimes a bookshelf. You see, I'm an inveterate dumpster diver. I love taking something old and making it new again. My husband? He never stops. Not for yard sales or antique shops either. It gets frustrating. So I prefer to drive on my own :)
I actually have a bit of a competition going with my friend across the street. We are cut from the same cloth and are both always on the lookout for great new finds left out by our neighbours. There's a lot of comparing and friendly envy going on. Of course, she's a professional designer and does some truly amazing things with her finds. But I think I do ok too.
Last summer I grabbed this amazing side table for $5 at our annual neighbourhood garage sale. It has two slanted shelves that I've been using for magazines, although the lady selling it said she believed it was originally designed for sheet music. Whatever the original purpose, it's a great size for our living room, and I love the openness of the top shelf area.
It's a bit of a mess though, with serious water stains and some goopy stuff on top. It desperately needs to be refinished, but I haven't gotten around to it until now.
|Looks like a potted plant leaked here on a regular basis.|
My supplies - sandpaper, electric sander, paint roller and brushes, paint, latex gloves, stencil, painters' tape. I'm using a simple, cheap plastic tablecloth from the dollar store as a drop cloth. I spent some time browsing in Home Depot, having a look at paint colours and debating between paint or stain. I decided on a neutral colour paint from Behr's arts & crafts collection - Concord Buff. I want to add floral details on top, so I also grabbed some bright green paint. I like the sample sizes Home Depot sells for about $5. They are perfect for small detail jobs. A second trip to Michael's craft store for a stencil, and ready to go.
|There are so many different brands and formulations of paint available. Be sure to get the right finish for your project. Since I'll want to be able to regularly wipe down this table, I went with an eggshell finish.|
To be honest, I really didn't need the electric sander, but I like to find excuses to use my power tools. I used it on the top surface, and then lightly sanded the rest of the table by hand with a 180 grit. I just needed to rough up the finish a bit so the paint would stick on top of the stain. Before painting I wiped the table down with a damp rag to be sure all the sanding residue was gone.
I had chosen a 2-in-1 primer and paint combo to save a step, but since I was putting a light paint over a dark stain, I still needed to do two coats. I gave a third coat to the top for extra durability. Larger surfaces I attacked with the mini rollers (love them!), and I had small artist's brushes for the lattice work and edges. Getting in to the backs of the slanted shelves was a definite adventure, but I managed it. The disposable gloves protected my hands and wrists at least. Note to self - paint from inside out next time.
Tip: If you are taking a short break from painting with the same colour, you don't need to wash your brushes and rollers. Store them in plastic baggies to keep them from drying out.
Once the whole piece had at least two coats on all surfaces I let it dry completely before applying the stencil. the painter's tape allowed me to secure the stencil in place without leaving behind any sticky residue, or tearing up the painted surface. I did a random pattern over the top, including partial stencils at the edges to give it a more natural look. Important tip for stenciling - do not get too much paint on your brush! It's pretty easy to have the paint bleed under the edge of the stencil, so you want a fairly dry brush and careful application.
|Use a fairly dry brush for stencils, and be careful about paint pooling at the edges of the design.|
Next DIY? I have a found dining chair to re-finish and re-upholster. Time for a trip to the fabric store!
What about you? Are you an upcycling pro? Garage sale veteran? Tell me about some of your great finds!