Who doesn't love a good makeover? The messy before picture and then the amazing reveal. Those pictures inspire us all that with just a little work you can make anything beautiful.
I love to find pieces of furniture and make them pretty again. Sometimes I am so excited to get started on a new piece that I forget to take a before picture and usually those are the pieces with the biggest transformation. I am always amazed by what I find junkin' or thrifting or what people give me because they no longer want it. Usually, they just need a little cleaning and painting to be brought back to life.
Over the last few years, I have made over a lot of furniture. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite flips. Many amazed even me by how well they turned out. Hope you also find a little inspiration.
5. The Blue Denim End Table
I found this little handmade end table as a curbside treasure and couldn't put it in my van fast enough. It was so sturdy and I loved its character. It was also filthy and had a lot of damage to the top. Since this was the pre-DIY Paint days, I used another paint company and had to apply many more coats of paint, had to distress with sandpaper, and used a TON more muscle to apply the hard clear wax. It was the first piece that I used a bold color on and I loved it. I loved the color. I knew I was not just going to be painting neutrals anymore. This is probably the only piece I regret selling, but I know that it found a good forever home. After completing this piece I began searching for furniture paint that had a large selection of colors to choose from. My adventure in color had begun.
4. Green Buffet
This buffet was another roadside treasure and a project I wasn't even sure I could complete. I even remember thinking when I got it that I could always put it back on the curb if it didn't work out. The top of the piece was a disaster. The veneer was lifting off in parts and stuck hard in other parts. Quite a mess. I really wasn't sure I could save it, but I loved it and had to try.
Dealing with veneer is not fun, and luckily I had just found an easier way to remove veneer. You can read more about how I tackle veneer in my post, The Best Way to Remove Old Veneer.
After the veneer was removed I found huge gaps in the boards underneath. Once the gaps were filled with wood filler I stained the top. New molding also had to be added to the piece in many places where it was missing. Next, it was time for paint. I used Fancy Farmgirl DIY Paint and clear wax.
Many hours went into this piece and I think I just broke even on it, but the final product was worth it all. The hutch was saved and made pretty again. It also found a new home and was used as a kitchen island.
3. Table and Chairs
My largest dining room set to date. It started as a typical 1980's set that was heavily used and was outdated and was another curbside treasure. So excited to find it...less excited to have to hand-paint it all. If you have even painted a chair before you know how much work they are. Painting chairs require a lot of time and I never seem to get every spot covered with paint. With a dining set you have the hassle of four chairs (or more) and a matching table. It can be exhausting and is one of the reasons I usually only do one dining set a year. I was so excited to start working on the table and chairs that this is the only before picture that I have.
Not really a before picture. As you can see I have already sanded the top. The original top was discolored and had children's artwork in permanent marker all over. This table was an oak table with a wood veneer top. Since the table sanded out so nice I decided I was going to refinish the wood and just paint the bottom. I also wanted to leave the seats on the chairs wood and paint the rest. I had never done this before, but I figured it out. Painter's tape to the rescue. The whole transformation took quite a few weeks. I used Old '57 DIY Paint, distressed with sandpaper, and added a dark wax. The top of the table and chairs I refinished with a dark gel stain and sealed with a polyacrylic. I love how it turned out.
This piece was delivered to me to make it pretty again. I always love it when furniture is delivered right to my house and no heavy lifting is needed. It was an excellent piece of furniture, with dovetailed drawers, but the top had a lot of damage. The perfect candidate for a makeover.
I was inspired by the color combinations from my dining table, so I used Old '57 DIY Paint, but this time I mixed it with Farm Fresh ( and water) for a blended finish. I finished the piece with clear and dark wax. The top of this piece I refinished with Dark & Decrepit from DIY Paint. Dark & Decrepit is an all-natural, water-based topcoat. I love using it to refinish wood because it is as easy as painting and allows the beauty of the wood to show through. Plus all-natural means no fumes. I finished the top with DIY Paint Big Top (my favorite sealer) for a durable finish. When I finished this piece I knew it would sell quickly and it did.
- Bedroom SetBedroom Set - Dresser - Before
My number one favorite furniture flip of all time.
When I was given this piece it was excellent quality, but outdated. Since it was the first bedroom set I had ever painted I wanted to try something I had never done before. I had just started to follow Dionne Woods, from The Turquoise Iris and was just starting to learn how to blend DIY Paint with a spray bottle. I thought a blended finish would be beautiful. I used Bohemian Blue, Kissing Booth, and Golden Ticket Liquid Patina for this set and did not have a plan except to use the colors and blend them with water. This piece just came together and I loved it. One of the first pieces that made me really feel like I was a furniture artist.
I wish I would have known more about photography when I finished this set. The pictures really do not do it justice. It turned out so good that I wanted to have someone take a picture of me sitting on this set. (Sitting on your piece of furniture for a picture in the paint business is a really big deal and means that you have arrived.) I was so proud of what I had accomplished.
Update - I did recreate this look on a desk a while later and finally got a picture of me with my favorite finish.
Hope you have enjoyed a few of my favorite makeovers. If you have your own project to complete feel free to visit my Project Booth at Plaza Antiques & Collectibles Mall in Lincoln Park, MI. I sell a full line of DIY Paint Products, Paint Pixie Brushes, salvage, old windows & screens, vintage hardware, and more. Or you can shop my online store and have everything delivered to your door. Happy Painting!