Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Upgrading Our Dining Room Table and Old Dressers

Ok, so if you want to think of someone who is not crafty you can think of ME. I NEVER pictured myself doing something like this! But... I did :) I married a wonderful, frugal man and I figured out rather quickly that if I wanted my furniture to look better or different that I was going to have to get creative in how to do that on a tight budget. 

First came my table. My husband had bought a solid oak table before we even met. It is a nice table. The wear and tear though from all the company and kids was bad. It was just getting flat out ugly. (see pic below)

Sorry for the blurry picture. It's hard for me to get pictures not blurry through my instagram account. But you get the idea, the table was worn out!

First I unscrewed the legs and my sister helped me get the top propped up out in my carport and I borrowed her hand sander and went to town! I used ebony wood stain to stain the table after I was done sanding and did about 3 coats. I wanted it super dark and it was super dark and BEAUTIFUL. After that dried for a day or two I put on 

Polycrylic Water-Based Protective Clear Finish to make it super shiny and EASY TO CLEAN. I used a couple high quality paint brushes for the stain and just plain old foam brushes for the clear finish. I probably did about 4 coats of the clear finish. Like I said, I wanted it shiny :)

The table today! It is holding up wonderfully! Doesn't even look like the same one!
As that was drying I started on the legs. I did NOT want to sand the legs so I used chalk paint. Chalk paint is a lazy person's best friend. I made my own (WAY TOO MUCH MONEY THE OTHER WAY).Homemade chalkpaint recipe: Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water; stir until completely smooth. Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint and stir thoroughly. This will make enough chalk-finish paint for one coat on a six-drawer dresser. Chalk-finish paint should not be stored and reused. I used foam brushes for this too and did probably four coats. After that I waxed them with cheap wax. This stuff stinks people! So make sure you are in a well-ventilated area and don't plan on bringing your masterpieces inside for at least a couple of days :) 


Let's just say in the picture below that the one on top is dresser number 1, the one to the left and below (with black and white table cloth on top) is dresser number 2 and the last one is dresser number 3. 

Dressers are great for multipurpose function! We use ours out in our living room/dining areas to hold our homeschool supplies and paper products and we use the tops as buffets for when we have company!

Dresser number 1:
 This was my grandmothers dresser and it was pretty ugly :) I got some of my stepmom's old paint, bright turquoise as you can see, and made homemade chalk paint out of it! (recipe above). That's it. Super easy. Did about two coats and then put some of the same protective clear finish on top that I did on my table. It is holding up really well! It got some scratches on it on the move over (my parents live in CA) but I just touched up with some of the same paint (not chalk paint, just straight from the can). I used foam brushes for this. 

Dresser number 2: This was more than likely my GREAT grandmother's dresser! I did the same to it as dresser number one, homemade chalk paint but in a different color. It is also holding up really well! The top was pretty messed up so it almost always has this table cloth on it (one I got for a wedding gift 10 years ago!) So far these two dressers have cost me $0!!! That's the way to do it people! :)

Dresser number 3: This was in the house we are living in when we got here. It had some real wood and some of that fake wood. I knew sanding wasn't an option. At this point I hadn't heard much about chalk painting (this was actually the first dresser I did) and so I was looking into other options to paint it without having it scratch off easily/peal without sanding. I found this: Cover Stain Primer. It worked very well! I put on two coats and then took my sister's left over paint that she used to paint her laundry room with. I used foam brushes again (my favorite obviously). There were some knobs missing so I went to IKEA and got a bag of 10 of them for $5 to match as closely as possible! I also spray painted the other knobs/handles with a glossy black spray paint and put them back together. For the top I used some lovely Java Gel Stain. I love this stuff! Hate sanding?! This is your thing right here! I applied three coats to the top of the dresser with socks! That is the best way to do it. A little bit goes a long way!

Let me tell you all a little secret. There are a million other people out there that know a million times more than me about this stuff :) This lady is the one I learned a lot from! I love her youtube channel!

Now for one last fun LITTLE project that I did spur of the moment.
My oldest daughter had a painting up in her room that no one really cared for that was like $10 at a garage sale from years ago. I loved the frame but the picture itself was lame. So I decided to paint it with homemade chalk paint (the same turquoise I had borrowed from my sister for my dining table chairs) and painted the frame with that. Next I painted the painting itself with chalkboard paint! I have made lots of little and big chalkboards since then! Again, one can goes a long way and use foam brushes.

Let me know if you have any questions! It was so much fun doing all of this and spending so little money to transform so many pieces of furniture! 

First picture is all the things I used to refinish my table, chairs and dressers! (minus the paint...lots of different types and colors there and mine were all free!). Each of these containers are 1/2 to 3/4 full still and can be used for any future projects! The second picture is the old picture I painted and put chalkboard paint on from my daughter's room. We decided to hang it up on our fireplace.