Things to watch for when refurnishing your Dresser or Nightstand

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We use dressers and nightstands every day, and if a child is using one, you can bet that it’s being used and abused.  If your dresser is looking old and worn, you may want to just refurnish it instead of going out any buying a new one; this can save you money, and it’s amazing how a coat of paint can change the entire look!  However, there are a few things you need to look for when you do want to refurnish.

Surface: If the surface of the nightstand has rough grain, or is looking bubbly- beware.  The problem with uneven surfaces is that once you sand and prime them, all of the uneven areas begin to expand- you’re then left with a blotchy surface.  The solution to this is to sand completely past the stain, and down to the actual wood.

Peeling Veneer – It could be a big problem if the veneer is peeling.  If it peels off easily, it won”t be worth your time to repair it.  Yet, if it has only began to peel in a few small areas, it is salvageable with wood glue and wood filler.

Laminate – Laminate is a plastic coating over the wood.  You can paint over it, but that is not ideal.  Painting over it will make the it look… not quite right, and very amateur.  It’s best to stay away from this entirely.

Drawers – Drawers are, of course, the most important part of the dresser or nightstand, so it only makes sense to know if you have something made with quality.  If you do have something of quality, think about whether or not it would be best to get rid of it, or to try and refurnish it. One way to know if you do have quality craftsmanship is by taking the drawer out of the dresser, and looking for Dovetails.  If you see the Dovetails like in the picture below, you know you have something of quality.

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Lastly, if the drawers are on metal drawer guides that slide, make sure they slide smoothly.  These guides are difficult to fix and with older dressers, and many of the parts needed to fix them are no longer made.  If there is not a metal guide, and the drawer is wood on wood, you can smooth the sliding a little by wiping furniture wax on the bottom of the drawers and the wood guides underneath.  This will help smooth it out quite a bit.

That’s it!  If you have a dresser or nightstand that seems to be in good standing- go ahead and slap some paint on it to give it a whole new look.  Happy Painting!

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DIY- Rusted Wood

Rusted Wood Cover

This project is fairly simple to do, it creates an amazing effect, and it can be completed very quickly!  You can make custom crates to store plants, renovate your old bookcase, or wherever your imagination takes you!

For this demo, we’re using pallet-wood; it’s cheap, easy to get, and easier to work with, but remember- all wood and furniture acts differently, and reacts differently to paint and stains.  I do want to add that this may take a couple tries to grasp, and that’s fine- keep playing with it, and every time it will look better and better!

Step 1)  Sand the wood a little before painting to get some of the rough spots off, but not too much as the roughness helps add to the character. For the painting portion, the best effect is from what is called a ‘Chip Brush‘.  These are inexpensive, natural bristle brushes that cost around $1.  They do not cover the wood completely in paint (leaving some bald spots for the natural wood to peek through), and are cheap enough to replace as needed.

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Step 2)  Now slap some paint on.  You may want to paint several boards at once, starting with the lightest color of paint you’ll be using.

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Step 3)  Do not clean the brush between colors, instead brush it on the plank until most of the color is gone.  HINT: Use a different brush only if you feel the colors will not blend well.  Being that blue and green go very well together, we will continue using the same brush.

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Step 4)  Wait a little while as the paint dries… somewhat; it doesn’t need to completely dry before you apply the second color.  You’ll notice that this tutorial does only have 2 colors- you are more than welcome to use more- I’ve even seen some use 5!  The choice is up to you.

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Step 5) When the paint is (mostly) dry, sand it.  you can sand it a lot, or very little; remember, this is your creation- have fun.  Depending on the type of wood, 80 grit sandpaper works great, or you can simply use what’s already on the sander.  Whatever wood is exposed through the paint will soak up the stain, and get a bit of a reddish color.

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Finished sanding.

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You’ll then use a stain to go over the top. Pallet wood takes the stain really dark, so it may be beneficial to use something a little lighter like Early American or Provincial.  For these colors, however, something darker might be nice so we’ll be using Dark Walnut.

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Step 6)  Cover the paint/piece of wood completely.  You will want to use a Chip Brush for this as well.  If you would like the brush to last for other stain projects, simply wipe it off with a rag.

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Step 7)  After applying the stain, wipe off the stain with a rag (You can even use an old T-shirt you were going to throw out).  NOTE–stain rags should be put in a bucket of water and not reused.  This is a VERY important safety tip as the stain is highly flammable, and can catch fire just from being left in a pile.

After everything has dried, you will have something very unique.  Enjoy!

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