DIY savings: Make your old furniture look like new in a few easy steps!

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DIY savings: Make your old furniture look like new in a few easy steps!
Image Credit: Clark.com
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We all have that one piece of furniture in our house that’s perfectly sturdy, but just doesn’t look right.

While you might think, “I’ll just put this on the curb” or “This is getting donated,” you should consider rehabilitating the piece yourself! After all, why replace something when a fresh coat of paint will do the job? This can save you a bunch of money, especially on bigger-ticket items.

How to use chalk paint on wooden furniture

Chelsea from Team Clark was going to replace a couple of outdated dressers and even found one she loved on Wayfair.com for just over $300.

Wayfair.com white dresser furniture
Credit: Wayfair.com

After researching the cost of individual elements, she found that she could redo two dressers she already owned for much less than the cost of that one new dresser!

She bought:

  • 2 cans of Annie Sloan white chalk paint
  • 1 can of General Finishes topcoat
  • 24 drawer pulls
Paint receipt
Credit: Clark.com

hardware drawer pull knob receipt
Credit: Clark.com

This all totaled out to be $198.77.

What do I need for my project?

You’ll need:

  • Paint — We used chalk paint. This is often recommended for beginners and is very easy to use.
  • Topcoat — This will determine what sort of finish your paint will have.
  • Drop cloth — You can get one from the store or use old linens or blankets if you don’t mind getting paint on them.
  • Paint brushes — Get something big and sturdy, especially if you’re painting a larger piece.
  • Drawer pulls — Count out how many you’ll need based on your piece. If you need pulls that have 2 attachment screws, make sure to measure how far apart the holes are before you buy new ones. You can also just paint the existing pulls for an update without spending extra.
  • Microfiber cloth — Use this to clean your piece before painting.
  • Screwdriver — Use to remove and replace hardware and pop open the paint cans.

Optional:

  • Sander and sanding block — Most resources say you don’t need to sand before using chalk paint. We did because of the glossy surface and to give the dresser softer edges.
  • Fan — you may want a fan to pull the fumes out of the space you’re using.
  • Face mask

Where should I paint?

A garage or carport is an ideal space for a painting project. It’s mostly protected from the elements, but allows fumes to escape (if you’re painting in a garage, you’ll want to leave the door open).

If you don’t have a space like this, you could use your backyard or driveway, but check the weather forecast! You don’t want to end up caught in the rain or have wind whipping dirt onto your freshly painted project.

Try to get as much dust and debris away from your project area so that it doesn’t accidentally adhere to the wet paint. A quick sweep or blow out of your space should do the trick.

How to paint your wooden furniture

  1. Prep your painting space by clearing an area to use and putting down the drop cloth.
  2. Place the piece onto the drop cloth
  3. Gather your materials so they’re all close at hand — If you plan on using multiple brushes, keep a cup (one that you don’t mind getting paint on) with water nearby. You’ll want to put any used brushes into the water so that they don’t dry out.
  4. Take off any hardware — Even if you decide to paint the hardware the same color as your piece, you’ll want to remove it and paint it separately. It will look better in the end and you’ll get a more even coating on your piece overall. You may need a screwdriver for this.
  5. Sand the piece — If you’re using chalk paint you don’t have to take this step. If you do want to, you can use an electric sander or a sanding block to get the job done.
  6. Clean it off — Remove any excess grit from the surface with a wet microfiber cloth. Windex also works well for this surface cleaning.
  7. Paint it! — Apply coats until you have your desired finish. Just make sure you let each coat dry before applying the next. If you decide to paint your hardware, do that after painting your furniture. Place on the drop cloth to dry.
  8. Apply the topcoat — Once the piece is painted to your satisfaction, apply the topcoat.
  9. Install the hardware — After the topcoat is dry, you’re good to go!
  10. Use your new furniture! 

See how Chelsea’s dresser redo ended up:

If you redo your furniture or have another DIY project you want to share, let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or on our YouTube channel!

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Beth  Marcinko About the author:
Beth loves to save on clothing and travel. She also enjoys cooking, hosting and television — just don't ask her to pick a favorite. She happily lives in Atlanta, despite the humidity and traffic. You can reach her at beth@clark.com
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