Tag Archives: refinishing

Mersman in Mint

Happy Wordless Wednesday to y’all! :D

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I came across this beautiful little Mersman table recently & since I’m a tad obsessed with mint at the moment, I picked up a brush and painted away!! I also distressed, waxed, primed, and polyed, of course, hehe! The bad news is there are no before pics on this one since I’ve been crazy busy deckin’ the halls, but the good news is that this very table is being GIVEN AWAY soon! Keep an eye on my blog for details & happy holidays to you!!!

Finishes

Quick guide to the different Finishes that I can apply to your piece…

Polyurethane
Poly is a durable finish that is fairly easy to apply & fast-drying, especially if you choose the more expensive spray-on version. It comes in a varying degree of sheens (satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss), which makes it a no-brainier finish for a lot of my projects since it is somewhat toddler-proof. The oil-based version can yellow over time, so I never use it on light stains or paints, while the water-based version (polycrylic) stays clear but has a more plastic look to it. It’s also worth noting that you have to lightly sand between coats (I apply at least 3) in order for the coats to adhere to each other. I used wipe-on poly and satin spray poly on my family’s Buffet Turned Media Cabinet & polycrylic on this Mid Century Desk.

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Wipe-on Polyurethane
You can make your own rub-on poly by adding equal parts mineral spirits to polyurethane.

Furniture Wax
roundsidetablewAhhh, wax! I love using furniture wax! It creates a soft sheen & a warm glow that is smooth to the touch which can’t be duplicated with any other finish. Depending on which wax you choose, it can have an obnoxious odor so I always use a respirator and wear gloves. You will get a workout while buffing the applied wax to create the lovely sheen! I used wax to distress and finish the bottom of this beauty.

 

Lacquer
stella_finalThis finish is durable, hard, and toddler-proof, not as easy to apply as polyurethane, but there is no need to sand between coats like there is with poly. It comes in sheens ranging from ultra matte to high gloss. I use this finish for wooden furniture with beautiful wood grain that I want to highlight and protect! I used it on the round side table’s wood top seen here.

 

Shellac
A resin secreted by the female lac bug, sold as dry flakes and dissolved in ethyl alcohol creating a liquid shellac. This finish is extremely durable, comes in white, orange, or pigmented, cleans with mineral spirits, and was widely on furniture before the 1920’s. I might use this, but it spoils in a can if left unused for long periods of time.

Latex Paint
campaign_side_somb.jpgAlso known as acrylic paint, it’s a fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. It can be diluted with water, yet still be water-resistant when dry. It comes in any color you can think of and is a long lasting finish when applied to furniture properly, (sanding, then priming before applying two coats of paint). I used latex paint on this Modern Lingerie Campaign chest that I upcycled from an Armoire.

Milk Paint
c_chest2Milk paint is a beautiful paint finish, chemically safe and environmentally friendly. I love to distress milk-painted pieces, has an unpredictable chipping off to it that looks authentic and lovely. It’s best to finish with a coat of wax since it isn’t as durable as it is beautiful. Miss Mustard Seed & Old Fashioned Milk Paint paints are my favorite. You can also make your own, though it is not a pleasing process. Check out this Campaign Chest I built & painted with milk paint!

Chalk Paint
frontteal_sombChalk paint is an extremely easy to apply paint that you don’t have to prime before applying, though it is best to apply a coat of wax as a topcoat. It is a gorgeous choice! I have the perfect piece for it so it is time for me to make another batch, fairly simple to make… I’ll post exactly how to make it soon, just need some non-sanded grout, water, and acrylic paint! If you’d rather not wait or have a little extra cash, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is stunning! Check out this end table that I painted with some homemade teal chalk paint!

Primer
It’s always a good idea to use a primer before applying acrylic paint to anything. I also go the extra mile and sand a tad before applying primer… oil-based Zinsser is great and it even comes in a spray form, making quick work of painting furniture.

Oil-Based Stain
Oil-based stains are extremely durable and penetrate the wood deeper than water-based, but do take longer to dry. Stains come in a variety of colors and can really bring out the character of wood pieces.

Water-Based Stain
Unlike oil-based stains, water-based stains dry very quickly, which makes it harder to achieve an even finish… on the up side you can clean up with soap and water and it’s breathable. Always be sure to test whichever stain you choose to be sure that opacity and color are just how you want them!

Oil Finishes
Oil Finishes, such as linseed and hemp, are incredibly easy to apply, penetrate wood pieces and add charm, but do nothing for protection. If your main goal is to beautify a piece with no need to protect, than I recommend trying out oils.

Spar Urethane

live_edge_3_sombThis finish has an oil-based formula which forms a barrier against rain and moisture to protect the wood. Spar Urethane is amazing for exterior pieces since it has a UV blocker and expands and contracts with the wood as the seasons and temperatures change. I like it in a high gloss finish which really enhances the natural beauty of wood… for instance, I used it on the top of my Live Edge Walnut Slab Console Table.

Wood Oxidizer

barndoorfront_sombThis is a finish that my 5 year-old & I love to use… he’s my on call wood oxidizing technician, hehe! I have made multiple pieces by oxidizing pallet wood, favorite of which being my interior sliding barn door (post coming soon). You can even make your own wood oxidizing solution simply by letting torn up 0000 steel wool disintegrate in white vinegar for a few days. Then you just paint it on your bare wood and watch it transform almost immediately to become darker and more weathered looking. You can also add some strong black tea to your wood beforehand to give it a grayer look (adding some rusty nails to your oxidizing mixture will give your wood a ruddier tinge). Experimenting with this finish is a blast and something that the kiddos can help with! Check out the interior sliding barn door that I used this finish on!

Look what I found…

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I’m so happy to be sharing my most recent project! My adorable four year-old & I happened to come across our coffee table’s cousin on a recent thrift store hop! It was dingy, dirty, and a shade of yellow that just looked sad, but my little guy & I spotted it from across the store since it had the same exact details of our coffee table… which also happens to be a refinished thrift store beauty! ; ) With a price tag of $25 I knew we had to bring our coffee table’s kin home with us. I refinished it in exactly the same fashion so the materials for this project came to a grand total of zero dollars, perfect!! I’ll take you on my week long journey through this painted project and please start your own to share with me!

sandedcousin… a sanding I will go, a sanding I will go, high ho, high ho… have to sing so that sanding is amusing! I was lucky enough to find that this piece was actually primed under the yellow, so I left most of that on & started painting it! Two coats of latex semi-gloss was all it took to cover this piece. I love how easy it is to clean & the soft shine of semi-gloss is perfect for a modern refinish like this one.

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I had somewhat of an idea of what I was getting myself into with all the grooves, but I certainly didn’t think it would take 20 hours… I suppose that makes me appreciate the final result that much more though! After two coats of my 4 year-old & I’s favorite blue in latex semi-gloss, I went on to refinishing the MDF shelf inserts. They were a semi-groovy 70’s basket weave painted the same blech yellow as the rest & I didn’t care for the weave texture so I hammered them out & flipped them over to reveal a flat surface to paint. I primed, painted turquoise, then painted darker blue, then stripped off the paint, and let dry… a happy accident that I came across a couple years ago when I disliked how the paint looked. I think this sort of reverse painting gives an abstract quality to furniture which I love! When I refinish furniture I try to give each piece an unexpected element, changing it from a utilitarian object into a thing of beauty… or maybe I’m just a hopeless furniture lover, lol!

All that was left to tackle after I watched the paint dry was to add three coats of polyurethane to the shelves and staple them back into place. As a safety precaution for my toddlers, I affixed the top of the display unit to the wall so that it will never tip over… safety first! And another project bites the dust! Now I need to find some old picture frames and candles on our next thrift store jaunt! Please share your current projects with me & happy DIY’ing to y’all! :D

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