DIY: Painted Thrift Store Cabinet
May 22, 2009
I’m up to my old tricks again, picking up bargain furniture for cheap at the Goodwill thrift store, and transforming into something better for my home.
Some of you might actually like the “Before” and I have to tell you, I did too, but it was terribly scratched up at the base and on top, and for fifteen dollars, I felt no guilt in painting it. The finish was also a speckled stain you see on a lot of old furniture, and up close it looked very old fashioned. So I decided to paint it white for my daughter’s room because it was the perfect size for a narrow wall.
It was a bit more challenging this time, because the piece was heavily varnished, and had a lot of paneling that required more attention.
How to Paint Heavily Varnished Wood Furniture:
Medium grade sandpaper
Disposable paper mask
Oil based primer and brush
Paint color of choice
Wipe on polycrylic
Step One: Sand with medium grade sandpaper to remove most of your varnish if possible. Make sure to wear a disposable mask, or you will end up inhaling microscopic dust – no thank you ! Wipe off dust with moist wipes and allow to dry completely.
Step Two: Cover entire piece with primer. In my opinion, oil based primer is more durable and provides stronger coverage than water based primer. When dealing with heavily varnished furniture, you absolutely must use primer. Allow it to dry completely. I like to use cheap brushes with oil based primer and dispose of them when done instead of cleaning them since clean up with mineral spirits is no fun.
Step Three: Cover your piece with two coats of paint. It’s my experience that one coat never covers completely. You’ll be glad you did two coats, especially when using a white or light shade of paint.
I chose to use a brush application of paint instead of a spray application because of all of the paneling involved. Sometimes when you use spray paint, you get drips, and it’s really tricky to go back and correct them without causing streaking in your spray paint job. When you use a brush, you can easily correct drips. Allow both coats of paint to dry completely.
Step Four: Add a coat of wipe on polycrylic to protect your paint and your hard work.
I chose to “wallpaper” the back of this cabinet with some inexpensive wrapping paper I found on clearance. Just a little double sided tape is all you need.
I also splurged with my Restoration Hardware gift card, and purchased two glass knobs for the cabinet to match her room’s decor and add a little sparkle. I love just these.
I had very big plans of using this piece for a sensible storage solution for books and toys. My “client” has made other plans. I’ve been informed that this cabinet is now a home for all things furry. Otherwise known as a “critter condo”.
Some “clients” just have a different vision. Oh well. :)