Ideas for refinishing furniture

Refinished Furniture | Before And After


Grrrr…  That word.

I try not to use it.

Yeah, it may sound silly (after all… I mean….hello?….) but really, it wears me down.

It’s one of those words that gets tossed around so easily in light conversations, and when someone tosses it my direction-… 

S P L A T !  It’s suddenly a dirty wet dishrag draped across my face.

“Refinish” is not a word to be taken lightly.

When I hear spoken in conversations my head pops up, eyes wide, and I want to say:  “Whoa whoa whoa…  slow down,  be calm…  let’s not get all excited.”

Don’t people know???…

There are multiple steps involved!!!…

There’s paint stripper goop!!!


AND a guaranteed feeling of exhaustion half-way through….

This is the dark, and ugly truth hidden beneath the word “refinish”…

and it’s enough to make you back away slowly as you shake your head and whisper:  “No… Please.”

Nah, really it’s not that bad.


Yes it is.

I don’t mean to discourage anyone (so take this with a grain of salt),

but there are times I am faced with a run-of-the-mill stripping and refinishing project and…

I  c a n ‘ t  e v e n .

Sort of like that  “I  j u s t  c a n ‘ t”   feeling when I  have no choice but to blow dry my hair.

(Hi Meg!)

But, by widening my field of vision beyond what I’ve already done,

I can hopefully outrun the “wet dish rag to the face” experience.

For example….

Refinished Furniture | Vintage Metal Step Stool | Before and After

Sandblasted and Powder Coated.

A rusty and pitted metal stool can NOT be spray painted.  Well actually, it can, but you wouldn’t like it.

You’d end up with a bumpy and pitted surface, only shiny and colorful.

I wanted this stool to be smooth and sleek, so I took it to a local sandblasting place.

Twenty five dollars and a day later, I picked it up in it’s original flat, gray, and clean state.

Next, I took it to a local shop that does powder coating.

(Google “powder coating”.  It involves a dry powder, a metal object, and “baking” until it fuses into a highly durable protective layer.)

Refinished Furniture | Small Vintage Table | Before and After

New Stain Over Old Stain.

I really wasn’t all that crazy about the orangey color of this small game table, but I’m pretty sure even thinking about stripping it would have put me into hysterics.

(I’m not fond of removing finishes via paint stripper.)

Enter lazy stainer person.  (Me, on occasion.)

I did some light sanding  just to blend the edges of the old varnish, and then used a darker gel stain over it.

I worked it over alternating fine steel wool, then more gel stain, twice.

It really wasn’t hard and I felt like I was cheating, but I really couldn’t complain when the color turned out this nice.

I did 4 coats of wipe-on poly (Minwax) to finish it off.

*Side note:  The top of this table totally spins around like a lazy susan.  So there’s that.

Refinished Furniture | Distressed Art Frame

Wet Distressing.

This is where the impatient painter rejoices.  I used a wire brush and scraper edge on wet paint to get this look.

If you’re going to try this, just be sure to do your damage before the paint dries!

After you’ve scratched up a totally normal paint job and goopy clumps of paint dry, sandpaper smooths things down again.

(Then your mom will show up and wonder why the heck you’ve just destroyed that lovely frame.)

Barber Chair Spray Painted Vinyl

Spray Painted Vinyl.

I picked up this barber chair at my local Restore.  The vinyl seat was originally navy blue.

(I made a replacement footrest and fixed the hydraulic, but that’s a story for a later time.)

The seats came off the frame, so that made cleaning and spray painting a whole lot easier.

If you are going to spray paint some vinyl, be sure to use a degreaser and get it completely clean, and then completely dry.

(I did NOT use a primer on this project.  *GASP!*)   

After the paint had dried completely, I applied a couple coats of basic furniture finishing wax to add a layer of protection.  (Minwax.)

It has been over a year since this “spray painting of the vinyl” project, and the finish has held up perfectly.  You can check another Refinished Project


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