Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reader Mail: Furniture FaceLift

I have started a new topic on my blog where followers can email me for design advice.
Here is my first one from a young mother of 2 baby girls:

We don’t really have any money to buy any new furniture, but I have a bunch of wooden pieces that I am interested in repainting/refinishing but have never u have any tips? There are 4 pieces:
1. Chandelier- that I would love to spray paint but it has frosted glass so don’t know how to do it/if I can...
2. Console by the front door-I usually have baskets underneath to hold shoes
3. Ikea Closet by front door - so its particle board (same material as your awesome chest in your closet) so can it even be painted/spray painted???
4. Hutch by back door- So boring!

The short answer to this problem is spray paint and new hardware! You can revive anything with spray paint and it is quick and cheap. These days there are hundreds of different spray paints to choose from; different textures, colors, finishes, and they have special ones to use on plastic and metal. New hardware can make a piece; you can really change the whole look with this simple change.

This is what I envision for your facelift:



(Potential) After __________Apartment Therapy

Yes, you can spray paint a chandelier! Look at all these possibilies. You just need to remove the glass and decide what color you want to go for (you could also do white or a metallic if you don't want to go too wild).

Console Before

(Potential) Afters_________(JCPenney & Pottery Barn)

For a more formal look- go for a darker color like black or dark brown. Then add new hardware to finish the piece.
For a more casual look like the green console- try a distressed look with crackled spray paint. Crackle Creations kits have everything you will need.
But I think in your case I would go for the darker as I think it would be nice first thing as you walk in. I really believe this console can look like a million bucks!

Ikea Closet
(Potential) After
(pardon my illustration)

Yes, you can totally spray paint this! I would keep the console and closet the same color since they are very close to each other.

My best tip for this is to cover the frosted glass with cool wallpaper or fabric. (see my illustration example) Wallpaper is so beautiful right now and would really make this closet look like a million bucks. This example from Urban Outfitters sticks without any adhesive so you would just have to measure, cut and stick. There choices are pretty pricey but check out your local wallpaper store for bargains and scraps. You could also cover the glass with fabric but you would need glue and then I would say to cover the fabric edges with grommets to finish the look. Ikea actually has great fabrics that are very reasonable and fun.

These tricks will make this Ikea piece look expensive and unique.

(Potential) Afters ____________Laurel Street

________________Two Moms and a Girl

This one I would definitely distress if I were you. This will look awesome with crackle spray paint and cool antiqued hardware. You could go white, which always looks good or any other crackled color…I am loving distressed greens and blues. After you spray, you can use sandpaper on the edges to let some of the old wood color come through.

So check out your craft store, Michaels and AC Moore have an entire spray paint aisle. You will be amazed with all the options.
Also check out the RustOleum website for preparation guides and ideas.
I would plan on doing a light sanding on all the pieces and follow the specific directions on the paint you choose. In some cases you will not have to use a primer.

Good luck and send after pictures so we can do a follow-up!

If anyone else needs some advice, email or leave me a comment!


  1. hey Sarah,
    I Absoulutely LOVE these ideas and can't wait to get started on some of them! Thanks so much for your input!!!

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE- so creative, thanks for sharing, this is exactly what I needed :)