You’ve probably seen this commercial: The family is sitting around in the kitchen and no one seems to notice the nasty odor coming from the nearby garbage can/dumpster… or the woman who’s driving her fuzzy dog-car through town and all everyone else can smell is major pet odor. Then a voice asks “Have you gone noseblind?”
Over time, we become so used to certain smells (or things) that they don’t even bother us anymore like they once used to. Febreze might help your stinky situation, but I’m actually interested in a serious vision problem… Have you gone ugly-furniture-blind?
Take this scenario: You’re in desperate need of a quick (preferably free) piece of furniture for your home. Someone gives you an old piece or you find one for dirt cheap while thrifting. It’s pretty ugly but it’s functional, and (YEAY) your problem is solved. You reason that A) it’s only temporary and B) hey I can paint it or fix it up one day anyway…
Years pass and that dresser is still as ugly as the day you got it, but you’re so used to walking by it every day that it’s become a blur and you no longer pay any real attention to it. You’ve gone ugly-furniture-blind.
(Friends, it’s Furniture Fixer Upper day so don’t forget to visit my friends’ furniture makeovers at the end of this post for even more inspiration!)
Now you guys, there’s nothing wrong with an ugly piece of furniture if you really love it that way (more power to you). BUT the problem comes when you’re so busy with life and other things that you put your own personal projects and goals on the backburner… indefinitely.
If you took a little extra time for yourself once in a while and revisited some of those creative ideas you once had and projects you planned, what amazing things could you accomplish? It could be painting a dresser – or making book page art – or repurposing old clothes into scarves.
My ugly-furniture-blind project was this dresser that was given to us when we bought our house, and my husband kept his clothes in it for a few years. It was supposed to be temporary – we got it before I was painting furniture and then later it was never at the front of my mind to paint because it was upstairs and in use. It needed a makeover, but it wasn’t convenient for me.
Then eventually it was replaced and ended up in the garage where it sat, still forgotten for over a year. I was digging around out there last week and saw it, really saw it this time, and wondered why on earth haven’t I painted this thing yet?!
So here she is – painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White with clear soft wax as a topcoat. I went shopping for new pulls but none of them seemed right. The original hardware was etched into the drawers already so it seemed meant to be to keep them. (Who knows what happened to the original knobs on the top drawer…)
The whole thing looks much lighter and brighter in white though!
So tell me – do you have any pieces in your home that you’ve gone ugly-furniture-blind to? Or do you have a long-lost creative project idea that you need to revive from purgatory? Let me know about it, and then do me a favor and commit some time this weekend to working on it. 🙂
Today the Furniture Fixer Upper friends are sharing our latest furniture makeover tutorials – be sure to visit each one below for creative inspiration!
Below are the Before photos – click the blog links underneath to see the Afters.
1. Prodigal Pieces
2. Just the Woods
3. The Interior Frugalista
4. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
5. Petticoat Junktion
[email protected] of Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says
I have totally done that too…sometimes you just stop noticing the ugly duckling in the corner! This looks so fresh and bright now! XO
[email protected] of Serial Do-it-Yourselfer recently posted…Girl’s Vanity set from an Antique Side Table
WOW, a HUGE improvement! This looks a million times better! Well done! Yikes, thanks for pointing out that I’ve gone ugly furniture blind, haha! Now I’m going to have to be responsible and do something about it. : )
Marie|The Interior Frugalista says
I am so guilty of this too. What a difference a can of paint made to your dresser, Jen.
Why did you paint all the hardware? The dresser itself looks beautiful but while you had the hardware off why didn’t you just buff and polish it? It would’ve been even more beautiful.
The big pulls are original and brass, while the small knobs on the top drawer are newer and brown. There was no way to get them all the same finish without painting them. I did look for knobs to try and match them all, but couldn’t find any.
Rose L. says
It is definitely improved!
Rose L. recently posted…SHARING A POEM
Kathy Owen says
Hi Jen, I love it. I’m glad you painted the hardware. The all over white is so lovely.
Kathy Owen recently posted…Coral Color Bedroom Furniture: Mix Red & Yellow Paint To Make Coral
Candyce Blodgett says
It looks fresh, lighter and more beautiful. How did you apply the paint?
I just picked up a free end table I’m going to re-purpose into a dog/cat bed, and it may sit outside on a covered porch. Do you think that means I have to use outdoor latex paint? I love the chalk paint finish, but not sure how to get that for a piece that might actually get wet. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Hi Candyce, I’d definitely use an outdoor paint if there’s any chance of it being exposed to moisture and other types of weather. You may want to try an outdoor spray paint and a spray topcoat that’s for outdoor pieces. Unfortunately I don’t think a chalk-type paint would hold up very well, but if you don’t mind it looking more distressed/weathered over time, it might still be an option for you.
Cindy Downing says
Im just curious, why paint the hardware the same color instead of a metal color or keeping it original. I have seen other people do this but i actually prefer the contrast of the metal. I’m just curious if it is actually preferred painted this way.
Sheila DelCharco says
I love the painted hardware but I have a question: did you use the same chalk paint to paint it or did you use a spray paint? And if you used a different paint how did you get the whites to match?
Thanks Sheila. Yes I used the same Chalk Paint for the dresser and the pulls.
I have an almost identical dresser that I’ve been wanting to spruce up. A friend gave my kid a whole”set” from her fathers house. The tops are a laminate/ Formica type finish. How do you paint that so it doesn’t peel? What kind of prep? Special primer ?
Jen, Girl in the Garage says
My favorite primer is Zinsser BIN shellac primer (it has a red label) – and I know lots of other furniture refinishers who swear by it too. It’s an excellent product but the only negative is that it’s stinky – just a warning in case you’re sensitive to smells. If your piece is super shiny you may want to sand it a bit first to kind of de-gloss it so that the primer and paint stick better. Hope that helps – good luck!