By in Random

DIY Furniture Redo

I have never been much of a Do-It-Yourself furniture project gal. I love the idea of them, but never have developed the skills or the toolbox. Quite honestly, I fear that the final project will look as if a kindergartner did it.

But that does not mean I have not tried. I have had many "good intentions" over the years, buying pieces that people discarded. I see their functional use and then, after a period of time, I send them away to a furniture orphanage, where they await their next adoption.

There are five pieces that I still have that I use functionally that I would love to give new life. There are two or three others in storage, which I won't even see for awhile. It has already been 35 years, but I have these other five to give the breathe of new life.

The five pieces that I have kept and want to get done by this next summer are:

1. A 15" square 30"h side table, open underneath with a second shelf at 13" from the floor. I don't know the wood, style or age, but the varnish is brittle and I can chip it away with my thumbnail. My friend, Evelyn, gave it to me after her husband died a decade ago, when she moved back to Texas.

2. An oval table that I picked up for five dollars back in 1974 and someone refinished for 10 dollars. I use it as a side table in my living room. A number of years ago, I had a pink post-it pad on the table, along with a plant. Watering the plant, I had a leak and didn't know it. It saturated the pad, hot pink dye soaked thru and into the natural wood.

3. A vanity with mirror with waterfall styling, circa 1930s, from a furniture company that was Tacoma-based. I sold the matching dresser to a friend, but decided to keep this piece. I paid 25 dollars for this piece at a Goodwill store 10 years ago. The beveled glass of the mirror is incredible.

4. A tall cabinet that was repurposed at one time. I found it along side a dumpster also 10 years ago by the 1920s vintage apartment in which I lived. I dragged it up the stairs to the third floor apartment. I have used it for cookbooks, and many other things. It is one of the heaviest pieces and will be second-most time consuming after the vanity.

5. A small table with drawer that was given to me by my friend, Loren, last year. It has been redone before, but is quite old and in dire need of repair, as the top is not adhered to the base. In fact, I think it is newer than the original wood of the base.. It will make a perfect laptop desk, and I think it will be fairly easy to repair and redo.

So, these five pieces, all which I have used functionally, may be given new life soon. All total, I have put 40 dollars into them over the years.

It is time for me to showcase these pieces and give the the love they deserve. My "why" question is answered.

My dilemma is in answering the other questions: Who do I ask for help? What products are best to use? Where do I have the space to do this? When do I have time? Factors such as cost, time, ease, and lack of knowledge and experience are big factors for me.

I have heard a lot about Annie Sloan chalk paint products, and I think that I might start with the square side table. But I do know these products can be rather expensive. The upside to these products is ease. I understand that little to no sanding or other prep work is required, and it is easy to apply. It also dries very quickly. So, this is where I could begin, until I figure out what might be less expensive, or suit my needs better.

As I start and finish each project, I will post pictures and talk about what I have learned. I also hope to learn plenty of tips from other DIYers along the way. I would love your ideas. I am really stepping out into new territory for me.

© Copyright 2015 - Coral Levang

- -

Image Credit » by PublicDomainArchive

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


DWDavisRSL wrote on December 17, 2015, 8:59 PM

We have a handful of antique pieces, including a roll top desk I repaired and refinished when we were first married. One of the pieces is an old foot pedal Singer sewing machine. It is in rough shape but someone who really knows what they're doing could turn it into a nice keepsake for someone.

CoralLevang wrote on December 17, 2015, 9:15 PM

I have one of those in storage, as well. 1903 model.

MegL wrote on December 17, 2015, 9:45 PM

I think there MAY be a lot of Pinterest pictures on this. Enjoy.

crowntower wrote on December 17, 2015, 10:05 PM

I think you can ask help from Mr. Google... and you might want to ask some help from your neighbor, or someone who do it for labor... In the Philippines you can ask many people here to help you. Well in our country there are lots of many lazy people who have lots of talents in doing crafts... you just call one and you are done... they do it with a superb skills wit a cheaper price. God bless... I hope you'll find a help soon... excited to see your first done project.

wolfgirl569 wrote on December 17, 2015, 10:45 PM

I love the look of natural wood. So maybe just stain a couple of them. Other than that I cant be much help.

Paulie wrote on December 18, 2015, 12:43 AM

Unlike my father, I have never been a DYIer. I admire you for wanting to work on these projects and wish you the best of luck.

Rufuszen wrote on December 18, 2015, 5:24 AM

I am hopeless at practical things, but I shall watch with interest

markgraham wrote on December 18, 2015, 9:46 AM

Do it yourself projects can be very satisfying for the psyche and I hope you enjoy your upcoming projects and look forward to the pictures and lessons.