Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DIY Furniture renovations (bright or natural)

For years now I have had old furniture piled up in storage with the idea that I will one day renovate them.  Well recently (with the help of an amazing invention... the electric sander!!) I got down to business and started working on some of these wooden furniture pieces. The transformation has really been amazing.
This is an old coffee table I picked up for $10 off another lady who had always intended to renovate it.  I know it's mid century but the little handle really made me think of something more art deco like.

 I don't know why (probably because I'm always thinking about food) but when sanded back this little telephone stand reminds me of some rich, delicious French cake, like and Opera slice perhaps.

My second project at the moment is my old desk.  My mum picked this up for me at an antique shop when I was young because she knows how much I love lots of little draws and secret compartments.  I have always had it with me and gotten a lot of use out of it, but alas it has grown rather weary with time.  The top is smeared with my beloved glitter glues, the inside is full of water stains from when I was studying and drank endless cups of coffee and it is rather scratched up from moving house so many times.  I was ecstatic to find that underneath the awful brown varnish stain lay a beautiful light wood. 

Oh and while we are on the topic of sanding I just absolutely need to share with you what an unglamorous job this is!  A face mask is essential because of all the dust the sanding creates (I was still sneezing dust days later), wearing old clothes is also a must because you won't recognise them at the end, and don't even try to worry about the rest of your appearance because you are going to look like you've aged 20 years by the time you're done!
Okay so all of this brings me to the next stage in the renovation process. What to do when you are done sanding!  Do I just leave the items as they are in their natural state and put a coat of oil over them?  Or do I go crazy now and start painting them in bright colours?  After all the hard work of sanding them back to their original state it almost seems sad to paint over it again, but on the other hand I am very drawn to colour these days.  I mean you just need to look around our house to see that we aren't the beige and natural types.

Recently I have felt very inspired by home tours like the ones at Smile and Wave. 

So what do you think?  Are you for painting vintage furniture or leaving it as is?  I am very much looking forward to my next renovation project which is this cute little side table with bamboo legs.  I will definitely repaint this one however and it will become a fixed piece for my markets stalls.
P.S By the way it seems that my blog went a big crazy for a couple of weeks.  I have no idea what went on but it wasn't showing up in anybodies reader.  Then just as a I posted about it, it suddenly sprang into action again and you would have gotten 2 weeks worth of posts all at once.  Sorry about that!


  1. So cool that you have the opportunity to do things like that, and respect :)

  2. Ha ha thank you. I usually feel like giving up half way through but it's always worth it at the end.

  3. Oooh you have been busy! I'm in two minds about painted vintage furniture, as it's often such great quality wood that it's such a shame to cover it! On the other hand, brightly painted furniture is so refreshing!