DIY,  The Crafting Corner

My First Painting Project…All by Myself!

I recently finished my first painting project…all by myself! I’m sure you’ve heard by now…my family and I moved to North Carolina. In the move, several pieces of furniture were sold. We also acquired a few pieces. One of those pieces is an end table that also functions as a storage box. It needed some love, so I gave it a facelift. And now I use it every day.

TLC Needed

The end table before I started working on it.

Before we moved, I was given an end table/storage box. It is a pretty sturdy piece of furniture. But TLC was definitely needed. When I first received it, it was white with some stains. There was nothing wrong with it structurally, which made it a perfect candidate for an easy DIY makeover.

I’ve only done a furniture makeover one other time before, and that was with the help of my husband. We repainted an old hutch to give it a brighter color and some new life. This time, though, I was determined to do the project on my own. And I did!

Gather Your Materials

For a project like this one, you really don’t need too many materials. Aside from the furniture itself and the paint, you may need four or five more things at best. You’ll need a paint brush, sandpaper (220 for dry, 600 for wet sanding), a towel, and a drop cloth/something to put under the box. I decided to use a paintbrush that we already had at home. Looking back now I realize I should’ve bought a new one. It makes it easier to paint a smooth surface, and it gives a cleaner look.

You probably want to know what kind of paint. I went to my favorite place for paint…Lowe’s! They always have so many colors to choose from. My pick: Cavern Clay, a shade of orange. I wasn’t sure exactly WHAT kind of paint I needed. I asked the woman at the paint counter, and she was able to tell me immediately what kind of paint I needed for my project. Valspar Satin Cabinet and Furniture Paint provides a smooth, acrylic-like finish, and doesn’t leave your furniture looking too glossy. I am very pleased with the finish on my “new” end table.

Valspar Satin Cabinet and Furniture Paint, Cavern Clay

The Process

The process for repainting something like this end table is actually pretty easy! First you start with sanding. You want to get any finish off, and you want to “rough” up the wood a little so that the paint will stick to it better. I sanded quite a bit, making sure to create some variation between bare wood and leaving some paint. After sanding, you want to clean the piece of furniture. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dust and residue from sanding. If you’re like me, you’ll need to clean yourself off after sanding, too!

Once the furniture is clean and dry, it’s time to paint! This is, of course, the most fun part of this whole process. For me, painting is relaxing, fun and a bit stressful all at the same time. I kept reminding myself that a piece like this didn’t have to be perfect. I did want it to have some texture and variations of color, so it was okay if some places were a bit lighter than others.

You’re Almost Done

After the first coat is on, you’re almost done! You may need to wet sand after this part. Wet sanding is something I knew nothing about until last year when we redid the hutch. It’s a very useful step in the process, but it can also cause more damage than good if you’re not careful. When wet sanding only get your sandpaper damp, not soaking. You don’t want water beads falling on to the wood, causing it to get more wet than it needs to.

I used the wet sanding process to get rid of any dust or other random particles that dried on the box after I had painted it. Once it is wet sanded and dry again, it’s time for that second coat. I really don’t recommend that you do more than three coats. Any more than that and it could cause problems with the dried paint.

A Beautiful “New” Piece

I think the one thing I love about redoing furniture with a new coat of paint is that you can take something old, dirty and messed up, and you can turn it into something beautifully “new.” It’s a fun hobby, and also kind of a relaxing one. Now that I’ve done one on my own, I might take on another small project again soon.

My beautiful new end table.

Here’s my new end table box! It’s being next to my side of the bed, so I get to see it every day. What do you think? What would you have done differently? Let me know in the comments below.