Thursday, October 10, 2013

Painting Furniture: Looking Back

I wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the furniture refinishing I did earlier this year. Actually, it's about my six month anniversary of having my own place! I really loved refinishing the furniture. I had fun working on the pieces. If I had a garage to work on this stuff and rooms to put my redone furniture in, I absolutely would. However, I don't. I hope to redo more furniture in the future but due to space limitations, they won't be as frequent as I'd like.

I wanted to share some things I've learned. I really wish I had done more research before doing this. I found all the different ways to refinish furniture really overwhelming so I kind of just picked a tutorial and went with it. I don't know if I did something wrong. But things haven't turned out the way I expected. They've all gone a little...yellow.

One of my favorites was my desk makeover. I LOVED the green. It was an awesome color. Here's how it looked right after I refinished it.

Here's how it looks now...

This lighting makes it look extra horrible. But as you can see, the polyurethane (Minwax clear gloss) turned yellow. I am SO sad. You can see all the imperfections in my application of the polyurethane. In addition, the sealer almost works too well. I wanted to protect it from crafting on it and I can't even get pen marks off.

Next, we have my nightstands. They were a lovely blue.

Now, they're not. Looking at this picture makes me sad. The blue was so pretty! My friend came over and said "I love your mint green nightstands!" and I had a mini sad face.

The last item I sealed with the "CLEAR" polyurethane is my white side tables. Here is how they looked initially after their makeover.

I used polyurethane on the top of them but not the legs. You can totally see the difference.

Although they're the least obvious in photos, the side tables are the worse.

The last piece of furniture that I made over was my dresser. I decided not to put any polyurethane on it. Thank goodness.

Actually, it still looks pretty good. The only thing is, the paint is chipping near the drawers.

I know a lot of people like worn, chippy edges but I'm not a huge fan. Plus, things stick to the top a bit. I need to look into other (non yellowing) sealers/protectors. Any recommendations?

The one thing that hasn't let me down in my furniture makeovers is the Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze. It still looks fantastic and has held up great.

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  1. Thanks for sharing what you've learned. I'm hoping to be brave enough to try a furniture refinish project soon and I need to learn everything I can now.

  2. Oil based paints, that no one likes to clean up anymore, are better for furniture. Oil based paints don't chip as quickly. I have a yellow, used to be white desk, too. The dresser I did in pink with oil based paint looks the same as the day I painted it 15 years ago.

    1. The paint didn't turn yellow, the polyurethane did. Do you not feel like you need to use a sealer/protector when you use oil based paints? I did use an oil based primer but not paint.

  3. What a bummer! I totally appreciate that you are so open and honest in what you experienced. I have a painted side table in white and I used Minwax Polycrylic to seal it. There hasn't been any yellowing and I am able to wipe off messes. I use it next to my couch so it gets used everyday. I know how difficult it is to do furniture makeovers in an apartment (without a garage OR and extra room) so I hope you get the inspiration again to redo the pieces! I'm a new follower!

    1. I'm so jealous your table isn't yellow! I hope I get the inspiration to do them again too. Maybe once I learn a bit more.

    2. You used the oil-based Polyurethane. Oil-based polyurethane, as you found out, will yellow with age. Water-based Polyurethane will protect your paint without yellowing. It's a shame that nobody told you that before you did all that hard work. Don't be discouraged though! We all make blunders. I've been refinishing furniture as a hobby off and on for years, and I still make mistakes. Good luck in future projects! :)

    3. It's my fault - I didn't do enough research beforehand. I hope to fix them sometime soon and, well, my lesson is learned! :)


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