Green and Frugal Decorating Ideas: Paint It!
A couple weeks ago I did the first in this series of posts about using inexpensive frames to decorate. Today I want to show you what a little bit of paint can do.
I mentioned last week that before we moved to Scotland we sold all the furniture we had (except our bed and the crib.) Thankfully, when we returned this summer, we were blessed by a whole house full of furniture. My mother in law had inherited some and didn’t need it, so she gave it to us. This was a huge blessing because we definitely could not afford to completely furnish a household from scratch. However, a lot of the furniture wasn’t our taste or it just needed updating. So, we painted it and replaced the knobs!
Our policy with painting furniture is that it must at least have good lines and it must be well built. Otherwise it isn’t worth our time. The furniture we received fit into those two categories, so we got to painting.
I am going to show you some before and after pictures. I wasn’t blogging about this at the time, so some of these aren’t the best before and after shots, but you’ll get the idea.
The coffee table
This coffee table is fairly old and had a not so great stain on it. My husband took the stain off and then we painted it using a can of Oops paint that we had picked up really inexpensively. You’ll notice that it has a “distressed” finish. I really like this kind of finish because when my kids say, “Look Mom!” and bang something down really hard on my table, I can smile instead of weeping. Just adds to the charm of the table.
The “sideboard” and the lamps
(I’m going to talk more about the lamps next week.)
I took the mirror off, painted the whole thing white, and then replaced the knobs. I sprayed painted the body of the lamps white and then redid the shades. (I’ll talk about redoing the shades next week.)
The side table
We sanded the table and then painted it white.
My sewing cabinet
Our Front Door
Our front door was looking really bad and the paint was all cracked and peeling off. Our landlord (a.k.a. my MIL) was going to buy a new door, but this is an older house and it has settled, so the door frame is not perfectly shaped anymore, even though you can’t tell from looking at it. So, the entire door frame and door would have to be replaced, which was going to be super expensive. So, we decided to strip and paint the door. When we started stripping it, we found out that it had about 9 (!) layers of paint on it. It took way longer to do this project than we had planned, but I like the way our door turned out.
As you can see, a little bit of paint makes a big difference! Don’t be afraid to paint things. I used to not want to paint over wood, but it is way more work to strip and re-stain a piece and oftentimes, that won’t even work. I was going to strip and repaint my sewing cabinet, but when I started, the stain had seeped down into the wood and I wasn’t going to be able to do what I wanted to do with it. So, I changed plans and just painted it and I love how it turned out!
Blogs for Inspiration
There are so many people online doing this kind of furniture refinishing better than me. Here are some blogs that I like.
Like Merchant Ships Budget Decorating – This lady does not blog anymore, but I really wish she did. She had such a knack for using what she had and for finding deals at yard sales and second hand stores. I particularly like this post where she mixed a few Oops paints together to get a lovely new color for her living room. Brilliant! She also had wonderful ideas for being a gracious hostess. You should look back through some of her archives.
How to Paint Furniture — Young House Love
There is even an eBook available from Mandy at Altar’d who runs a furniture refinishing business.
How to Paint Cabinets — Thrifty Decor Chick –If we weren’t renters, I’d definitely be painting my kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen Reveal –Sarah’s Blue Castle — I really like how Sarah redid her kitchen and the fun paint colors she used. While you are over there, you need to check out the bookshelf she made out of a ladder and some chicken wire. Truly inspiring!
Check out “Transformations and Treasures” every Wednessday over at Pink Postcard!