Furniture Flip: Giving Old Pieces New Life!

I’m sure I’m not the only one with a storage unit full of boxes and furniture. At least I hope I’m not. Some may say that if we’re not using it, then to just get rid of it. But honestly, it is full of treasures. Family heirlooms, vintage furniture, and things we love but just don’t have the room for at the moment.

My daughters room was an add on to our house. A space that was meant to be a loft, but we turned into a much needed bedroom. She got walls and a door, but the closet didn’t happen. We’ve had an armoire in her room to hold her clothes, but as she’s gotten bigger it’s become more difficult. She just needs more storage space in her room. Here’s where the storage unit full of treasures comes in. There were a couple pieces of old vintage family furniture in there that I knew would be perfect. The curved shabby chic silhouettes would be beautiful in my little girls room. The problem: they were a mess! Old, neglected and coated with layer after layer of paint.

The solution: my mom and I decided that we would take on the challenge of refurbishing them. So, we went to the storage unit and picked up both a chest of drawers and a nightstand. We did some research on the processes and best products to use. Then after many trips to Lowes, we got started!


Recommended Supplies: Citristrip Stripping Gel, Gloves, Rags, Paint Brushes, Plastic Scrapers, Mineral Spirits, Steel Wool, Sandpaper, Wood Filler, Primer, Paint.

Step 1: Paint Stripper

Depending on the age and state of the piece this could take one time or five. We used Citristrip Stripping Gel. You can apply with a rag or a paint brush, but make sure you wear gloves. Let it sit for 1 to 24 hours and then scrape it off with a plastic scraper. The nice thing about this product is that it smells good and doesn’t have the fumes a lot of the others do. It’s even safe for indoor use. It took us three applications to remove all of the paint from the chest of drawers. There were so many colors of paint on there! You can also use Mineral Spirits and Steel Wool to help with any stubborn spots of paint.

Step 2: Sanding

After removing all of the paint, you’ll want to wipe the furniture down to be sure you removed all of the stripper. Once it’s dry, you’ll need to sand it down to get rid of any rough spots and leftover residue. A medium grit sandpaper will work great.

Step 3: Wood Filler

Before you paint, you’ll need to use a wood filler for problem spots. Fill in any nicks, dents, or even previous knob holes that you’re no longer using.

Step 4: Primer

Once stripped and sanded, you’ll want to put on a good coat of primer. This is especially important if you are painting with a light color. It’s only takes a few minutes, and will help insure your color goes on good and true.

Step 5: Paint or Stain

We decided to paint both of the pieces. The little nightstand was painted purple to add a little pop of color to her room and coordinate with her quilt. The chest of drawers was painted a bright white to also carry on the light and airy theme of her room. We put two coats of paint on each piece. Make sure your furniture is totally dry before putting the drawers back. You don’t want them to stick!

That’s the whole process! We also purchased new knobs and pulls for both pieces in order to give everything a cohesive look and coordinate with her room colors. It was actually easier than I thought, but it definitely takes hard work, time and patience. The end result makes it totally worth it though. Now we have given these old family pieces new life, and they will be enjoyed by my daughter for many years to come!

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