Guest Post: Furniture Re-do by Sara from Struggling Happiness

Hey there! Today we will be having Sara from Struggling Happiness share an awesome furniture re-do! Does she seem familiar? Well, I guest posted on her blog a couple of months ago here on *How to be Happy* so maybe that is why!  

Real quick! Today is the last day to:
1) Enter to win a set of 3 cute toiletry bags here!
2) Enter to win a Large ad space for my blog here!
Go go go!

Now, take it away Sara!

Hello, Sloanbook!! I am Sara, What up?! I blog over at struggling happiness. If you didn't know, I blog about depression. Well...now it's mostly just life and whatever happens during it. I just started a new J.O.B., so redoing a night stand was a nice escape from the hectic-ness of that. Seriously, does anyone else repress stress?!

Anyway...I am so excited for A&K to have their very own house. I am jealous. I hate when people my age have their stuff together enough to do grown up things. Envy...oh, well, I still love Ashley! ;)

So about this tutorial. I hope it all makes sense. It's a relatively easy project, but then again, I grew up with a mom who knocked down walls while my dad was at summer camp...and then we would rebuild the walls in the same weeks. This craftiness/handiness stuff comes second nature. Thanks, Mom!

A distressed piece of furniture is a good starting place for newbies. A-if you mess up, it's okay, it adds character. B-if you mess up, it will sand out and be repaintable. C-Well...it's a few strokes of paint, I think most people can handle it.

Ok really-here's the tutorial.

Step 1-Select a piece of furniture you want to redo. And have a vision of what color and where you want it.  I chose a piece at my brother's house. I really hope it wasn't a family heirloom... I just bought a new comforter so I knew the color I wanted and where it was going. Don't worry about any dings, we will sand them out all smooth. You can see a big scratch on the right side, I just smoothed it enough so that the paint would cover it.
 Step 2-Now that you have your vision, gather your supplies. I laid down plastic garbage bags (I was later scolded, do this project outside or in the garage), bought the paint color I wanted (Thank you Home Depot for mixing the paint. I just eyeballed what color I wanted from the color slabs), grabbed some new handles, a sanding block, two foam brushes, and a bowl of water. Mountain Dew is optional.
 Step 3-Take out any drawers and take off any doors. Then with your newly acquired sanding tool, sand away! You'll want all the surfaces nice and smooth. I sanded down just to take off any imperfections. Then wipe down with your wet rag. Always be sure to work with the grain of the wood. Do not, DO NOT, try to sand across the grain!!! Your furniture will look scratched and yucky.

Step 4-After the wood dries, paint first layer. This layer will not cover completely. That's okay, just get it covered consistently. Let it dry.
Step 5-Apply second coat. The second coat will start to stick. like the picture below. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect. If you don't want a distressed look...umm...this may not be the right tutorial...
Step 6-At this point, your piece should be the consistency of pain you desire. I wanted the dark would to be seen just a little. So I left it at three coats of paint, let it dry mostly between each coat. For the fourth layer you'll just be lining it on in whatever pattern you like. Below is a picture of about how much pain you'll want on your brush. And then you just wipe it all over. Keep swiping until all the paint if off your brush. Before re-dipping, slightly smooth the blunt strokes into the wood so it's not as obvious.
Can you see how I stroked it on here?
You'll want to hold your brush parallel to the surface you are working on. Always work in the direction of the grain. 
Step 7-After letting your paint dry for a good amount of time, sand the areas that would suffer normal use. Edges, a few strokes through each door. Some on the side. But be careful not too take off to much paint. But if you mess up...don't worry. Distressed, full of character furniture is totally in.
Step 8-Replace hardware. Reattach any hardware you took off or replaced.

Step 9-Let cure, completely. If you place it in your room or put stuff on it too soon, there will be an imprint left in your spankin' new nightstand, coffee table, dresser, etc.

Step 10-Put furniture in designated spot. Admire your handiwork and give yourself a high five!
This is just a cute picture of my doctor bear. Love him.
A few things I learned. 

1) Don't leave the hardware on the doors. Just take off the doors and remove everything. I wish I had bought new hardware that matched the new pully ones. BUT I didn't, so lesson learned for next time.

2) I did not like working with a foam brush. I bought them because they were super cheap, spend the few extra bucks for a bristle brush. They cover better.

I seriously love my new nightstand/dresser. It holds everything and it's fun thinking I created it out of a random piece of furniture in the garage. For about $20 BAM, new nightstand that is fun, functional, and all mine.

Wow, I wish I was a natural like Sara! I will definitely be re-doing someTHING at our new place and hopefully will be able to enlist Kevin's help :) She cracks me up; I hope that wasn't a family heirloom. Anyways, be sure to leave her some lovin on her blog here! Thanks Sara!


  1. Wow, it came out great! Nice re-do!


  2. Love this! It turned out so great. Makes me want I re do a book shelf.

  3. Love this! I think I could actually handle making something like this. Haha.

  4. Looks so good. I've been wanting to try refinishing some furniture. Thanks for the tips!

  5. I need to start hunting for something to re-do. That looks fantastic:-)

  6. To get an antique effect, I use a brush. Dip it into the color you want to antique with and then wipe it onto some newspaper til it's almost dry. You can then paint up and down strokes that till add a light antique look.

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