How to refinish furniture (the easy way)

About a year ago, I purchased this sweet little table at my local goodwill for $5.



It was pretty banged up but I bought it out of necessity because I had been living alone for a few weeks and my TV was still on the floor. I loved the tiers because they were the perfect place for a DVD player. The best part was, it was solid wood (not Ikea-like particle board, of which I own many a bookcase). 

I’ve since moved and no longer needed to use this table as a TV stand and it’s now been operating as an end table/dinner in front of the TV table. Since it is such a solid piece of furniture that just needed some TLC, I decided to refinish it.

After a quick trip to Home Depot, I purchased the cheapest primer that seemed to fit the bill, a sanding block, and some spray paint in a shade called Vanilla (which I thought looked vintage white). 

When I got home I took it out to my balcony off my room (sounds more glamorous than it is, think Monica’s apartment on Friends where you have to climb out a window. Yeah, it’s that). I sanded off the top with my sweet sanding block until it felt smooth to the touch. That doesn’t mean I got all the previous stain/gloss off. Just that I got anything off that was peeling or sticking up.


After I was content with the sanding, I cleaned the entire table off (all the nooks and crannies).


Then it was time to prime! I took this spray and applied an even coat to the entire table. I have never used spray paint before so I can assure you, it is not difficult even if you aren’t artistic.


The primer dries super fast but I let it hang out for about an hour before I started on the coat of actual paint. Just for reference, I used the entire can of primer. Once I was sure it was dry, I applied the spray paint of my choice.

Here is the final result:



It turned out so well and looks sweet and vintage. I just love it. Total project costs:

Table: $5
Sandpaper block: $2.97
Primer: $3.97
Spray Paint: $4.77
Total: $16.71

I’m considering putting some type of sealant on top but for now it looks really nice. The proper way (i.e. difficult and not for lazy people) to refinish furniture is to remove the entire stain or sealant before you re-paint. Since that is really hard and requires a paint stripper and way too much time (and arm muscles), I did it this way. If you have furniture that you really love, take the time and do it the hard way. I’m sure it will last longer.

Have you ever refinished anything?
Did you do what I did?
Do you have any advice for the next time I try this?

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  • oh my gosh that looks amazing! you did an incredible job.

  • i love this, you did a great job! i haven’t refinished anything, but i want to! looking for pieces now 🙂

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