DIY, decorating, and navigating through life as a newlywed.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Since I Can't Afford New Furniture, Can I Fix My Old Junk?

So you may remember last Wishlist Wednesday where I discussed how I am dying for new bedroom furniture.  Well, today I had a thought: Alex, is it possible to salvage your 1996, second-grade-self's furniture by painting or re-staining it?  

Hm... now that's a thought.

It would be a hell of a lot of work.  But... it just might save it.  Here's what I'm working with:

Ugh.  Can I just saw the spindles off?  That would help
the situation a bit.

Exhibit A: The nightstand.  No, that crap isn't
typically on there (by "crap" I'm referring to
the remotes and smelly good jar that the hubs
left on there this morning).  Notice the nice stain marks
on the surface?  From a spilling incident (with nail polish
remover) when I was about 12 years old.

I don't know if this piece can be saved.  The mirror and drawers
come off, if that helps.
See the dilemma?  One: it is in no way my style anymore.  Two: the furniture is HUGE!  Granted, our master bedroom isn't very "master-ish" in the first place; it's only 12 x 13, but it does the job for now.  On a side note, I cannot wait until we have an actually master suite with a huge bedroom!  Three: it's that fugly oak color that screams cheap to me.  However, it was not cheap, as my parents told me every time they caught me with a cup off of a coaster on that nightstand.  It's solid oak and very well-made, but it's just so hideous.  

So here's what I'm thinking.  Step one: find new knobs.  I love these from Anthropologie.

How fun are these!?

Step two: paint white or stain darker.  Stain would be a total PITA, I'm sure, and with some of the damage I did to the wood over the years with water, Gatorade, and nail polish remover, it might not be the best option.  I love the crisp, clean feeling that white furniture has.  

This bed has "older" style like mine, and the white seems
to modernize the feel a bit.

Step three: Seal it?  Right?  I'd have to seal it like I sealed my desk.   

Step three: Do away with the dresser-top mirror and drawers (which, by the way, contain nothing) and find a more modern mirror to prop up.

Love it!  Again, an "older" style but
more modern with the white.

So what do you think?  Should I do it???  It would be so much work to get in all of those grooves and spindles that my bedroom set has, but I think I'd really like it when it's said and done.  Should I paint or stain?  I'm leaning toward painting, but maybe you can persuade me in the other direction (unless, of course, you agree with me).  Last question, promise: what type of paint/stain should I use?

*Here's an edit:  A few ladies on The Nest have suggested I saw off the spindles.  Well... they unscrew!  Figured that one out.  However, I'm left with a huge screw that I can't get out...  Here's what the bed looks like without the spindles.

Sans spindles it is a bit better.  However...

...maybe I just need a big, strong man, but it seems
that without superhuman strength, those suckers
are in there to stay.



  1. I think you can totally take a Sawz-All to the bedposts if you don't like them. Then sand & add a new finial if you want or leave it off. I have a deep love for white furniture. The new pulls you picked out are super cute and fun. There's so much bedding to pick out to go with - too many choices!

  2. After reading your post, I think painting it white and changing the hardware would be beautiful and really freshen it up. It's the most budget-friendly change too. How about that Annie Sloan chalk paint? I haven't used it yet but I have read good reviews and I believe you have to do any prep work. Maybe read more about it/research it first but it sounded like an amazingly easy paint option for difficult-to-paint furniture!



  3. That Annie Sloan paint sounds amazing! I read a few reviews and they all rave about it. My only worry is that everything that I looked at that the paint was used on had an antiqued look to them. I wanted a crisp white, so I don't know if this is the right paint. I think it'd look really good, but an antiqued look wouldn't go with the decor in my bedroom too well; however, I think that style would complement the furniture well. Something to think about... I just want somebody to make this decision for me!

  4. Yes, paint it white! I think it would look so much better, especially with the hardware you picked out. Also, I don't know if you need to seal it. I just used good primer and paint and it worked great.

    One more thing... funny story. My DH and I were laying in bed the other day and he said "you know that girl on your blog? the one with the packer jersey on? Her and her husband have the same exact jerseys as we have!"
    haha, I thought it was so funny that he would notice. Anyways, had to tell ya :)

  5. Coley: Haha, that's funny about the jerseys! But, of course he'd notice if he's a Packer fan! When I was up in WI this past weekend, the mall had a whole store dedicated to Super Bowl stuff that hadn't sold yet; I bought a few things to deck out my classroom, as I promised all of my Bears-loving students. Mwahaha! I'll force them to look at the Packers every day!

    Also, what paint did you use? I think I might start with the nightstand and see how that goes, considering that it is less to commit to and easier/cheaper to replace if something goes horribly wrong.

  6. i would paint it white! i think it would be gorgeous ... i think the furniture has good bones! also changing the hardware would help a ton! can't wait to see what you do to it!

  7. I'm in a similar situation... I've had my bedroom furniture for 23 years(!) and I've been thinking about painting it.

    I think your set would look great painted white. And changing the hardware would completely change the look. I'm looking forward to seeing your solution!