before and after

before and after: cheryl’s drum table

by Grace Bonney

i love this glam little makeover cheryl gave her drum table. after finding this piece in her neighbor’s garbage, cheryl stripped, sanded and painted it. the final touch was a shiny glass knob and now she has a swanky new cabinet for her cocktail/liquor.


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  • gorgeous. i’m glad you didn’t try to put any contrasting paint on the door. i think when the peice itself is of such a bold design, a subtle paintjob is the way to go. the knob was a perfect way to accent without going overboard. btw, the neighbor knows you took the table, right?

  • Wow! the “Before” is SO ugly and the “After” SOOOO beautiful!!! Black is the perfect color choice! So sleek and sophisticated. Great job! It’s giving me ideas for things I thought were hopeless.

  • I second with a WOW. I’ve passed these tables by a million times. Now it’s given me ideas for other “ugly” things as well. Great imagination at work.
    Just genius, Cheryl!

  • I would love a basic DIY on how to refinish something like that. I have this little side table that’s desperate for a makeover, but I don’t know where to start! I guess I could look somewhere on the internet, but I’m sure a d*s explanation would be much more fun.

  • yessss my brother and i found a little octagonal end table on the street the other day and are planning to do something similar for his apartment. he wants to restain it, but the top is veneer so i am trying to convince him that painting is the way to go! fantastic job!

  • Wow! This is gorgeous. I would love to hear how you got the paint so perfectly smooth. It’s spectacular. Plus, that glass knob is a simply beautiful accent.

  • so glam!

    i second what samantha says: a DIY tutorial would be great. i have a 70’s fake-o wood headboard and i am so inspired – but wondering should i first sand lightly or more coarse, then prime…some how to’s would just be awesome.

  • Honestly, it comes down to a deep appreciation for people like Cheryl who can see the potential in pieces. I impatiently await moving out of the city so I can try my hand at yardsales and such, too… in the meantime, this is so great.

  • Hello all!

    First of all THANK YOU all for such kind words! I was so happy to read all the positive critiques because this was my first stab at refinishing a piece of furniture. I have always thought about it and this site really inspired me to do it. So when I saw this piece sitting by the curb, I knew my time had come (and no…my neighbour doesn’t know I have their table!)

    Here’s how I did it:

    I first stripped the finish off using “Circa 1850” furniture stripper. The front panel was tricky because it had been repaired once with wood putty. I had to do some reshaping and serious sanding to maintain the panels because once the paint stripper hit the wood putty, it just melted (so be wary of wood putty!).

    Second, I sanded it to a smooth finish using a power sander with a very gritty paper. I finished the sanding process with a soft paper and then some hand sanding on the finer detail parts.

    Next, I vacuumed it to get all the dust out. When it was at its pure wood state, it looked really pretty, but the thought of black was still so much more appealing.

    Then I used a brush to paint it using Tremclad Oil Paint in flat. I now wished I had used a sponge brush or a mini roller to further eliminate the brush strokes because some of the strokes are visible.

    I finished it with the glass knob from Restoration Hardware!

    That’s it! I’m working on my second piece now and will be happy to share once it’s done.

    Thanks again all and happy DIY!

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