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before and after

before & after: painted desk + decoupaged side table

by Kate Pruitt


I’m spotting more and more furniture with color-blocked or dip-dyed legs, and I for one am totally on board with this trend. It adds a modern, unexpected touch to a simple design; plus, it looks like the chair or table stepped in a puddle of paint, which is awfully charming. This simple painted desk from Jacquelyn employs a similar technique and has similarly pleasing results. I love that she’s given the desk an elegant coat of glossy black, but left just a hint of wood at the base. Where a simple black desk might disappear, this one makes a bold, fun statement. Great work, Jacquelyn! — Kate

Time: 3 hours

Cost: $25 (for supplies)

Basic Steps: I began by lightly sanding the desk to ensure that the paint would stick to the surface. Then I measured and drew a pencil line on each of the legs, 8 inches off the ground. I wrapped painters’ tape around each leg, keeping the line of the tape flush with the pencil marks. Lastly, I added two coats of eggshell black paint (I used Benjamin Moore 2128, 10 Black Beauty), letting each coat dry overnight.

In terms of advice, don’t be afraid to paint wood! I know so many people have been told that painting wood is blasphemous and should never be done, but often it’s the best thing you could do to refresh a piece. Some of the most amazing transformations I’ve come across are old wooden pieces painted. Also, make sure you properly sand the piece (especially if it’s been stained in the past). You want to make sure the paint will adhere to the surface. — Jacquelyn

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE to see Cindy’s completed side table after the jump!

Cindy has been busy, as this is her second makeover we’ve posted today. I’ve become a bit of a purist when it comes to wood these days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a decorative wood treatment like this embellished side table from Cindy. Using a creamy pale-blue paint, a fun Pucci-esque fabric and a couple retro ceramic knobs, Cindy brought happiness and sunshine to a rather drab little table. Wonderful transformation, Cindy!

Time: 2 days

Cost: $9 (including cost of table)

Basic Steps: The graphic end table was a very fun piece to redo. After I sanded it, I painted it with the same paint I used for the laundry room walls!!!  Since the table was a very plain and simple design, I thought that I would make the drawers a little dressier. I Mod-Podged the fabric on to the drawer fronts. The cute ceramic knobs that match the fabric and really made the piece “pop” are from Hobby Lobby. The project was finished with a paste wax coating to give the piece a really nice sheen.

My advice for someone wanting to re-purpose a piece of furniture is to look at Goodwill, Salvation Army or Craigslist. Look for solid wood, dove-tailed joints and the overall stability of the piece. Any type of finish can be repainted, so don’t be daunted by how it looks. For me, the more it’s messed up, the cheaper it’s going to be, and the bigger the challenge it is for me to make it beautiful. — Cindy

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