Hi there! I hope your week is going well. We are so excited because our sweet daughter is coming home for Columbus Day weekend–yippee! Not sure how much we’ll see of her, but it looks like dinner tonight is a go. Today I have a pretty dramatic makeover for you.
Remember the ugly, dark brown bakers rack I bought not too long ago? I finally “called its number” in the makeover line, and it received a transforming coat (or two) of paint. So here is the simple answer to the question, “How to give ugly furniture an easy farmhouse makeover?” Paint it!
I didn’t promise that the answer would surprise you or that it would involve rocket science, now did I? But I’ll give you a couple of other tips that will help you turn ugly into farmhouse.
- Because most farmhouse furniture is fairly simple, buy furniture with simple lines.
- Buy furniture with dark stain or paint so when it comes time to distress it, some of that dark stain/paint will show through.
- Select a neutral color paint, like antique white, taupe, charcoal, or some variation thereof. These colors are most apt to give you that farmhouse look you’re going after. Although authentic greens and blues can look pretty fabulous too!
- Use sandpaper to remove paint from around edges, on curves, and the tips of decorative touches like finials.
- Plan on using paste wax to finish off your project because it gives you a buttery smooth surface that looks vintage-y rather than glossy and brand-new.
Are you remembering the piece yet?
Here she is in all of her 1980’s, dark-stained ugliness.
I painted her in my foyer because my workroom simply doesn’t have enough space for a project of this size. I shared a photo of said workroom with readers on my email list–it is overflowing with supplies, in-progress projects, and vintage goods. So down went the drop cloth, up went the small folding table, and on went the two coats of paint. Yes, in the foyer(!).
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Back to the project…after letting the paint dry overnight, I used 150 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block to remove some of the paint on corners and edges–places where it would naturally be rubbed, touched, or knocked about in real life, over time.
Removing paint around all the edges and on the tips of finials and on curvy parts, lets your eye see the beautiful shape of your piece, unlike when it is all one color, especially dark brown, LOL.
Next, I applied one of my favorite stencils, since it just seemed to be crying out for some decorative attention. I’ve talked about the products that I like to use when stenciling and how to stencil in several posts including this one here.
For this project, I used chalk paint in “Carbon” by DecoArt, who kindly provided the paint, and I applied it with a makeup sponge, which works well with stencils like this that happens to have very small openings.
For the final step I applied a coat of clear paste wax and buffed it to a soft sheen. This protects the surface and, like I mentioned above, gives it a smooth buttery surface that looks like grandma’s been wiping it down with a soft cloth for years, instead of like it just rolled off a Chinese conveyor belt with several coats of glossy finish. That would not be the look we’re going for.
Final, final step–I dragged it outside and filled it with some vintage goodies and snapped away.
Did you notice this amazing sugar barrel lid? I bought it not to long ago for 50¢, in five pieces, remember? Each piece was slightly warped, but my sweet father managed to glue it all back together for me. I’m absolutely over the moon about it.
I didn’t have any bottles of wine for the “photo shoot,” so I had to make do with two empties that I had on hand; I’m sure you can guess I’m holding onto them 🙂
Dear friends saved the bottles for me after discovering it at Rite Aid, of all places. [I guess my “personal” brand is not for wine snobs…]
I keep a supply of vintage clock on hand for various styling purposes. When not in use, they line a book case in my office. I’m planning on a post about them sometime in the near future. I hope you enjoyed learning some of my “tricks” for giving dated furniture a farmhouse facelift. Enjoy your weekend!
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