From Dated to Delightful: A Paint Makeover

Hi there! I hope you had a great 4th of July. Ours was lovely, spent with our kids and some of their friends. We barbecued hamburgers and set off some outstanding fireworks, which were only recently made legal in New York. We had just returned from a family wedding held over the previous weekend, so low-key was perfect. Today’s project is kind of low key, too. I gave a small stand (I call it a “plant stand”) a simple paint makeover that ended up being pretty transformative.

from dated to delightful a paint makeoverWith an added decorative stencil and some distressing, the project was complete.

vintage orange-y plant standIt’s hard to imagine how this orange-y finish became so popular, but furniture and accessories like this certainly abound at many of the garage sales and flea markets I attend.

painted plant standI only had to give it one coat of light taupe “oops” paint (looks very buttery yellow here due to the florescent lighting in my workroom), and that ugly orange finish was completely covered. Then I used a sanding block to distress all of its edges and curves.

stenciling on plant standI added a favorite stencil that I use when a piece needs just a little something extra.

distressing and wax on plant standAnd then I applied a coat of homemade dark wax to add some age and texture.

plants in plant standI placed a few plants to the top of the “planter.”

close up of No 1 terra cotta potIncluding this one from a post I wrote about how to easily age terra cotta pots.

books on plant standAnd then I stacked some vintage books on the bottom shelf.

vintage books and clockAlong with one of my favorite antique clocks.

vintage plant stand makeoverIt’s all ready to go up to my antique booth. priced around $30-35.00. Not a bad return on my $5.oo cash investment and less than an hour of work. [Plus the pleasure of the entire process. from purchase to the final buffing of the wax.] How about you? Painted anything fun lately? I’d love to hear about it ๐Ÿ™‚

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plant stand makeover collage

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  1. I totally agree you took the little stand from dated to delightful. The little stand turned out beautifully.

  2. Great makeover Diana! Such a sweet piece and that orangey wood was very dated. Now the little plant stand is definitely delightful.

  3. Awesome, Diana! What an improvement. You know, I think all that orangey-finished furniture that was everywhere a while ago was an attempt to make the wood look like a warm maple. But I think whatever was used on the wood must have faded or discolored with use and light exposure. It sure is a cheap look now!

    I am excited because I am going to do some furniture painting for a friend of mine. She has two bookcases and another piece sort of like a small buffet except the top opens up. I have been wanting to try my hand at furniture painting so I told her I’d do it for free just to see how it went if she got the paint she wanted me to use. I can’t wait; I think it will be great fun. And she will be happy because she hates to paint!

    1. I’m glad you like the new look, Naomi ๐Ÿ™‚ Your “maple” theory makes sense to me; I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the real story behind all the orange furniture lurking out there!

      Hey–have fun with your painting adventure–would love to hear how it goes and even see some photos if you get a chance ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

  4. I love it! It is so perfect the way you styled it. I bet it sells quickly. I have an ugly wood shelf similar that I have been meaning to redo. I procrastinate over the color to do it. I want to do something fun like yellow or aqua….my common sense says go with white or cream!

    1. I here you AnnMarie–I love to paint furniture with all kinds of colors, but (depending on the piece) it will usually sell better if I paint it off white, beige, or taupe. That’s why I usually have to stick to the “boring” colors ๐Ÿ™

  5. My parent’s entire house was 1940’s orange maple. I refinished a coffee table for her in the 70’s. I took all the finish off and put a minimax light maple stain on it, which had a yellow tinge. She commented, that was what the original finish looked like before it aged. For some reason that furniture just became more orange as the years wore on. Next project is my son’s dining set(my Mom’s) and we are going to spray the whole thing expresso brown, and strip the top and do that natural. If it turns orange, we can always paint it again, LOL.

    Cute makeover. They did make some lovely pieces in that style and wood. Sandi

  6. Sweet little piece of furniture that was looking quite sad and now is ready to go again. Nice work!

  7. What a charming little piece – love the transformation and love how you transformed it. I think it will sell quite quickly.

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