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How far gone is too far gone when refinishing furniture?

I guess the question “How far gone is too far gone when refinishing furniture?” gives a good hint of what this post is about. In business we rescue and repurpose the furniture that others are throwing in the trash. We are sometimes asked just how far will we go to bring something back to life. Pretty far is the answer to that question!



My Latest Refinishing Furniture

A fellow vendor at Brimfield Antique Show was getting frustrated that no one had even looked at her cupboard to purchase it, so she asked if I wanted it for an outrageously low price. The piece is an old mid-century kitchen cupboard with 7 shelves. I think it has spent the last 40 years in someone’s garage filled with paint and other messy garage items so it was in pretty rough shape. I never pass up storage pieces at auction so it was a no brainer at the price she quoted. At 6′ 6″ tall and 37″ wide it would be perfect for something. It was filled with stuff when I first looked at it so I didn’t get a good look at it till it was in my possession.

It was DIRTY and GREASY and you can see what else! Must have been a kid’s fort at one time.

refinishing furniture

How I cleaned this piece

Did I say TSP, hot water, bleach, elbow grease, Repeat and then clean again with denatured alcohol? Let dry and do it again, not because the paint won’t stick but because there is just that much ground in dirt on this piece.

I didn’t get a picture of the shelves before because they were so awful I whisked them away before anyone could see them.

Furniture RefinishingI knew it had potential though and although it was not solid wood, it was mostly plywood and very straight, sturdy and even. No-one volunteered to help me so I was on my own for this one.

Furniture Refinishing

When it was finally clean it was on to paint! I’ve been looking at all the blue furniture posts lately and knew that I wanted to use Fusion and knew I wanted it to be Homestead Blue with Buttermilk Cream on the inside to keep it cheery.

FYI, I kept this thing covered when anyone was in the shop and put a Do Not Open on the door with the words  “Under Construction” because I know people would wonder why anything so bad was in my shop.

Surprise! One Coat of Fusion Mineral Paint, Homestead Blue

Furniture RefinishingI sanded it a little and then used some antique wax to give it character.

Furniture RefinishingThe Fusion Buttermilk Cream really makes for warm and inviting shelves. My husband added 5″ to each of the shelves and they are all adjustable so you can put anything you want in this storage unit. I was going to take the doors off and use it for display but I think it will be so much more useful in someone’s home who needs lots of storage. When we refinish a piece, I want to keep with the original as much as possible and this was a mid-century storage piece so that is what she stayed. We left the hardware and sanded to give it more depth as it is pretty plain otherwise.

Refinishing Furniture

My shop has terrible lighting so it is often hard to really see how beautiful the pieces are but this one came out great and is headed back to Brimfield Antique Shows this weekend with a newer more updated figure.

Another furniture refinishing job done right with Fusion Mineral Paint! SOLD

Enjoy your journey, life is short and wonderful.

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