Happy July 4th everyone, and welcome to part 2 of our refinishing furniture series! In part one, I went over how to properly strip your furniture by using an electric sander. Today, I am going to talk about how to properly stain, finish, and paint your blank canvas piece as well as making drawer pulls out of decorative coasters! Yes, coasters for drinks.
I interrupted this series with our July 4th post last week because I wanted to give everyone my tips for keeping your backyard BBQ bug free before the weekend. It did not make sense to save my July 4th post for today, when most cookouts have likely already happened. So, Happy Independence Day! And, I hope my solutions for keeping pests at bay worked for you.
Moving on. If you think I am crazy or have no idea how using coasters for drawer pulls could work, that’s ok. It took me a little bit to explain my idea to Ian and my thoughts on attaching everything properly. My technical vocabulary is not as vast as Ian’s. Sometimes we are both talking about the same exact thing without realizing it because Ian uses proper, technical, engineerical terms (yes, I know engineerical is not a word, but it should be because what a fun adjective!), while I’m drawing pictures, hand gesturing, and using basic words to explain things like “circular nut, type bolt thing” 😛 If there were video cameras capturing our design plan conversations, it could probably air on Comedy Central and be highly successful. The best way to describe those conversations is an engineer version of Abbot and Costello “Who’s On First.”
I think and process in pictures, so sometimes finding the right word for a simple tool or item is lost. Photos and images speak depths to me, and I feel at the height of my creativity when I use images instead of words. I still love words, though. Particularly, playing with words.
So, here is the low-down: I will start with explaining how to stain and finish furniture, then how to properly paint furniture, and, finally, I will go over creating decorative drawer pulls out of coasters.
How to Stain and Finish Furniture:
- After thoroughly sanding your furniture with a high grit sand paper (such as 220 and above), decide what kind of stain you want to use.
- Be sure to wipe off the surface to be stained with tack cloth to pick up any dirt, dust, or other particles left behind from sanding.
- Get a clean rag, dip it in the stain, and thoroughly cover your furniture piece with stain.
- I only wanted the sides of my dressers and front of the drawers to be stained. The rest of the dressers I painted white.
- Allow the stain to sit for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, wipe off any excess stain that did not soak in the wood.
- Continue applying coats of stain until you reach your desired stain color.
- I only did mine twice, since I was using a natural stain.
- Allow the stain to set for at least 8 hours.
- To protect the stain and your furniture, use a polyurethane protectant finish or a finishing wax (like I did). Follow the directions on the container to finish your wood properly.
- For instructions on how to use a finishing wax, you can go to this post (part 2 of built in computer desk post).
- After following the instructions for the polyurethane finish or wax, allow your furniture piece to sit for the indicated amount of time.
- Done with staining and finishing!
How to Paint Furniture:
- Thoroughly wipe off your entire piece of furniture with tack cloth.
- Use painter’s tape to tape off any areas you do not want coated with paint.
- After taping, take a paint brush or foam brush and apply your paint of choice going in the direction of the wood grain.
- After painting one coat, allow it to completely dry before painting another coat.
- For the white paint I used, I needed 4 coats.
- Allow your furniture piece to dry completely for about 24 hours before you move it.
Now, I will go over the drawer pulls. These are the Agate Coasters I ordered. I might offend some people, but I absolutely cannot stand the “shabby chic” design trend. I love reclaimed pieces, and I can appreciate distressed furniture for the character, but for whatever reason a “shabby chic” décor look just does not appeal to me. If you absolutely love “shabby chic,” good for you! Décor and design is all a matter of personal taste and preference, which is why variations are endless. My taste is more high-end chic, which is why I wanted a pretty decorative drawer pull. I was very concerned about these dressers looking “shabby chic,” but I think I gave these old wood pieces a modern flair while appreciating the beauty of the natural wood.
How to Create Decorative Drawer Pulls from Coasters:
- Purchase 1” L aluminum spacers, as many as you need for all the holes in your drawers.
- I purchased (8) 5/16” spacers with a 10-32 thread.
- Purchase machine screws to that match the same thread as your spacers.
- I purchased (8) 10-32x thread machine screws at 1 ¼” L.
- Place the screw in the inside of the drawer and push it through the hold. On the front screw on the aluminum spacer.
- Continue attaching the screws and spacers until all the drawer pull holes in your drawers are filled.
- If you are using the same agate coasters I have, go ahead and line the outside of the coaster with an 18k gold paint pen at this point. I thought it made the coasters look more finished, plus I LOVE gold. Make sure the paint is dry before attaching.
- Next, take some J.B Weld and mix it according to the package instructions.
- Using a toothpick, apply the J.B. Weld to the end of the aluminum spacer.
- Now, attached your coaster to the top of the spacer with the J.B. Weld mixture.
- Make sure your coaster lays flat and even.
- Continue applying J.B. Weld to the spacers and attach coasters until all drawers have a coaster.
- Allow the newly attached coasters to dry and cure for at least 1-2 hours.
- Finally, placer your new decorative drawers into your dresser!
Look at that! All done 🙂 **If your coaster does not seem to be holding well, apply more J.B. Weld along the outside of the aluminum spacer to get a better hold to the coaster.**
See, I was not that crazy suggesting you can make drawer pulls from decorative coasters.
This is the final look of our newly refinished bed side tables/dressers!
I was amazed how the white paint really brightened up our room.
Here is a before and after:
They look totally different! I wanted to keep some of the natural wood showcased because the wood used for these dressers is truly gorgeous. I did not want to give that up entirely. This is just one of many different possibilities you can do to update your own furniture at home! The hardest part of this entire process is stripping the wood, but once you get that done everything else is smooth sailing.