Sunday DIY: side table transformation and 5 tips for spray painting furniture

2014-04-20 09.03.11

We have had fleeting days of good weather (even though it’s mid-April!) and I’ve been wanting to get outside and transform this little side table since the winter. Finally this weekend, some sunny and sixties weather descended and I jumped at the opportunity.

This table must be more than thirty years old: I remember it housing our printer when I was just a toddler at my parents house, then it hopped a ride with me to college to hold my very own printer. Since then, it traveled 3,000 miles with me to my current apartment where it’s been struggling to find it’s purpose, not only because I no longer need a printer, but also because it was so hideous looking.

Browsing the spray-paint aisle, I settled on a teal-grey color scheme, and decided to accent both surfaces with the bright blue color, and painting the rest grey. I like how it turned out, but unlike my last spray painted furniture adventure of a little end table, this one was much more challenging because I couldn’t simply separate the pieces I wanted to be different colors.

For this, I gleaned the following few quick tips if you’re thinking about spray painting your own well-loved furniture:

  1. Clean your furniture first. Little specks of dust will definitely show up if you try to paint over it. Try to remove as much as you can first.
  2. Painters Tape: always and often. Especially for nice edges, it’s a worthwhile venture to spend time trying to get the lines of tape just right, and make sure they thoroughly covered. Spray paint can leak beneath the tape for an uneven edge, and this looks messy.
  3. Beware of the wind. It may seem like doing things outside in a “well ventilated area” as they say on the can is a good idea (and it is) but try to choose a less windy day for your spray painting activities. I ran up against little bugs, pieces of grass, all kinds tiny things that would love to stick to your wet paint.
  4. Be patient. Let’s be honest, I am not the most patient person. But waiting for the first coat to dry before applying the second is absolutely essential if you want an even application. I had to wait at least 20 minutes in between.
  5. Use a piece of cardboard to touch up the edges. I found this tip the most useful. With a two-tone piece like this, sometimes I missed a spot and want to give it a quick spray of one color without disturbing the other. For that, I held a piece of cardboard against the edge to spray a clean straight edge, while protecting the other color on the opposite side. I didn’t risk using tape over the new paint, even if it was mostly dry, so I just shielded it with strategically placed cardboard.

Even though I had this table lying around waiting for a makeover, I’d really like to pick up some free and more interesting pieces on Craigslist and make them over. I think I *might* be addicted to furniture DIY.

2014-04-20 16.01.59

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