Welcome back for Part Two: Is it Worth It? As I mentioned yesterday in Part One sometimes it’s hard to envision if a piece that needs a little TLC will work in your home. Yesterday we covered “do your research” and “envision a different paint or upholstery on the piece”. Without further ado, three more tips…
Take it apart.
Did that freak you out? Are you a power tool phobic person? I mean, do something basic where only a screwdriver is required… take the doors off of a piece. Remove the hardware. Do something to change the look without spending a dime. For example, you remember when I purchased THIS 1970S DRESSER for $30, right?
Not our taste. And even after refinishing it the swirly frou frou doors were taunting me. I hated that I didn’t have knobs on it but I loved the storage it added to our living room.
So I had an idea… what if I just took off the frou frou doors and painted the inside? I haven’t looked back. It’s easy to open the drawers now and now I have a very clear vision of what pulls I want to use. Sometimes all it takes is staring at a piece for a while and thinking “wait a minute… I could do _____ and this would work better for our family’s lifestyle”. Without the doors I can focus on the gorgeous solid wood molding all over the bottom and top of the piece and around each drawer. Don’t be afraid to take it apart a little… it’s just some screws and it’ll go back together if you hate it.
I’m even showing it to you with the wood filler.
I figure the gorgeous lilacs will make up for the fact that I’m showing you a half done piece. 🙂
Determine the quality of the piece.
THIS DRESSER is one of my all time favorite makeovers. But it was also one of my first… and with the first piece comes a bigger learning curve. This dresser had great lines but it also had some veneer that was pulling off the sides. It took forever to repair it and since working on that piece I’ve vowed never again to do something with veneer like that… it’s sort of like a sunburn, you just can’t stop peeling it and it makes it much more difficult to do your repairs.
Also, when finding a piece of furniture with drawers it may make you coo-coo if they don’t work well. I have spent forever sanding drawers of antique dressers only to much aggravation. A much easier solution is to purchase pieces from the 1960s or1970s that are well made but dated. The drawer glides will work better (or just plain exist!) and you’ll be a happier refinisher like I was with this 1970s piece that became a classic.
Another solution would be to just ditch the drawers like I did with THIS PIECE and use baskets instead.
Read and Remember.
I remember reading this post by Centsational Girl about a year ago. I stored her great idea away and brought it out when I wanted to refinish this buffet.
I’d wanted to try a technique of adding mirrors to a piece but didn’t know how to until I read Kate’s post and realized I may just need to take the door inserts out (by just removing screws) and getting inexpensive custom cut mirrors from Lowe’s. Take time to read other’s great ideas, it can really benefit you down the line! I was able to create THIS GORGEOUS PIECE for under $30.
Tell me, how do you know if something is worth refinishing? Do you have a checklist you work through to determine if you’ll purchase a piece?