This summer, Gail and Dan, two charter school educators living on Maui, were given the opportunity to move from a cottage of less than 450 square feet into a much larger, multi-level home nearby. When they made the move, their meager furniture collection simply could not fill the new house. On the initial to-do list: fix an ailing dresser and beautify an old desk.
Gail, who has a love of both power tools and do-it-yourself creativity (as evidenced on her delicious blog, Cooking at the Pacific Outpost), embraced the opportunity to take on some furniture projects.
The low dresser is a charming old piece that the couple bought for $15 from a yard sale. This one took some elbow grease: they painstakingly power-sanded off all of the paint (yellow, brown, and bright orange were among its past lives), and found a nice wood base to work with. Gail coated the top, sides, and feet of the dresser with three layers of stain, and the drawers with a coat of primer and three coats of high-gloss white paint. She then applied polyurethane to the whole dresser. The final touch was replacing the old hardware with drawer pulls from Ikea.
The plain ole table before | The marvelously made-over table after
Next came the much-needed desk, which was purchased used for $10 and the top of which is actually particleboard. After a light sand, Gail followed a similar recipe: she coated the sides, top, and spindle legs with one coat of primer and three coats of high-gloss white paint, and stained the drawers. Then came the layer of polyurethane and new drawer pulls.
End result? Two updated pieces of furniture done on the cheap. And ... Gail's love of power tools is as strong as ever.
• Drawer pulls: Ikea and Lowes
• Stain: Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Kona
• Polyurethane: Minwax Fast-Drying Clear Gloss
• Primer: Valspar
• Paint: Valspar Ultra Premium Interior/Exterior High Gloss Enamel in Gloss White