Repair & Refresh: Fixing Up a Washstand

The Art of Furniture Restoration

Awhile back, my friend and I took a friend's washstand and fixed it up. Washstands aren't a practical piece of furniture by modern standards, but as I found by observing the reaction to this piece, it's often the favorite piece in the room by all who see it. If you'd like to add a vintage washstand in your space, they're not that hard to find at a decent price if you are willing to put a little work into it.

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With its rustic red exterior, this washstand looked great as is. Unfortunately, the structure of the piece needed repair, which would be impossible to blend into the original look. Hence, we were forced, and happy to paint.

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Here's what we did:

First, we secured and filled a crack with wood filler on the washstand's top. We also took out the broken drawer and replaced it with a piece of wood cut to size that acts solely as a facade.

Once we were done with that, we sanded and primed the entire piece, sanded again, and picked out a color. For the color, we chose the darkest blue we could find, and then we mixed black to make it even darker. We wanted to go for a true midnight blue – the kind of blue that some people swear as black, until they realize its true hue!

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We painted three coats of paint (hi-gloss latex), and topped it off with a water-based polycrylic. Our friend never had a bowl and pitcher for this washstand, so we bought both on eBay. Finally, we got a knob from Anthropologie that matched new ceramic look with the bowl and pitcher.

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What a washstand!

Images: Nick Siemaska

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