Good Questions: Salvaging and Refinishing a Craigslist Find?

Good Questions: Salvaging and Refinishing a Craigslist Find?

Gregory Han
Jan 16, 2009

Hi from Honolulu: We're always getting ideas and inspiration from AT, and would love some input on what to do with this piece of furniture. We are planning for our first baby in March and recently picked up this piece for $30.00 on Craigslist. There's not much in the way of affordable modern furniture in Hawaii so we thought we could refinish, paint, experiment with this piece and make something interesting. It could possibly be used in baby's room, even wide enough for a changing area on top if we wanted. The question is what would be best to do to this since it's veneer and has some damage. Would painting it be best? What type of paint? Does it need to be primed first? How would chalkboard paint be on the sides? How hard is it to salvage a veneered piece of furniture like this?

Got a good question you'd like answered? Send your queries and a photo or two illustrating your question, and we'll see if the ATLA team or our readers can help you out.

We're thinking we could just paint away and experiment since it was so cheap. Maybe all white with yellow drawers or some other bright color, maybe even make a stencil and spray paint a pattern? Any help and advice from the AT community would be great. Mahalos- Christian & Shandra

Hi Christian and Shandra, sounds like you've found yourself a great DIY project in the making very similar to my own last year. Get yourself a hand sander, some medium and fine grain sandpaper, and some wood stain to your liking and you can end up with a beautifully restored piece. Painting it a whole new gloss colour after sanding it and priming will also work well; just remember to use an oil, rather than latex, to end up with a smooth finish.

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