Sunday, January 12, 2014

THRIFT SHOP RESCUE: A vanity before and after

I love to rescue great furniture from thrift shops.  I ALWAYS find the best DIY projects when the weather is the worst...Usually, in the winter when it's below freezing and icy, which makes painting a tricky venture.  I lucked out finding this vanity last winter, which for us, was a very mild season, mild temperatures and almost no snow. 
Sometimes these pieces just need a little love and attention. Often, they end up not only good as new, they are even better than new.
 A few tips on selecting furniture to rescue:
Do you LOVE it? Is it something you could use or have room for?  I am at the point where if I bring furniture home, I will probably need to give up something else.  Sometimes there just isn't the space for all the beautiful treasures out there...

Are the repairs few and far between?  If the piece is unstable, too rickety or has too many costly repairs to make, it may not be worthy of your time...I might pass it up.  Sometimes the effort and cost involved to makeover a piece is just too much.  Look for solid construction, solid wood is usually easier to sand and paint than laminate, pressed board (wood fiber) or wood veneer.  Broken glass, broken mirrors and missing or broken knobs and hinges all add up when fixing up older furniture.  Just be sure the repairs are in the budget.

Remove the hardware.  If you can, it's best to remove the hardware, pulls and hinges.  On some very old or vintage pieces it may be too risky or impossible...However, if you can manage it, the final product will be much better.  Yes, it is time consuming to remove knobs and hinges, but it's also hard to keep paint off those parts while working.  Taking a little time at the start of the project to properly sand, clean and prep your project will reap the BEST makeover...and you'll be glad you took the time. (I'm not very patient, so this is true for me)

 I've seen these era vanities and dressers at yard sales galore.  I thought this piece had a lot of potential.  I liked the overall look, minus the scuffs and current paint color.  
I cleaned her up, scraped off some tape, old stickers and thoroughly washed her down.
A very light sanding was also in order to help the new paint adhere.

 After a few coats of satin black spray paint (Gasp!  spray paint??)  Yes, spray paint can be a great tool on some pieces...and it worked great on this! In no time...she was all finished.  (I used Rust-oleum, from Lowe's, also available at most big box home improvement stores)

I was a little concerned about how the paint would hold up.  I had some reservations about using spray paint of all things...however, I am very happy to report that a year later, she's looking fabulous.  No chipping or peeling paint, and I'm thrilled.

 The sides of the drawers are simply decoupaged.  I used snazzy scrapbook paper, cut to fit, and Mod Podge.  I put a few coats of Mod Podge on and let dry between each coat.  Selecting the scrapbook paper may have been the most time consuming part of this entire project. 

There are sometimes too many great choices.
I paired it with a vanity seat I found from Front Gate.   It will be the perfect addition to our master bedroom. (that is, once I get started on the makeover for that entire room) The master bedroom...that poor forgotten space, the catch-all for the entire house and the room I have put almost no effort into updating...  I think for the last three years "Updating our bedroom" has been my new year's resolution.  There is so much that needs to be done, starting with removing  miles of dark green 1980's wallpaper.  Maybe this year will be it!


  1. I have this exact same vanity! Plan on painting it a blush pink and grey. Super excited

    1. How great!! You'll have to share your finished project!!

  2. I just got this vanity today from Letgo. How did yours turn out? Can you post a picture of it finished?

  3. Hi Tonya, If you scroll through the blog post, the photos of the black vanity are the updated version. Best of luck with your project!!