My mom called me a few weeks ago and told me my Grandmother had given her two nightstands for my little sister's room, but there was a problem. Here's the problem:
Anyone want to take a wild guess on why my mom wasn't crazy about them? Dey UGLY! Ugly hunter green and brown don't really jive with anything in my mom's house, especially a little girl's room, mostly pink and white, for whom they were intended. She asked, "You can do something about them, right?"
Sure Mom, I'll hop right on that. Actually I was kind of excited to work on a project again in a space where I didn't really have to worry about dust, wind and the elements screwing it up.
I would love to have sanded these down and stained them a nice dark walnut, but...they're mostly MDF, and ya, that doesn't stain well.
I started out by removing drawers and knobs then busted out the hubster's power sander and sanded off all the finish. You have to at least give it a rub down with sand paper otherwise the paint will bubble and settle on the surface without getting a firm hold on the wood. It leaves it with an ugly finish if it doesn't have anything to adhere to and add to that, the paint will generally peel off if it gets nicked at all. Not fun.
Anyway, after I'd blasted it with a nice course grit, I went over it again with a fine grit to smooth down the surface. The next step is very important to this process or you'll have horrible results! After I got done sanding, I went over the entire piece with a slightly damp rag to remove all the sawdust, then let it dry. When it was dry and the wood pores were good and ready to accept paint, I sprayed on a lovely white semigloss for my base coat. When doing furniture you always get a better finish spraying it rather than brushing or rolling it unless you want to see the brush strokes (which isn't likely).
You can prime it first, but I didn't bother. Two coats of paint covered the piece as well as I wanted it to, then I got to bust out techniques I haven't used since college and antique the thing. I used a mahogany bombay stain, which is pretty dark and dry brushed it on all the edges, then worked it in with a rag. It would have been better if this thing had some classic lines and grooves to work the stain into, but it turned out pretty nice.
Last but not least, I picked up a couple of crystal cut glass and brass knobs at the Home Depot and put 'em on. They are very pretty and add a little sparkle to an otherwise boring piece.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! :)
Love me some projects! And although this took several weeks to complete because of the lack of time I could actually spend doing it, it was a great time and I love it, especially when compared to what it was...