Antique Vanity Makeover & First Furniture Painting Experience

 Saturday, July 14, 2012

I found this beauty on Craigslist for $90. It's circa 1920s and made of solid mahogany wood. I decided to bring new life to this already stunning vanity. All my furniture is white anyway, so I wanted to keep with the theme. I have never painted furniture before, so I was very apprehensive. However, with caution and technique, I successfully transformed this vanity into a beautiful asset in my bedroom.

These were all the supplies I used
-100m sandpaper (Lowes)
-Zinsser primer (Lowes)
-Olympia paint in White (Lowes)
-Floetrol (Lowes)
-Paint trays (Dollar store)
-Mini foam rollers (Dollar store)
-Foam brushes (Target)
-Small paintbrush (Michaels)

This is what the vanity looked like after I primed. I'm typically a perfectionist, so I surprised myself by not taking extra steps to make this piece look more presentable. I figured that since I would be applying several coats of paint afterwards, it wouldn't matter how my prime job looked like. In fact, I took this time to test out whether I liked using a paintbrush or foam rollers better. On the left side of the vanity, I used a paintbrush and on the right side, I used a foam roller. Although it's hard to tell in the picture, the right side looks much neater, and took half the time as opposed to using the brush on the left side. After that, I put my brush away and did not use it for the remainder of the project. I was using Purdy paintbrush, fyi. Don't forget to sand your piece before you prime. Sanding is not necessary for all finishes (i.e. laminate), but I felt that I should sand this piece since the surface was not completely smooth. I used a cloth to remove the debris. A hand held vacuum works well too.

This is what the vanity looked like after 1 coat of paint. Much better, but still a lot of wood showing through. I would need at least 3, maybe 4 more thin coats. Make sure you apply your paint in THIN coats. Several thin coats will look much better than 1 thick coat. I mixed a small amount of Floetrol, a paint conditioner, with my paint to minimize any roller marks.

After 2 coats. I painted the second coat the following morning. Make sure you wait at least 6-8 hours before applying another coat. Even if the paint may be dry to the touch, you still want to wait. I learned this from blogs written by professional painters.

Third coat! I am loving how this piece looks by the end of this coat. I debated on whether or not I should paint a 4th coat, but I decided against it. I liked the somewhat distressed/shabby chic appeal with parts of the wood seeping through. It looked natural, and not like a bad paint job. I took the time to touch up on some areas with a small paintbrush, such as the fluted legs and the crevices of the detailing above the drawers.

All in all, this was a pretty tiresome process. I enjoy painting, but this vanity had so many grooves and such that it was more tedious than I had anticipated. Will I do another paint job? Yes, if it's mostly flat surfaces (i.e. dresser or table). No, if it's a complicated piece. ;)


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper July 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM  

she (it is definitely a she!) is beautiful! love the fresh white and the gorgeous details!

Sandy July 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM  

I've been looking far and wide for such a
vanity.. yours is special and you did a
great job refinishing it!

Cynthia July 17, 2012 at 9:43 PM  

Very pretty! It looks great in white! I am currently working on two vanities right now... one is very similar to this one, but without the lower middle section.

leah mari July 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM  

very pretty! my daughter would love that

Ethan Smith August 2, 2014 at 3:51 AM  

Buy and sell new and used modern, outdoor, office, bedroom and home furniture.
Choose from a great selection of gently used furniture for every room in your home.
More here link

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