4 steps…bring new life to old furniture

posted on July 29, 2010 by  |  posted under Decorating  |  40 Comments

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

I have some AMAZING neighbors!  I want to introduce you to the


I had so much fun photographing all the fun things they have created!  Lucky for us, they are sharing their secrets on how to give old stuff new life.

Wait ’til you see what they did with this…

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

But first Margaret (one of the Fancy Farmchicks) tells her secrets:

“We’re all supposed to be into this reduce, re-use, recycle way of life, so refinishing furniture is our little help to Mother Earth.  It’s also cheap, easy and fun (mostly).  You could read books worth of info. about the how to’s on the subject but to simplify, just remember the S.P.P.S. method (which, by the way I just made up, not the process itself but calling it S.P.P.S.)  So let’s begin, shall we.
Find pieces with good lines or “good bones” as they say.  Try to have “vision” for not what it is, but what it can be.  Look for sturdy and preferably solid wood.  Yes, you can paint laminate, but that’s a topic for another day.  Now the method of S.P.P.S.


Sand.  Sand the entire piece. This will help remove any blemishes as well as give the paint a nice gripping surface. When buying sand paper, it ranges from course grit to fine.  Somewhere in between is usually good.

Prime.  Prime the entire piece to block stains and water spots.  It will also provide a good adhesion surface for paint (o.k. confession, sometimes I skip the priming stage if I feel like I was able to sand enough to get a good surface for paint to grab)  What you don’t want is paint going onto a glossy surface. If you’re unable to sand away the gloss, then use primer for sure.

Paint.  Roll on paint with a foam roller.  This will give you a nice smooth finish.  Use brushes where a foam roller cannot go but be careful about leaving brush marks.  Be brave in your color choices.  A nice pop of color can “make” the piece.

Sand. Sand a perfectly pretty paint job?! Yes!! Trust me, you’ll have a hard time stopping once you start.  This is what gives it that character.  Sand edges, corners and anywhere that the piece would normally get a lot of wear and tear.

Now, for a little unsolicited advice which has been a time life saver.  We have kids and lots of them!  Our painting time is 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there.  I used to wash out my brushes and rollers after every mini painting session.  Gets really old really fast.  Well some wise person taught me that you just wrap them up dirty and all, paint tray included with plastic wrap, a grocery sack, whatever and put it in the fridge and it’s good to go until next time.  No clean up required.  Hallelujah!!

So, in a nutshell, that’s all you need to breath new life into old pieces.

For our specific set-up we took an old sewing table, an ugly boring lamp, a chair with good lines but very scary upholstery (the upholstery didn’t even make it into the “before” shot – trust me, it was scary), an everyday run of the mill magazine rack and gold picture frame.


4 steps bring new life to old furnitureThe table we painted and scuffed up to give it that aged look.  You might want to “age” your pieces when your hubby’s not around, this step thoroughly confuses them.  “People pay more for you to make it look old?”  Changing out hardware can also make a HUGE difference.  This one wasn’t built to be able to remove knobs, but little glass knobs would have been cute.
4 steps bring new life to old furniture


4 steps bring new life to old furniture
The lamp we chose for the drum shade because these are the easiest to recover.  Put spray adhesive directly onto the shade and then wrap the fabric onto it folding down over the edges.  You can do other lamp shade shapes, but they get a bit more tricky.
4 steps bring new life to old furniture

magazine rack

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

The magazine rack we primed, painted and distressed.  We painted the existing gold hardware by priming then painting.  Notice how the hardware shape kind of matches the damask design on the lamp?  Cute huh.

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

picture frame

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

The picture frame we primed, painted, used liquid glaze to age it.  Liquid glaze, you rub on and then rub off leaving behind just some of the glaze to get that aged look.  Then instead of a typical picture, we put in a burlap background with a painted letter glued to the outside of the glass.  Just something different.”

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

the whole set up


4 steps bring new life to old furniture


4 steps bring new life to old furniture

I need another look…

4 steps bring new life to old furniture


You guys are incredible!  Thanks for sharing your secrets with us!

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

Like what you see?

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

They are having a sale!

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

You can come shop for this stuff…

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

that is if there is anything left after I get there:)

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

go ahead and try to get there before I do…

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

Not going to happen.

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

Fancy Farmgirl Sale

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

August 6th and 7th

9901 Lake Hazel

Boise, Id.

Now accepting vendors.

Go check out their website for more information and to leave them some comment love:)

If you don’t live in Boise, don’t you wish you did!?!

4 steps bring new life to old furniture

    1. July 29th, 2010 at 5:58 am
      Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
      I wrap up and refrigerate my paintbrushes when I'm in the middle of a job, and it totally works!
      .-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..How to take a picture of yourself for your blog =-.
    2. July 29th, 2010 at 9:15 am
      Jen Bradshaw says:
      Love that tip about refrigerating your brushes! Wish I had known that 2 days ago when I started painting my kitchen cabinets! ;) Great tip! And beautiful stuff!
    3. July 29th, 2010 at 9:46 am
      Jill says:
      I love all those ideas! I need to get to some garage sales!!
    4. July 29th, 2010 at 10:17 am
      Shelley says:
      That Hutch! Omigosh I am lusting after that hutch,...I want it, I want it, I want it! Such gorgeous things girls. Crazy how much things can change with a little paint. -You have the eye for the find.
    5. July 29th, 2010 at 11:22 am
      Nickelle says:
      I LoVe to -Up CyCle!! :o) Great pics. Missy! :o)
    6. July 29th, 2010 at 11:29 am
      Nesleirbag says:
      Old made new has so much more character in decorating than shiny-out-of-the-showroom. Great lookin' stuff! Keep these great ideas coming!
    7. July 29th, 2010 at 12:10 pm
      Jessica says:
      Wow! They are amazing! I love, love, love, the colors they use. The blue hutch is adorable!
    8. July 29th, 2010 at 1:25 pm
      Infarrantly Creative says:
      Holy stinkin adorable. I love everything down to the rosette on their pillows.
    9. July 29th, 2010 at 2:41 pm
      Meagan says:
      I so want the large pink "A" hanging in the second to last picture!! Too bad I'm up in Canada!!
      .-= Meagan´s last blog ..the BIG LONG post! =-.
    10. July 29th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
      Cassie says:
      How awesome is burlap...I mean, really.
      .-= Cassie´s last blog ..I Challenge You! =-.
    11. July 29th, 2010 at 4:26 pm
      Emily Perry says:
      This is such a great post! What cute stuff!!!!!
    12. July 29th, 2010 at 4:36 pm
      Alison says:
      Missy these pictures look like they are out of a magazine! Fun stuff!
    13. July 29th, 2010 at 4:37 pm
      Mindy says:
      This is ONE time I do wish I lived in Boise.;) Adorable stuff!
    14. July 29th, 2010 at 7:58 pm
      Michelle says:
      Totally wished I lived there...I have such a soft spot for wire baskets and fabulous painted furniture. Thanks for sharing!
      .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Happy 10th Anniversary to MY Husband =-.
    15. July 29th, 2010 at 8:43 pm
      stacy says:
      I love old furniture that has been given a new look! I love this post...each of those pieces look amazing. Way to go Farmgirls! I am planning to visit Boise soon....I hope you will have a sale when I come!
    16. July 29th, 2010 at 10:27 pm
      Stacy says:
      I love furniture like this that has been redone! What a fun post! I am coming to Boise soon. I hope the Fancy Farmgirls will be having a sale!
    17. July 30th, 2010 at 10:34 am
      Kelley says:
      Bitter, party of one, please! Sooooo, wish I lived near Boise.
      Have fun without me....
      .-= Kelley´s last blog ..Turing ‘mustgoes’ into ‘musthaves’ =-.
    18. July 30th, 2010 at 7:15 pm
      Malissa says:
      Speaking of hubbies needing their garages back... do you know what kind of vendors they are accepting? I used to own an online home decor store and still need to get rid of the rest of the inventory (for cheap... like $15 tin signs for $1 - $2 cheap...) It's all vintage reproductions, country, and shabby chic style stuff. I've been meaning to have a garage sale and get rid of it but haven't gotten around to it!
      Hmmm maybe if I clear all that stuff out my husband will be okay with me taking home some of these gorgeous treasures!! (Seriously swooning over that little blue table!)
    19. July 30th, 2010 at 9:16 pm
      Deana says:
      very very cute stuff, awesome pics, and great ideas!!!! I can't wait for the sale!!
    20. July 31st, 2010 at 4:26 pm
      jen@eighteen25 says:
      oh my goodness... are you kidding me with that sale? ughhh. if i wasn't already headed to cali for the flea market i would have filled my car with girlfriends and drove ourselves to boise. i don't even know how far the drive is... but it looks worth it!! take some more pictures for us so we can see the rest of the gorgeous stuff!! please!! :)
    21. July 31st, 2010 at 11:58 pm
      nataliekaren says:
      I love everything on this page...and I'm a picky kinda girl.

      I'm going to the Rose Bowl swapmeet next week and I'm going to have my eye out for some treasure to uncover.

    22. August 3rd, 2010 at 5:47 pm
      alyssabeths says:
      It's amazing what you can do with a can of paint, my husband says I'm addicted to paint and glaze, lol.
      .-= alyssabeths´s last blog ..Electric Blue Vintage Butterfly Image Glass Tile Pendant Necklace with Chain =-.
    23. August 4th, 2010 at 12:42 am
      Kristine says:
      Wow, the staging of these pieces is just amazing. Can you please come and take some shots of my furniture re-dos? I just got a new camera and am still learning how to use the darn thing (sorry, though the plane ticket's on you though :-)
      The Painted Hive
      .-= Kristine´s last blog ..One Chair Three Ways =-.
      • August 4th, 2010 at 7:04 am
        Alison says:
        I totally agree with you. Missy's pictures rocked!
    24. August 4th, 2010 at 2:48 am
      Rose :: FineCraftGuild.com says:
      This is an EXCELLENT TUTORIAL. Come link up with us, so our readers can love you too: www.finecraftguild.com/diy-tutorial-linky-party-8/

      Every Wednesday (later today) there will be a new party, so bookmark our home page and you can come back over and over again with great ideas and tutorials, alright!?

      Have a happy day!
      .-= Rose :: FineCraftGuild.com´s last blog ..Quilted Backpack Pattern =-.
    25. August 4th, 2010 at 8:20 am
      Vanessa says:
      Oohhhhhhh! FOAM rollers. Duh. Thanks for the tip!
    26. August 6th, 2010 at 10:05 pm
      Tami says:
      All right... I just had a bed I thought I was going to throw away or sell for nothing at a rummage sale because of mold damage. It's going to get a shabby chic look! Thank you so much for the nudge in the right direction!
      .-= Tami´s last blog ..A Tip or two for mommies =-.
    27. August 7th, 2010 at 5:56 am
      kara Jo says:
      looks so cute, wish i lived there!
    28. August 11th, 2010 at 9:00 pm
      Suzy Q says:
      I want some photos of those cute farmgirls I miss so much!
    29. September 15th, 2010 at 6:37 pm
      Jimmy Ahyari says:
      if I see from the picture above, I assume that you are someone who is very creative. Good work my friend!
      .-= Jimmy Ahyari´s last blog ..Indonesia Furniture Handicraft Wholesale Marketplace =-.
    30. October 26th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
      Vikki says:
      So mad at myself. Just sold a bunch of cool stuff at a yard sale that I would now so buy back!!
    31. October 11th, 2011 at 6:19 pm
      Susan says:
      Why oh why must Idaho be so far away from New Jersey???? Love everything!!!!
    32. August 22nd, 2012 at 9:32 pm
      Cherie Anderson says:
      I have a quick question about repainting dressers. I have a matching dresser and bureau that are probably 40 years old. They are covered in veneer, and the veneer is chipping terribly. Is there a way to "fix" the veneer. They have beautiful edging designs, and I would hate to lose them (they are getting ugly). Thanks for any advice.
    33. January 11th, 2013 at 3:59 pm
      Alison says:
      Hi Missy -

      I love your blog and Im totally inspired by all your furniture painting. I came across your site as I was searching for how to paint an old grandfather clock. DOoyou have any pointers you'd like to share? I love what you did with the white one.

    34. November 29th, 2013 at 8:26 pm
      anonanal says:
      Why is all your stuff outside? This looks like a pain in the ass to carry back in!
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