Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Tips for Restoring Furniture - Guest Blogger!

You know the saying, one person's trash is another person's treasure? Well today I'm super excited to have Lisa on my blog; an avid treasure hunter who really can jazz up any piece of furniture and make it look brand spanking new!

I have been admiring her ability from a distance for a while now, awwing and arrring over her various thrifty challenges, but now I have decided to grab life by the balls and try my hand at my very own projects!

My husband is a tad nervous that this new found desire to redo furniture is just another thing on his to do list when I grow tired of sanding, but hey, happy wife is a happy life - huh? tee hee

Take it away Lisa.

Hello lovely readers from Unspoken conversations.

My name is Lisa from The Thrifty Challenge and Kirsty has been telling me about a beauty of a big old table she found that she wants to upcycle and restore. Since I’m kind of obsessed with fixing up old furniture I’m here to share some tips about how I tackle a furniture restoration project.

1. Source yourself a beautiful piece of furniture.
First comes finding the perfect pieces of fix up.  At the moment I’m not working that much so I have lots of free time and a very limited budget so I’m always sourcing pieces from gumtree, garage sales, my parent’s hoarding furniture stash and best of all freebie furniture from the side of the road. If I drive past something amazing, there is no way I’m not going to stop and put it in my car. In fact so far husband and I have only bought a bedroom set, a couch, 6 dining chairs and an outdoor table from shops. Every other item in our house is second hand and I love it that way.  I am very selective about projects I take on and always look for furniture with lovely details and in fairly good condition. The item has to be special and have a use before it’s worth my time to fix up.

In the above shots you can see a bookcase, chest and filing cabinet I got from the parents, an ottoman found on the side of the road and a built in wardrobe that came with our house. 
2. Scrub and clean
Remove all dust and excess grime from the furniture item so it is clean and ready to work with.
3. Get out the sander
Give the furniture a good sand so it is easier for the paint to stick to the wood. This is also the time to remove all hardware (drawer handles etc). I also used a 3M wood filler to fill in any holes and scratches so the paint can be applied evenly. Once you have applied the wood filler sand it back and make sure to remove any dust leftover so the furniture item is ready for paint.
4. Prime and paint
Primer makes the paint adhere to the wood without you having to sand it too much- lots and lots of sanding is painful work.  For the primer (and also paint) I used an angled paintbrush and mini foam roller. I brush the paint on with the paintbrush and then if I need to smooth it, I use the roller.
I always give two coats of paint for good coverage as I really like my furniture to look well finished. I always use enamel paint for furniture that will be getting lots of use as it is much longer lasting.
5. Add some extra details to make the furniture more unique.
While paint is great and makes a huge difference, sometimes it’s fun to experiment a little more and use items like wallpaper and fabric.
Once this lovely display cabinet was painted turquoise, using thrifted wallpaper turned it into an amazing little item.

To make the drawers of this filing cabinet more exciting, I used fabric and mod podge. For more details, click here.
These are some basic tips and each piece of furniture is a unique project to tackle. Furniture restoration takes some time and patience but having special and different items in your house is worth the effort, that and making your house feel like a home when you don’t have many decorating dollars to play with.
Hopefully this post is useful for Kirsty and all you readers out there looking to turn your old furniture into something fab and fresh. Email me at thethriftychallenge@gmail.com for any specific advice you’d like or check out my blog, www.herthriftychallenge.blogspot.com.au for access to all my diy and restoration projects.

Lisa x

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