Friday, October 7, 2011

how to: refinishing your vintage finds (part one)

Early in the treasure hunting for new home, I found this telephone table. I love the shape but the pale wood was less than inspiring. Luckily, painting wood is quite simple especially if you desire a bright spray painted look. Today I'm going to show you how to completely transform your vintage find in five simple steps. This tutorial works on wood, metal and plastic so it's time to get treasure hunting!

Step one: Gather supplies
You'll need:
your vintage find
spray paint
medium grain sandpaper

For spray paint, look for one with a label that notes it is good for the material you have. I typically use Kylon for a basic colored paint. For this project, I wanted something more unusual so I want to a craft store and bought Montana Gold spray paint. It's a few dollars more expensive but there is huge selection and it's one of the few brands where the can sprays when upside down (this makes your life much easier.)

[Getting someone else to sand for you is also a good step]
Step two: Sand
You'll want to sand off any rust or imperfections and generally get the surface ready to absorb the paint. Use a cloth or brush to wipe off any dust from sanding. 

Step three: Cover any areas you don't want to paint
In this case, I taped off the horizontal surfaces so I could paint the vertical ones blue. Cover big flat surfaces with newspaper and the edges with painter's tape. 

Step four: Paint
This is the fun part! If you are new to spray paint, you may want to practice on cardboard first. Hold the can 6-8 inches from what you are painting and keep the can moving. If you spray heavily in one place, it will drip. If you have trickier areas like the rounded legs, be sure to move around the piece frequently so you can see different areas.

And don't try to paint on a windy day, the paint will disappear in the air (or in your lungs) and you won't make progress.

Step five: Let dry
This step doesn't take too long with spray paint but best to give it at least half an hour. 

[Letting the second paint job dry]

If you were going for a two toned look, the repeat by taping off the area you have already painted and then spraying the exposed section. Here I used plastic wrap around the legs and the bottom rack, it's great because it clings to itself, just be sure to tape up the edges.

I'll be posting pictures of the table in action once we get our bedroom completed. It's going to be Partner-in-Crime's bedside table!

What vintage finds have you repainted or refinished to give them a new life?


Lara said...

That color combo is my absolute fave! It's going to look so great! Can't wait to see your bedroom all styled out.

I'm dying to paint something bigger than a plastic horse! ;)

Debra said...

I love the colors you chose...I LOVE the "favorite find!" Thanks for recommending the Montana Gold spray paint. I'm going to look for that. I've had trouble before with spraying upside down and didn't think a remedy was even out there! I have a couple of pieces I thought maybe too big to spray paint...but you've inspired me. I'm going to do it! Debra

Loren Rhoads said...

I like the way you included so many photos in this how-to. I feel like I really understand what you're saying here! Now I'm excited to try out repainting some furniture, too.

heather gardner-madras said...

That last photo is a real tease - can't wait to see the finished piece now.