Monday, June 20, 2011

Everything New is Old Again

I discovered my love for refinishing furniture when I was 11. I found an old steamer trunk and a few cans of paint in the basement - I painted the body light blue and all the trim in white. I even redid the hardware with metallic gold paint (come to think of it, why did we have metallic gold paint in the basement?) Anyway, I dragged it up two flights of stairs to my room and put it under my window to make a window seat and I thought I was quite glamorous. Sometimes, I would prop the top open with my stuffed animals artfully arranged. If there had been such a thing as a preteen home decor magazine, I would have been a regular subscriber!

Over the years I redid a few pieces here and there but once I moved to Toronto and lived in a tiny house with tiny people, I didn't have the time, space or energy. I bought whatever was least expensive at IKEA including this corner cabinet for our 10 x 10 living room. It was made of wood, not melamine, the base fit in the corner, the TV fit nicely on top and best of all, I could lock the doors and prevent the tiny people from sliding a peanut butter sandwich into the VCR. I always thought the top part of the unit  was hideous and it stayed in the box until we staged the house to sell it and I needed to make the living area into a dining room.

When we moved from Toronto, the thing somehow ended up in my house and try as I might, I couldn't get rid of it - I would glare at it every time I walked by and had every intention of selling it on Craig's list when I took these pictures

Blog surfing one day, I spied a dresser repainted in Behr Pyramid Gold and was instantly smitten with the most gorgeous warm yellow. Once I become obsessed with a paint colour all unpainted furniture better run for cover... I bought a can the next day and the first thing to catch my eye was the corner hutch - makeover time!

I gave the whole thing a really quick sanding with a course sanding sponge being careful to sand every which way with varying degrees of pressure and no particular pattern. Then I slopped on the paint with an old brush paying special attention to the sides of the hutch to ensure there were some really nice brush marks and texture in there. Broad flat spaces need character and I like things to look hand painted. My house has light issues so I can't always get good photos of my furniture where it lives. I actually had to move it to the opposite side of the hall just to get enough light!

After one generous coat, I gave it 24 hours to dry and went at it with the sanding sponge. I don't usually use Behr paint, I find it peels when you remove masking tape, etc., but in this case, it worked in my favour. I also discovered that the parts I sanded changed colour and looked deeper. I have never seen that happen before but it really added to the old, worn look and I love it.

I wiped it all down with a microfiber cloth and then a generous coat of walnut stain, left it for a few minutes, wiped it down again and finished with clear water based varnish. This was in the days before I discovered wax, which is my new favourite thing.

And now? I love it! I love the colour and I love how the refinish brings the character to the piece that it never had. It actually has quite a bit of personality, it just needed to be coaxed out and now it brightens up the space and gives it warmth and light. Yay!

I moved it out of the dining room and up to the top of my stairs where the three kids' rooms are so we styled accordingly and here it is in all its yellow glory! I love that I could take something new and make it look worn in and comfortable. The best thing is that this hutch has a sister desk that is getting painted this summer and I will be sure to share.

My favourite part was styling the shelves. My 5-year old was on board right away and helped me find all the pieces including the sweet little wooden car we found in a thrift store and his beloved wheeled puppy and of course the baby photo of... guess who?

I love the colour so much that when I did my Numbered Staircase, I used it again. So, if you need a gorgeous warm yellow, grab yourself a swatch of Pyramid Gold and cast your eye around the house. Surely, you own something that would look better in yellow?

Linking Up Here – come join the parties!


  1. Very pretty! I love furniture that has that comfy worn in look and you did it perfectly! Thanks for sharing!

  2. So much better now! I love the yellow!

  3. It's wonderful! The original finish was not too bad, but it is like a completely different piece of furniture now! You did a fantastic job on it! What a pretty baby in that picture!



  4. you totally made me think of myself!! I am a painter and connected to this story in SO many ways!! Thanks for sharing and i LOVE the piece!

  5. this piece looks great! I find that IKEA's wood is extremely fake looking. Will have to try this on my bookcases.

  6. Great job. Love the yellow. Stopping by from Craftomaniac Hop. New follower! Blessings… Saved By Love Creations

  7. what a great IKEA makeover! love it. may i ask what kind/brand of wax you like to use? thanks!

  8. SOOOO CUTE! love the color and the piece. WELL DONE. winks-jen

  9. the color completely transforms that piece!
    Its so playful and pretty!
    love it

  10. What a makeover! I am so glad that this makes you happy now when you look at it! Thanks for sharing!

  11. So pretty! I love that yellow and I am not usually a yellow person. But it works so beautifully on this piece.


  12. i looove that shade of yellow!! and that piece looks much cooler and older now that it is painted and distressed!

  13. I am just reminding everyone about tonights link party that runs Friday evening through Mondays!
    I also have an ongoing give away link party now too.
    Hope to see you soon.
    come strut your stuff

  14. I would totally use this color ... if several rooms weren't already a light yellow ... I love this piece though, it's so warm & cheery!

  15. That is a great shade of yellow. Love the distressing!

  16. Would never know that it didn't age so beautifully all on it's own! Love what you did with it.

    Linking over from Funky Junk Interiors.

  17. That's beautiful! It really does look old! It looks like the perfect shade of yellow, too.

  18. Looks wonderful, I've got the same idea with my furniture.
    furniture stores in los angeles


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