If you’re looking for a somewhat simple DIY to spruce up your laminate covered piece of mid-century furniture, this is the project for you!
The process is not very difficult, it might take a few days because of the drying time that is necessary. Don’t let the time discourage you. The final results are totally worth it and you end up with a fun piece of mid-century furniture.
When choosing a piece to refinish you should go with the lower quality versions of mid-century furniture. Not all mid century furniture is made equally and more often than not, the furniture that you’ll come across is not of a high quality.
Most of those side tables, record consoles, and display cabinets are all fiberboard covered in a faux wood or marble shiny laminate. These pieces can be and should be refinished and painted!
The higher quality designed pieces are plywood covered in a teak or rosewood veneer, and usually should not be painted. If the higher quality pieces need refinishing they should be stripped, sanded and restained, into their original glory. That’s a project for another time.
Let’s get started!
Step One – Prepping and Sanding
First, you’ll want to remove all shelves, doors, knobs, legs, anything that can come off should be taken off. It’s important to do this because you’ll need to paint EVERY SURFACE, even the ones you won’t regularly see, this will give the piece a finished look. If there is any brass finishing that cannot be removed, tape over these parts with painter’s tape.
Prepping your piece of furniture for paint is vital. Most surfaces have a smooth or glossy finish that will not allow the paint to adhere. To rough up the surface you can use an orbital sander or a piece of sandpaper, 150 grit. If you are using sand paper it is helpful to have a block of wood, or something like that, to wrap your sandpaper around so you get a more even sanded surface.
This step is often dusty, a dust mask is highly recommended since this is a fine dust and can be easily inhaled. Sand outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Use a damp rag or a vacuum to wipe us the dust as you go.
The goal is just to take off the top layer of the laminate, so that you have a dull, scuffed finish. Depending on the finish of the piece, you may get away with just a light sanding, or you might have to go a little deeper to remove the smooth finish. If you are working with sandpaper, sand in circular motions over the entire surface, all edges and legs. Often the undersides of the furniture are not finished and have exposed particle board, don’t sand those surfaces, the paint will absorb better.
Step Two- Cleaning
Vacuum up all the dust you can and finish off with a damp rag. Make sure you use a lint free rag, you don’t want any stray fibers to get caught in the paint. Feel all surfaces, make sure there aren’t any bumps or major scratches, if there are sand those down and clean.
Step Three- Priming
Step Four- Painting!
Using a smaller paint brush can help with getting into tight corners and will make doing the edges cleaner and easier.
Applying three coats of paint is necessary, if you do less the paint is more likely to scratch, chip or peel away. Also, allowing the paint to fully dry in between layers will help to strengthen each layer. After each layer has dried, run your hand over every surface to feel for any debris. If needed sand and wipe down before painting.
To finish off the legs it's helpful to set up a way to keep the legs upright. You can use a box or a piece of foam, this will make painting and drying a little easier.
The feet of the spindle legs were capped with brass and needed to be spruced up, so they got spray painted in a brassy gold. Do at least two coats and allow them to fully dry between coats. Use a smaller paintbrush to paint the legs, you’ll have more control over the paint and the edges.
Step Five- Assembling and Sealing
Once all the surfaces are painted, you can reassemble the piece.
Be careful when putting shelves and back boards into place, you don’t want to force anything too much. You might scrape some paint off in the process, but you can touch that up once everything is in place.
Once the touch up paint has dried you can move on to sealing!
Sealing the piece adds an extra layer of protection and creates a more cleanable surface. Rustoleum Chalked matte clear is great for this.
When spraying on a sealing coat, make sure you are standing the recommended distance away and spray in uniformed motions. Standing too close and over spraying one section will result in an uneven finish, ruining all your hard work!
Do a few practice sprays if you aren’t familiar with spray painting and always allow each coat to fully dry before applying another.
And that’s it! You’ve taken a cheap-o piece of furniture and turned it into something worth having in your house!
1) First, you’ll need to decide on a location. It should be near your main entertaining area, somewhere that your guests feel comfortable accessing. Now you need to identify your serving surface; this could be a bar cart, or a bookshelf, it could be on top of a dresser or in a cabinet. Anywhere you can find a flat surface, you can set up a bar. Having an electrical outlet nearby can be handy if you want to plug in a coffee maker or some lighting.
2) Pick out a theme, something that goes with your décor. If you have a midcentury style, maybe you want to go with some bright colors and vintage glasses. If you have a rustic theme, maybe you want to do with woods and metal. If you have a shabby chic look, go with porcelain and silvers.
3) Start with a tray, it’s a great way to establish the space, this will keep most of your bar items contained in their designated area. The tray is a focal piece that could set the theme of your bar. If you are going classy, a silver or gold tray will be great. But if you want a rustic look, maybe a wooden or wire/metal tray will do the job. Think about your theme and that will help guide your decisions.
4) All bars need cups, glasses, tumblers, whatever you see fit for your guests to drink out of. These should be special pieces, ones you wouldn’t want use every day. Stackable mugs or vintage glasses are real eye catchers. They should be clean and ready to use when guests arrive.
5) Now you can start adding in your extras; like a cocktail shaker, some fancy drink stirrers, cocktail picks, bottle opener, muddlers, strainers, jiggers, pitchers, ice bucket, glass tags, coasters, mixing spoons, sugar or honey jar, or some fancy napkins. You don’t want to go overboard with the extras, but having some fun additions can make the experience so much better.
6) Adding some lighting is a great way to draw attention to the bar and create some ambiance. If you can fit a lamp, that is a wonderful way to add some charm. If there is no room for a lamp, a string of battery powered lights always adds a magical touch.
7) And last but not least is your drink selection! If you are setting up a coffee bar, having whatever kind of coffee making device on hand is essential, but only if it looks good. If you have a crummy looking coffee maker, maybe leave that on the counter and just add a vintage coffee carafe or a teapot.
If you are doing an alcohol bar, you’ll want to have at least a bottle or two of your favorite kinds of spirits. You don’t have to have a fully stocked bar, just enough for your guests to feel like they can pour themselves a drink. But of course, you can go all out with different kinds of bitters, syrups, and garnishes. This is where you can also add a unique touch, by using different bottles and jars. There are so many beautiful vintage decanters and jars that can be used for alcohol and mixers. Don’t use the bottle it came it, change it up and make it look good by putting it into a special vessel.
At Nostalgia we’ve got an extensive selection of vintage barware to choose from to make any bar super unique! Cheers!
Rhode Island’s maker’s movement is in full swing this season with a dozen markets full of well made, ethically sourced, and locally found goods! Supporting Rhode Island makers is an excellent way to get unique gifts and help keep the artists dream’s alive.
These markets are a fun to attend, even if you don’t end up buying anything. Getting out and seeing what is being created right here in Rhode Island is inspiring!
1) Providence Flea Holiday Market -
When the bodies of an Exeter family were exhumed with hopes to banish an undead spirit that had been slowly killing a family. When the bodies of the mother and two daughters were revealed, the youngest daughter was found to have a flush complexion and blood in her veins. Her name was Mercy Brown and the towns folk deemed her the first American vampire, only after burning her heart and liver and drinking the ashes.
This story traveled fast and made its way into newspapers all over, it thought to have inspired Bram Stoker’s, Dracula and H. P Lovecraft’s The Shunned House. You can still visit her grave today at the Chestnut Hill Baptist Cemetery in Exeter.
The Coventry homestead of the famous Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, has had its fair share of paranormal experiences. Sounds of horse’s hooves and carriages approaching the house can be heard and moving objects throughout the house have been witnessed. The house is now a museum where you can visit and take a chance at experiencing the other worldly.
Another unlucky lady, that lived a privileged life, ripe with tragedy and marked by the death of her children, Alice Vanderbilt; lived in one of Rhode Island’s most prominent “cottages” during the summer months. This “cottage” is said to be one of the finest homes built during the gilded age and is now Rhode Island’s most visited attraction,
The Breakers mansion, in Newport. It is said the Alice’s ghost has been haunting the home since her death, trying to relive the happier times of her life.
Another of Rhode Island’s more magnificent buildings is thought to be haunted by a man who holds a prominent place in Providence’s history. In 1878 Providence City Hall was completed under the supervision of Providence’s longest serving mayor, Thomas A. Doyle. He died in 1886 and was honored with an elaborate wake at City Hall. His love for Providence ran so deep that he has chosen to roam City Hall for the rest of eternity.
One of the more sad and disturbing historically haunted places in Rhode Island is The Ladd School in Exeter. This school was often overcrowded and poorly staffed, which lead to the death of many of its students. The school was opened in 1908 and was abandoned in 1994, thousands of people came through and died in this school. People have claimed to see ghostly figures and have heard screams, moans and other disembodied voices.