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Refinishing Furniture

Refinishing Furniture: A Relaxing Hobby that Saves You Money

In these hard economic times it is often hard to find anything to cheer us up. Even though prices have sky rocketed most of us still wish to update our homes or to add a little splash of color that will make us smile. Don’t despair, for less than $20.00 and a little elbow grease you can update a piece of old furniture, someone’s garage sale special, into a bright ray of sunshine.


A few years ago my sister gave me two aged cane bottomed chairs. I loved the style of the pieces, but I wanted to rid them of their flaking white paint. So I went to WalMart where I purchased two cans of Kilz Casual Colors Spray Paint in Candy Apple Red and a package of Mainstays Sand Paper. The Kilz paint is the best spray paint I have found. Not only does it go on smooth and glossy, but it also covers most imperfections in the wood. While there are several brand names packages of sand paper available on the market, I have found the Mainstays Project pack the cheapest available. Included in the package are 2 sheets of very fine, 1 sheet of fine, 1 sheet of medium, and 1 sheet of course, more than enough to complete any do-it-yourself project.

Back home, I moved one of the white chairs outside beneath a shade tree, and then I began sanding the wooden parts with a piece of medium grade sand paper. There is no need to sand all the way down to the wood, just rough up the surface of the old paint. Once I had given the chair a thorough sanding with the medium grade paper, I switched to the very fine sandpaper so I could smooth the wood out. Once the sanding was finished I placed the chair in a sunny spot and applied the first coat of paint, check my source. The Kilz paint is a fast drying paint, but I allowed an hour between each coat and I gave the chair three light coats, and by days end I had a sparkling new chair.

So if the hard times are dragging you down grab an old cast off item and get to work. Refinishing furniture is not only a good way to release pent up frustrations, but it is also a satisfying hobby. And each time you glance at your handiwork you’ll feel a rush of pleasure for what you’ve accomplished.

Take a look at the photos of my before and after and see what you think. I smile every time I look at my new chair and now I can’t wait to start working on the second one.