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I’ve always loved the way hand-made ‘antique’ furniture looks, but I couldn’t justify the Etsy or Anthropologie price-tag.

Someone we knew made us this absolutely awful TV stand while he was teaching himself carpentry, and I’ve hated it ever since it made its way into our living room. We accepted it because it was a kind gesture, but then the guy kind of went his own way so I figure enough time has passed that I can re-create it into something I’ve always envisioned in my living room.

This was the before:


I found some online tutorials and kind of improvised in my own way. I’ll detail the process here for you to do at home. This took probably about a half a day and cost $20-$30 total for: spray paint (ivory – 3 cans), spray paint primer (3 cans), all-purpose sanding sponges (3), drawer knobs.

First of all, clean the piece of furniture thoroughly to get rid of any dust. Next, sand the entire item until you can see the wood grain through the current paint.

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This took some elbow grease, and next time I will probably invest the $25 into a hand-sander.

Next, start priming the entire piece. I found that I needed to lightly sand each section again before priming so the paint would stick better and not bubble up. You’ll get the hang of how far away to hold the can and how to move your arm movements for optimum coverage, but I basically held my can away about 10 inches (most say 6-8, but that caused bubbles for me) and swept side to side while overlapping each swipe.

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I thought one coat of primer would be fine since my top-coat was also a whiteish color, but boy was I wrong. I ended up having to go back to the store twice because I kept running out of primer. When you find this stuff on sale, just stock up and get 5 or so cans to be on the safe side. I used Rustoleuem.

This is after 2-3 coats of primer:


(PS – nail polish remover and a wire brush took the paint right out of the sidewalk with a breeze. After this I brightened up and used an old white sheet underneath)

Now it is time to spray your color. I picked a very antique-looking ivory and loved the outcome. I’m not sure if this is normal, but I had to keep lightly sanding prior to each coat or the paint wouldn’t stick and started to bubble.

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Again, I kept running out of this paint too and had to go to the store several times. I also made the mistake of thinking I could use the same sanding sponge that was used on black paint for the ivory paint. You can tell I am really new at this and it still turned out great!

Here is an example of some of the bubbling that occurred  I would have to sand these down really good after they dried and re-do that section. The distance you hold the can away from the furniture and whether or not you sand before spraying really helps prevent this.

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Next I began sanding the corners in places that would naturally wear away over time. I tried very coarse sand-paper but it ripped off more paint than I wanted. I picked up a “smoothing” sand-paper block when I got the drawer knobs and it worked perfectly.

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Next I had my husband drill some holes to add some lovely knobs I found at Lowe’s.

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And ta-da! That wasn’t so bad after all. I’m really glad I did it! My living room looks so shabby-sheek now for a fraction of the cost of buying something like this.


I also added some beautiful curtains I got at Home Goods, moved a few pieces of furniture I already had around, and finally painted an old wicker stool I was given when I saw spray paint on sale for $1 to bring the entire living room together. Here are some before-after pictures of the entire project:



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