…it really just depends on what the piece is. If it is a family heirloom, no paint. If it is an antique you are keeping as an investment, no paint. If it is an antique or even just an older piece of furniture that you have no sentimental ties to, if you are not keeping it as an investment, and if it is not a family heirloom, then paint is okay.
My husband and I purchased this Hoosier from an antique store 5 years ago. We have no emotional ties to it, it doesn’t bring back any childhood memories; we just thought it was a great piece of furniture. I’ve been wanting to update it and finally decided to get started on it. Since we are in the middle of remodeling our house (as you can see from the lovely background in this picture!), it just seemed like the right time.
We have been using it to display antique kitchen items that belonged to either my mom or my mother-in-law; but I decided to turn it into a Coffee Bar.
Instead of painting the entire piece, I elected to just paint the “body” of the piece and stain the golden oak doors a dark walnut. I didn’t let the walnut “sit” too long before wiping it off, though, as I did want some of the golden tint to be visible.
Here is the finished project.
The Yosemite Coffee & Roasting Company piece was one of my flea market finds. I really wanted to use it as-is, but it just didn’t work. I asked the contractor who is working here if he would cut off the top for me, which he graciously did. After cleaning it, I put a light walnut stain on it so it would match the Hoosier better.
If you want to know the process and supplies I used, here it is in a nutshell:
- Removed all the hardware. I soaked it overnight in vinegar to remove the rust, scrubbed with a wire brush the next morning, and then set it out to dry.
- Cleaned the entire Hoosier with denatured alcohol and a soft rag.
- Asked our contractor to cut out the center of the 2 top doors, so I could replace with glass.
- Painted with Barn Red Fusion Mineral Paint (I am a chalk painter convert!).
- Wet sanded.
- Applied a Black Fusion Mineral Glaze.
- Wet sanded.
- Applied a Fusion Mineral Clear Glaze.
- Wet Sanded (yes, 3 times, but it only took about 5 minutes tops, and it gives the wood an ultra-smooth finish).
- Sprayed the hardware Krylon Hammered Brown.
- Removed the Hoosier backing; sprayed it with Aleen’s Spray Glue, attached a large piece of burlap to it, then reattached the back.
- Reattached all the hardware
Practical things to remember:
- Take a picture of the entire piece you plan to refinish beforehand.
- Take close-ups of hardware, especially with older pieces, so you will know how to reattach.
- When removing doors and/or drawers mark with a piece of tape or other methods, which door/drawer goes where. It’s important when reattaching that they are returned to their original place.
- Put hardware in baggies and mark on the baggie what it is for and where it goes. Or use any other method that works for you.
One philosophical lesson I was reminded of:
This Hoosier obviously sustained some water and weather damage. It’s easy to see that when you look at the back of the piece. The entire top of the back had been replaced with MDF hardboard. I wanted to remove that and cover it with burlap. It was a difficult job because MDF is similar to particle board, in that it comes apart very easily.
True Confession: When I work on projects, I tend to talk to myself. As I was trying to remove this back without destroying it, I had quite a conversation going – encouraging myself to take my time so I didn’t ruin the MDF, then expressing frustration as I struggled to get some of the stubborn nails out. Finally, I was down to just one remaining nail and I heard myself say: “Wow… that one little nail is holding up this whole back. Yes, you CAN do it by yourself, but it’s best to have a supporting team.”
I reflected on that thought for just a minute…. probably more like a second because I REALLY wanted to get that last nail out of there!
Before & After. What’s your vote?