Via Longest Day

via The Longest Stay

Like most of us, you probably have that one beat-up piece of furniture sitting in your garage that has been earmarked for a do-it-yourself project for months. Or—let’s be honest—more like years. You even have the perfect spot in your home for the new and improved beauty once it is completed. Yet, every time you start thinking about taking on this project, the task seems insurmountable. Don’t fret! Follow these simple steps from Modernize and you’ll have the upcycled piece you’ve been dreaming of in no time.

Clean It Up

Before you begin, give your gem a good cleaning with sanitizing wipes or a vinegar solution to remove all those years of caked-on dust and grime. If your piece has a lot of crevices, you can dip a cotton swab in the cleaning solution and scrub out each nook and cranny.

Fill It Up

Using a wood filler and a putty knife, fill in any holes, cracks, gouges, or scratches and allow the wood filler to dry per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are planning on moving or changing any of the hardware, drill the new holes now and patch up the old ones with the wood filler.

vis Rental House Rules

via Rental House Rules

Sand It Down

Depending upon how rough the wood is to begin with, you will need the proper weight of sandpaper in order to achieve a smooth finish. If your piece has several edges that have begun to splinter, go over it with a coarse sandpaper, followed by a finer grit sandpaper until you have the soft, sleek texture you are looking for. If the wood is already relatively smooth, then a 220 grit sandpaper will be sufficient.

Clean It Up Again

Paint will not adhere properly if there is any dust or dirt left on the piece. Take the time to thoroughly dust and wipe down each surface of the entire piece with your chosen cleaning solution.

Prime Time

Using a high-quality brush or mini foam roller, cover the surfaces in a medium coat of primer. This ensures that the paint sticks evenly, as well as safeguards against any color bleed through from the wood itself. Once it has fully dried, give it a very light sanding. This subtly added texture will act as Velcro, locking in the paint to the wood. Be sure to vacuum up that pesky dust yet again!

Chair paint

via Modernize

Color Time

Going with the grain of the wood, paint in long, straight strokes, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Obviously, you will want to give extra attention to detail on the areas that will be the most prominent, being mindful to clean up any drips as they happen. If the piece has deep crevices or accent details, use a fine watercolor or shader brush to get the color down into each nook. Usually, you will want to apply a second or third coat of paint, allowing ample drying time between coats.

Optional Accents

If you want to include an additional accent like a stencil, wallpaper, or decoupaged pictures, now is the time to do it. Whichever route you go, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper application.

Varnish or Wax

Apply a thin layer of clear varnish or wax to lock in the paint and protect it from nicks and scuffs in the future. If you opt for varnish, choose an acrylic-based option since it will not yellow as it ages. If you prefer waxing, remember that is takes roughly 21 days for the wax to fully set; so be gentle with your treasure until then.

Door handles

via Modernize

Reattach Your Hardware

Time for the finishing touches: the hardware! Reattach any drawer pulls, locks, or hinges, being mindful to not let them twist and scratch the paint while being screwed in.

Now all you need to do is get that beauty inside to its new home and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!