Tired furniture pieces needn't be sacrificed to the Goodwill! Give them a refreshing new look with this simple and easy technique!
Though my project today features the make over of a tired, wooden clothes hamper, the application and technique is wonderful for any furniture item that has worn out its welcome in your home.
I've always loved the old hamper in my closet. It was one I picked up at a craft store 15 years ago, then used as a demonstration piece for a store that I was doing a demonstration for. It found its way in to my dressing room and I've used it as my personal hamper all these years.
Its sturdy construction has given me many years of use, but its finish is now tired and is no longer compatible with my current decorating. So I re-did it.
Because I had varnished it previously, I gave it just a quickie light sanding to rough up the surface then coated it with two coats of KILZ Primer.
After the primer had dried, I then painted it cream color with interior latex semi gloss.
I love the look of raised ornamentation so I used plaster molds with self hardening clay to give the hamper some detail. You can find plaster molds in the craft store or by searching on line for 'plaster molds'. The cool thing is, that you can use sculpy clay or self hardening clay in any mold to create rock hard ornaments that won't break for your furniture or cabinets.
Simply spray the mold with mold spray release or brush lightly with mineral oil. Then simply push the clay down in to the mold, making sure that it completely fills the decorative face of the design.
Once my pieces hardened and I removed them from the mold, I pre-painted the pieces then glued them to the front of the hamper. Another coat of cream paint over the top made them look as though they were carved right in to the wood of the hamper.
To give the design more detail, I taped off the rectangular front and scrubbed a pale gray paint over the surface, wiping it off as I went to give this area more brought out the detail even further and gave the entire piece an antique look.
A coat of Wipe On Poly by Minwax gave it shine and protection.
Situated back in my dressing room, it's now a lovely piece that compliments my decor and will give me many more years of service.
Furniture such as tables, night stands, armors, bookshelves and cabinets can benefit from similar treatments and the addition of onlays made from plaster molds.