Guest post: Fernanda’s spray-paint secrets for a $50 furniture makeover


When I decided to give my living room/dining room a make-under, one of the pieces that I planned to sell the Pier 1 server above. When no one seemed interested in buying it, I decided to repurpose it and give my entryway a pop of color.

I started by removing the hardware, hinges, doors, and drawers to allow me to work on each piece separately. Then, I applied two coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer with a paint roller, letting them dry in between coats. 

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Next, I sprayed the server with two cans of Rust-Oleum Professional High Performance Enamel spray paint in Safety Red, in my opinion, the best fire-engine-red paint as far as spray paint goes.

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I recommend using the Rust-Oleum Spray Paint Gun attachment to have more control over where the paint is directed and over the thickness of the paint coat.

vscocam-photo-2 (1)With spray paint, a little goes a long way, you can always spray a little more if necessary. The two cans resulted in two coats of paint, allowing time to dry between coats. 

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Once the paint was completely dry I added two coats of Miniwax Wipe-On Poly Clear Gloss with a clean, lint-free cloth to give it a nice glossy finish. You could go with a satin finish as well, but I wanted the orange-red to shine a little extra bright.

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I replaced the old hardware with marble and wood knobs from Anthropologie, at $18 apiece they are the most expensive part of the project, but as any cabinet designer can tell you, hardware can make a statement that impacts the entire design. It’s the little things, you know? 

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The cost of all the materials minus the hardware came to $47.24 at Lowes.

Decorating with bright hues may seem daunting, but a painted piece of furniture may just be the right amount of color to create visual interest, and add vibrancy to an overlooked space. Be brave!

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Fernanda Conrad is a designer and blogger who lives in Anchorage.

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Julia O’Malley is a journalist who lives in Anchorage. She writes about culture, family, home, the environment and food in Alaska.

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