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Before and After

  • Vintage Stereo Cabinet ~ Before & After. From Facelift Furniture's DIY Blog.This highly dated stereo has been completely converted into from an eye sore to an eye catcher that now serves as a flat screen TV stand.  All internal electronics and cabinetry were removed, creating a large storage space accessed through the top.  Includes original burnished brass hardware.  

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    I’m often asked where I buy used furniture, and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Bryan, TX is one of my favorites places to shop.  I frequent ReStore often, along with several other local thrift stores like Goodwill and the Twin City Mission’s Second Chance stores.

    Last summer while launching Facelift Furniture, I purchased this retro stereo cabinet at ReStore and saw lots of potential.  I also realized a lot would need to be done to convert this piece into someone both desirable and usable.  This was a major exercise in deconstructing a piece that was very well built.  Let’s say this was also a great learning experience for someone who is better with a paint brush than building things with his hands!

    First, I had to remove the old stereo components from inside the cabinet.  That wasn’t too difficult, and fortunately my battery powered screwdriver helped a lot with that.  I also had to figure out how to remove those curtains which covered the speakers AND replace them to look like the two inner faux doors.  The faux doors with curtains were popped off by removing long wood screws from the inside.

    Vintage Stereo StepsSomehow, I also needed to remove the inner inset cabinet to open up the area below for storage.  I have to admit, I kind of stalled out at this point.  I wasn’t sure how to get that inset wood out other than by sawing and I wasn’t convinced that was the best way to go.  Additionally, the speakers were still attached and I could not figure out how to remove them.  So until about a month ago, this piece served as a painting stand for many other projects in my shop.  But with spring at hand, I had an itch to conquer lingering projects and this was high on my list.

    Having worked with furniture full time for over a year now, I’ve actually deconstructed a few other pieces, and discovered that heavy wood screws are often key to holding furniture together.  Recently, I wondered if the inner cabinet was held in place with screws that could be removed.  It was, and before I knew it, I had the inner cabinet completely out.  Not so hard after all!  I had to figure out the speakers next, and by accident I realized the speakers nuts tightened and untightened off the bolts the opposite of how we know must nuts and bolts to work.  So off came the speakers.  Finally, the cabinet was completely gutted!

     Now came the last step before painting.  The outer faux doors needed thin wood panels cut to size to fit where the curtains had been.  A few weeks ago, I found wood in my shop that would work, and cut 8 pieces to size.   I was excited to see them fit!

    About a week later, I fastened them in place with both wood glue and small screws, and then reattached the doors back on the cabinet.  In the photo at right, the left door is back on and the right one is yet to be reattached (you can see through the lower speaker hole).

    Now all that was needed was paint.  So late last week, I scuffed and scrubbed down the cabinet for applying grey tinted primer.  Priming itself seemed like quite the improvement!  Then came the actual paint, and my choice was Barn Red, a new addition to our line up.  It’s brighter than than Chili Pepper Red, and I had an idea it would help this piece take a big leap.   

    Yet paint alone is not what makes for a great transformation.  Glazing and distressing take it two steps further–they are like the icing and candles on the cake!  So with a heavy black glaze treatment in the detailed areas, and distressing of wood edges, this cabinet underwent a MAJOR transformation!  The original pulls were reattached in original condition, providing a nice throw back to it’s original design.  

    Vintage Stereo Cabinet ~ Before & After. From Facelift Furniture's DIY Blog.

    Nightstand upstyled in a rich lime green, with heavy black glaze accenting bamboo and woven design.  Distressing reveals hints of the white primer, providing even more eye catching detail.  “Before” photo below. 

    This nightstand is the ninth and final post in the Nine Needing a New Look series.  To see how a group of worn and dated end tables and nightstands were given a new life with paint and glaze finishes, go HERE.

    This series is also featured on our Facebook page in a before and after album titled Nine Needing a New Look.  It can be viewed by clicking HERE (no Facebook account required).
  • Turqouise Chest- Before & AfterThis robust chest of drawers was painted, glazed and distressed in Turquoise, with heavy Black Glaze accenting all the bold molding on this chest. Includes the original vintage bronze hardware.

    View our Chests of Drawers Collection for all our favorites in their refinished glory!



    Turquoise CHest of Drawers from Facelift Furniture





  • Chunky Nightstand in Antiqued White - Before & After

    I think this may be the thickest, chunkiest, loudest, most obnoxious–or whatever you will call it–nightstand I have seen. And I couldn’t pass it up!

    It is painted Antiqued White, with heavy Espresso glaze, and distressing for a great rustic look. Includes original weathered brass hardware. 


  • Rustic Turquoise Dresser - Before & After

    This maple six drawer dresser had serious issues! Initially, I wondered what I was thinking to have purchased it. It was spray painted purple and veneer was missing on the top corners. I threw out what pulls were left because they were spray painted a tacky looking silver.

    After making repairs and sanding, paint, glaze, and distressing did their magic! Turquoise brought the dresser back to life. Black Glaze highlighted the years of wear on the original finish, creating an eye-catching weathered look. New knobs and pulls topped off the rustic feel of this piece.White-SPACE Rustic Turquoise Dresser FLF

    Rustic Turquoise Dresser
  • Coat Rack Repurposed from a Nightstand Facelift FurnitureFor this project, I took an unexpected detour.  Originally, the plan was to paint this nightstand Robin’s Egg Blue. But then I discovered irreparable rotted wood at that base. With a no longer had a functional nightstand, I came up with a plan “B”.

    Out came my saw–and off came the front upper half of the nightstand. I also removed the front of the bottom drawer, and attached it to the top piece I had saved. I painted it Mint Green, and heavily distressed it with white primer showing through and black glaze accenting all its character.

    So what was once a nightstand is now a coat rack with black hardware from Hobby Lobby!


  • Peacock Blue Maple Hutch ~ Before & After.  Facelift Furniture DIY BlogSince starting out with painting and upstyling furniture, I’ve learned a couple of big things.  First, if there’s a way to do the job easier and better, figure it out.  Second, always be on the lookout for repurposing potential. 

    I’m currently working on a really unique maple hutch.  It’s shorter than most, and even has drawers near the top.  Earlier this year when I finally finished a large black china cabinet in our garage (honest confession…it took over a year to get that project done!), I was having problems with paint dripping down from underneath the shelves in the upper cabinet.  I didn’t know it was happening until later when the paint was dried.  And it didn’t look good!

    So I actually start over with that part of the project by removing that back of the cabinet, flipping it around, and painting the opposite side while still detached so there would be no streak lines.  I then reattached it with the new side painted, and it looked great!

    Peacock Blue Maple Hutch Before & After

    As you can see above, I’ve done the same with this hutch by removing the back first.  Another big plus to doing it this way is how I have better access to tricky areas around the shelves.  With access to those areas from both back and front, I can paint them with much more ease and better coverage.

    When the customer selected this piece, she decided she wanted the lower cabinet doors removed to create an additional display area.  I used wood filler in the screw holes, and I really like how this repurposing idea looks so far.

    Repurposing is a lot of fun.  I love looking at old furniture, especially those pieces with ornate wood carving and molding, and asking “what can I make of this worn down piece that would look really cool?”  Often, it’s just a matter of painting and upstyling.  But if the furniture itself is damaged beyond repair, then I start thinking about what to do with it’s pieces.

    Up in our loft, I’ve got 10 different deconstructed pieces from previous furniture.  They come from a left behind mirror, a discarded dresser, on old armoire, and an from an old couch headed to the dump!  Soon, they will be repurposed and on display–showing various paint color finish options, as well as waiting for the opportunity to creatively accent someone’s home!

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