My two daughters share a bedroom, which makes it difficult when it comes to making decor and color decisions. My older daughter loves pink and my younger daughter loves shades of blue and mint and they are always at odds with how they want their room to look. So after contemplating for several weeks and browsing through hundreds of images, I finally decided that mint and pink would be the perfect color scheme for their bedroom.
Once I decided on the color scheme it was time to look for inspirations. These are a few images I found on Pinterest to get my creativity juices flowing.
Step 1: Search for inspirations
Step 2: Find good quality vintage furniture
Nowadays it’s harder to find good quality all-wooden furniture at a decent price. The really nice custom painted ones can cost you thousands of dollars and affordable ones easily found around the web are often lacking in quality and design.
My solution? Finding vintage wooden furniture and re-painting them myself.
Vintage furniture tends to be much better quality compared to the wooden furniture sold in mass market these days, and I was fortunate enough to find this dinette set of superb quality at a local estate sale for about $70. (Check craigslist and other local listings like estatesales.net). It comes with a table, glass top (perfect for growing kids) and six chairs.
These are made in Japan and well-crafted with solid, good quality wood. It’s also in very good condition. The downside? It’s ugly and so 1970’s. I find it funny how tiny this table and chairs are, it’s totally kid-sized! People must’ve been a lot smaller back then.
You can clearly see the potential in its lines and quality right?
Step 3: Gather materials
Next step is to gather materials. Because of all the details on the chairs, I decided to spraypaint instead of using a brush. I spraypainted the chairs and used regular interior paint with brush for the table.
You will need the following:
- Spraypaint in color of your choice
- Primer (spraypaint or regular paint)
- Top coat / gloss
- Sanding paper (depending on condition. I didn’t sand at all.)
- Paper towels or dry cloth
- Drop cloth or old sheets
- Well-ventilated area
- Music and plenty of water
- Brush or rollers (if you’re using regular paint)
Tip: For the table, I used regular interior paint in heirloom white using rollers and 2 inch brush.
So here is the spray paint lineup. So far I’ve used Valspar and Rustoleum spray paints and I like them both. I had one faulty bottle of Valspar Primer that stopped working midway but I was able to exchange it for another one. For this reason, be sure to save all your receipts until you’re done with your project. Overall, both are good for beginners.
Tip: For me, Rustoleum sprayer feels easier to use but I seem to get less drips with Valspar. Valspar can be found at Lowe’s and Rustoleum can be found at both Lowe’s and Home Depot.
As you can see, the Mint paint is in flat and Hot Pink is in gloss finish. I didn’t have a choice with the mint paint because it was the only bottle I can find in this particular color. The gloss sheen is much more vibrant and preferable for heavy use furniture like chairs in my opinion, so I ended up spraying the clear gloss on both colored chairs as top coat.
Tip: You may have to mix brands and finish due to limited color choices. I had to use the “Color radiance” line for the mint and regular “valspar” line for the pink chairs.
Step 4: Use primer
This is a photo of before and after using the primer. Primer provides extra protection against nicks and scratches, although I find that spraypoint overall- is not as effective as regular paint for furniture that gets heavy use such as the chairs. The primer makes color much more vibrant especially when going from dark to light color. Two years later colors are still holding up well.
Step 5: Spraypaint!
When spray painting, remember the following.
- Use primer.
- Follow the direction on back of the can. Each brand can work little differently. Don’t be scared to use it, it’s not that hard! Just remember to use even strokes from an even distance.
- Spraypaint first coat, let it dry- move onto other chair- spray paint 2nd or 3rd coat (waiting for it to dry in between) depending on your preference.
- Be sure you are in a well-ventilated area like a backyard. Some people spraypaint in the garage but I personally won’t do that myself. It can get very stuffy and smell can be bothersome without constant airflow.
- Use a full-face mask (You look like a character from a horror film so have fun taking a selfie.)
- Use drop cloth or old sheets on the floor.
- Wear old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
- Ideal weather is a day that is not too hot and not too cold. You also want some wind (faster drying and fresh air) but too much wind can cause dirt and debris to stick to the furniture.
- LET GO OF PERFECTION!
This is an important point to make because I can be a perfectionist myself and end up going over every nick and uneven surface over and over again, wasting unnecessary time and feeling stressed out during a fun project. After doing DIY projects for some time, I learned it doesn’t make any difference to the overall look of the finished product and some imperfection gives it character.
So let go of perfection and have fun with it. I always turn up my favorite tunes and just let my hands do the work. Spraypainting can hurt your arms but I see it as good arm exercise! If you get a drip mark, clean it up with a paper towel and go over it again. If you can’t, not a big deal. No one will notice.
Step 6: Let it dry and cure depending on weather
I found many contradictory information around the web regarding drying time. I’d say use your best judgment regarding this because we all live in different climate and weather conditions.
For me, 24-48 hours of drying time was enough and you can let it cure for days to even one week.
Step 7: Pat yourself on the back and enjoy the finished product!
Since I have two mint, two pink and two white chairs, I switch them out and mix them up as needed. The table and chairs have been used for over two years by everyone in the family; we sometimes even use the white chairs at the dining table.
Here is how it looks now, two years later.
It now shows some signs of wear with scuff marks and scratches here and there but as you can see, it’s holding up nicely. I still haven’t seen kid-sized table and chairs this cute and versatile for less than a hundred dollars.
The biggest fear I had when it comes to DIY painting was that I might mess up. Looking back, this fear was caused by perfection and lack of creativity. These projects will never turn out perfect but will be worth it at the end. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started.
I still have a few more benches and chairs just sitting in the garage waiting to be painted but they will have to wait until the baby is born. Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to re-do your home. Why not pick up a few good, quality vintage pieces and jazz up your rooms?
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