Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Very FIRST Furniture Refinishing Project!

This project has been rattling around in my head for more than a year. I was so reluctant and nervous and intimidated to embark on this endeavor for many reasons; not the least of which was due to the sentimental value of this piece of furniture. This dry sink belonged to my Grandmother. I remember it in her house when she was actually using it. But, when I took it it was just sitting down in her basement collecting dust.

Dry sinks were used back in the day before indoor plumbing. The top is often recessed and lined with copper to hold a wash basin and pitcher of water. The cabinet would holds towels and shaving supplies. A lot of dry sinks have a towel bar on the side.

I've used this one to hold our fishtank, which is PERFECT!

This is how it looked. It's bad, I know! But, like I said, I was nervous to get started. I didn't want to totally ruin this piece of furniture. Plus, I'd NEVER worked on a piece of furniture and I really wanted to do it by myself, with minimal help from my husband. So, it sat in this condition until I was ready.

I stripped the entire thing using sandpaper. No chemicals!

I primed it and then I painted it yellow! Yes, yellow! My husband thought I was NUTS. I had a distinct vision of an antique yellow finish. Granted, I was so nervous along the way! This first coat of paint was BRIGHT! Way too bright!

But I still had to apply the glaze. I went with the Ralph Lauren glaze in "Tobacco". It seems to be the favorite amongst bloggers who post about refinishing. So, I trusted their judgment!

It took some finesse. It took three coats of glaze to tone it down. It took a lot of patience because I wanted this done YESTERDAY! I'm not good at waiting for things to dry! But, here it is in all it's glory:

I kept the copper bottom in rustic condition. I was going to polish it up, but I think it adds character. Actually, I was going to tile the whole thing in mosaic, but now I think it would take too much away from the antique-ness of the piece. So, like this it will stay and I'm

in love!

I think Mimi would be fine with this! And now I have the itch to do much more! One of my kids has an 1800's dresser from my mom in her bedroom. Oh yes, I'll be refinishing that as soon as winter is over and I can do the project outside. oh yes!

Thanks for sharing in my excitement. Please see my sidebar for all the fabulous places I'll be sharing this project with this week :-)


  1. Beth it's GORGEOUS! Great job. WOW!!!!! Love it, love it, love it!

  2. Wow! Beautiful job!! I don't always love painted wood, but this turned out wonderfully. I have a dresser for your next project... ;-)

  3. Great Job, and it means even more when it is from your grandmother. I love seeing the new come out old refinished furniture, it's addicting :)

  4. You did a wonderful job! I love the finished piece. You brought back it's charm. Yellow was a great choice, too.

  5. Beautiful!!! I love it. I wondered aloud about the yellow too but it's perfect with the glaze.

  6. Looks like it was a lot of work, but well worth it for that gorgeous chest! Good for you!


  7. I can EASILY see why you're in LOVE!! It's gorgeous and the first thing I thought was also how much your grandmother would've loved it too. I love everything in my home to also have a story and meaning, and this is such a great story!

  8. Looks great! I have two pieces in my youngest DD room that need done. Maybe when the weather breaks. When you stripped it did you use a sander tool or really just by hand? Ruthie..

  9. Looks great! You did an amazing job. I would have never guessed this was your first time refinishing a piece of furniture!

  10. It is so beautiful! It turned out amazing. You preserved a great piece and made it something even more special. I just did my first furniture re-do and I agree, it's so intimidating to jump in for the first time. I'm glad you were so successful! I featured you today on my favorite things :)

  11. I am so impressed. I am a huge fan of color so didn't even flinch when you said yellow....great job!

    Take care,

  12. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! All of your nice comments make me feel I made the right choice!

    Ruthie, I used a palm sander for all the flat parts and just by hand on some the recessed parts :-)

  13. What a difference a change of colour makes. It contrasts beautifully with the tank.

  14. Beth, it came out perfect!!! I love the color you chose especially after glazing. Popped over from sassy sites. have a feeling you are now hooked on painting furniture like me. It gets addicting. the best part is stepping back and, I did that! have a great day!

  15. You did a great job, I can't believe it was your first project! Would you share it at my linky party?

  16. Wow looks so great and I LOVE the yellow!
    ~Katie from


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