Many people dispose of items that have seen better days or have lost their usefulness. I on the other hand try to re-purpose or renovate items that no longer serve their intended purpose or overtime have become a bit shabby and rough around the edges.
My latest renovation project was an old cabinet that had a few minor structural issues. The wood finish had uneven wear and the handles had lost their luster. Looking at the cabinet my first consideration was whether or not to keep the old dark wood finish or to resurface the finish with a light color durable paint. Weighing my options I decided to paint the unit for several reasons. First and foremost the cabinet would be housed in a small room. Visually a darker color would accentuate the smallness of the room whereas a light color would reflect more light and give the illusion of a more spacious open environment.
To prepare the cabinet I removed all the drawers and handles. I sanded out a gouge on the corner of one drawer, then tighten up all the drawer slides. I roughed up the existing finish by lightly sanding the cabinet frame and drawers (that had been removed from the cabinet) then with a damp cloth wiped down the sanded surface to remove any fine surface dust. I applied the first layer of paint (Kilz primer, stain blocker) with a short handled angle brush, then I rolled over the wet painted surface with a very small detail roller wiping out any brush marks that had been left behind by the brush. After the primer had dried I applied several coats of enamel paint ( I chose an enamel paint for its reflective sheen and durability). The enamel paint was applied in several thin coats to minimize the potential for runs in the decorative corners and patterns of the piece.
Moving on to the cabinet hardware. The handles were in poor shape. Using a combination of fine steel wool, warm water, and TSP I thoroughly cleaned the pieces then set them out to dry. Gathering up the prepared screws, I pushed them into a piece of Styrofoam leaving the screw head visible for painting and laid the handles out on newspaper. All the pieces were painted using a spray can of quality primer (in a prior project I tried a spray can of primer and paint all in one only to be disappointed with the result….in my opinion the combo paint product went on way to heavy). After I applied several coats of gold metallic paint over the primer (leaving the paint dry in between coat applications) I sprayed a light coat of clear finish to add durability and a reflective quality to the brushed gold handles.
A word to the wise; let the spray paint dry completely in between coats, believe you me a botched paint job is unforgiving.