According to Susan Carpenter of the LA Times, “the average American throws 54 pounds of clothes and shoes into the trash each year. That adds up to about 9 million tons of wearables that are sent into the waste stream, according to the EPA— a 27% increase in a mere eight years!”
I get it. People like fresh starts. A new car, pair of shoes, television, coffee table, rug, a bangin’ outfit for an upcoming event. But where does all our old stuff go? I started to really think about it in terms of furniture when my husband and I found out we were going to be having a baby. Along with our hopes and dreams, came the practical questions like what’s he going to need? So, I began thinking about ways to turn what we already had into nursery furniture. We had dark black furniture and I had a vision of a very peaceful calming space with whites, pale blues, and tans… Instead of tossing it all I thought it’d be fun to repurpose the furniture we had with a some elbow grease and paint. Win win, it’s better for our environment and wallets!
I had a little experience painting furniture, I did it once but it was outdoor shabby chic wicker furniture that was already white, which I was simply giving a fresh coat. This was a whole new ball game and intimidating for a novice so I went to Mary Strong, owner of The Green Yogi, transformer of flea market finds, and super talented interior and outdoor designer, I mean you’ve seen the yoga studio right? (Her house is beyond)!
I followed her advice and now have old furniture that I really disliked and now love, which cost about $75 to change. I would challenge anyone to finding a new trunk, 2 end tables, a mirror, (pottery barn) bed frame, and 2 shelves for $75 retail! We saved some cash, enjoy our cohesive living space now, and kept 7 pieces of big furniture out of the waste stream.
How to paint furniture…
1st: Sand. If you’re repainting you don’t have to take off the existing paint, just use a light piece of sand paper in a circular motion and scuff up the finish.
2nd: Prime. I used Rust-Oleum Spray Paint Primer, follow directions on can.
3rd: Paint. I used Rust-Oleum Spray Paint in Heirloom White. Lots of light handed coats for a flawless finish.
4th: Seal. I wanted a matte finish and used but they have glossy sealants as well.
Full disclosure if you’re interested… the rest of the nursery is furnished by my husband’s pine dresser for the changing table, an armoire my mom found on craigslist where all the baby clothes and supplies live, an amazing antique French bassinet, again found by my mom on craig’s, an oil painting my husband had commissioned when he first moved in, a Tiffany’s style lamp from craigslist, a new glider purchased by my MIL from Pottery Barn Kids, and a new rug from PBK we bought to tie everything together! (one of the painted end tables ended up in our living room the other in our bedroom)
Before and After Photos