To bring this dresser into the modern era, we first removed and set aside the drawers and wheeled feet. Next we removed and discarded the top trim piece and the drawer pulls. We smoothed out the bottom trim’s frillier details with wood filler.
Once it was dry, we used 220-grit sandpaper and an electric sander (rented from a hardware store) to lightly sand all visible flat surfaces. We hand-sanded grooves and detailing, then wiped all surfaces with a damp cloth.
With a 6-inch paint roller, we applied two coats of low-sheen black latex enamel paint to all visible surfaces, using long strokes in one direction (we used a 2-inch paint roller for the corners and edging). When that was dry, we applied the gray paint accents with these patterns and instructions. For the new wooden drawer pulls, we applied two coats of black or gray paint to each. Once they were dry, we reattached them, along with the old wheels.
Final Cost: $124
Our first step was to remove and set aside the cushions, saving all hardware. Following product instructions, we applied paint stripper with a paintbrush.
Next, we removed the varnish and stripper with a nonreactive putty knife and scrubbing pad and applied a stripping solvent to the wood frame with a rag. Once it was dry, we brushed on wood dye, first with a paintbrush, then by rubbing with a clean cloth to even it out. After letting it dry, we applied a light coat of water-based polyurethane satin varnish.
Finally, we took the frame, cushions, and 3/4 yard of fabric to an upholstery shop, where the cushions were reupholstered and reattached.
Final Cost: $61 for the chair and supplies, plus about $165 for the upholstering
We loved the elegant shapes of these tall candlesticks and wanted to update and unify them with a bold and unexpected color -- in this case, high-gloss indigo. We started by removing all wax residue with paint thinner and a clean cloth.
Then we misted one coat of spray paint primer for metal onto the candlesticks, holding the can 10 to 12 inches away and being sure to cover evenly with paint.
Once they were dry, we sprayed two light coats of spray paint for metal, again being sure to hold the can at a distance (to avoid drips) and to cover the detail grooves evenly.
Final Cost: $26
We began by deciding which digital photos we’d use for each frame, then we mapped out how we’d arrange them on a wall. (This dictated which paint color we’d use for each.)
Next, we removed the mats and glass, lightly sanded any sheen off the wood with 220-grit sandpaper, and removed the residue with a damp cloth.
Using 2-ounce (sample-size) jars of paint in five colors, we painted the frames, sometimes layering colors. Once the frames were dry, we took them to a framing shop and bought precut mats in a single color.
Finally, we printed our photos in black and white, placed them in the frames, and mounted the frames on the wall.
Final Cost: $65
We started by sanding with a 220-grit sandpaper sponge and used a damp cloth to remove all residue. Then, so the dark wood wouldn’t show through our light paint, we covered the table with one coat of spray paint primer.
With a 1 1/2-inch angled synthetic-bristle brush, we applied two coats of satin latex paint to the entire table (the bottom of the tabletop, too, to accommodate the reflection from the lower mirror).
Once it was dry, we used liquid silver leaf to accent the feet and the grooves near the top of the legs. Finally, after measuring both surfaces, we had two pieces of 1/8-inch-thick mirrored glass custom-cut (and the corners of the lower piece sanded 1/8 inch to account for the tapered legs) at a glass store, and laid them in place.
Final Cost: $97
Tip: For easy cleanup of spills, don’t glue down the mirrors.