Saturday, July 17, 2010

Step by Step: Antiquing a Magazine Rack

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently found this magazine rack for $6 at a local estate sale.  I've been looking for a bedside table for a while, and knew I wasn't going to beat six bucks anywhere else.  

So here is a quick recap of how I transformed this magazine rack...

into a pretty bedside table.

First, I sanded it with 60 grit sandpaper.  It obviously has been antiqued before with bright green paint and a dark glaze on top.  Ultimately, I knew I wanted to sand the edges after I painted it a pretty yellow.  But I wanted the bare wood to show through and not this bright green.

So I sanded the table all over to roughen it up, and then I sanded the edges pretty hard - all the way down to the bare wood. 

After you sand, you want to get the excess dust off your table before you prime/paint.  I usually vacuum up the loose dust, then wipe the furniture down with a damp cloth.  Let it dry COMPLETELY, then use a tack cloth to remove any extra dust that didn't come off earlier.  Tack cloths cost about $1 per package, and are worth it because you will be shocked at how much dust they pick up after you have already cleaned it.  I usually cut mine in quarters to stretch the package even farther. 

After I sanded and cleaned off the dust, I used spray primer.  A lot of times, I don't use primer because I usually work with oil based paint (I'll explain why in a minute), so I don't need it.  But since I was going from a dark green to a yellow, I figured I should start with a clean slate.  Yellow and red are the hardest colors to cover old paint jobs with.  (If you've ever painted a room yellow or red, you probably have figured this out already!)  As for primer in a spray can... that's definitely the way to go if you are priming white.  Except my hand muscles were cramping up by the end, and I thought my days of playing piano were over for good.

Here is the finished product after two coats of primer (I used the whole can).  As for the paint, I chose an oil based paint for two reasons.  #1) I didn't know what kind of paint the last person used.  And I was always taught that as a rule of thumb, you can use oil based over latex (water based) but you cannot use latex over oil based because it will have nothing to stick to.  #2) Oil based is traditionally more durable than latex (I say "traditionally" because Behr has a new latex paint line that is supposed to be just as strong as oil based... and I am slobbering to try it!).  I like my furniture to last and be highly durable against daily abuse!  So oil based may be a pain to work with... don't forget the paint thinner... but I like its lasting quality. 

After I painted the table (semi-gloss "Midday" from Sherwin Williams), I sanded around the edges of the table to begin the antiquing process.  Then I rubbed on a glaze (oil based "Hopsack" from Sherwin Williams) and wiped if off real fast with an old rag.  

The finished product?

I think I love it a little too much.

Now for my next project, an old gossip bench to transform.  I'm having visions of grandeur. 


  1. I love this! TOO adorably cute! Thanks for becoming my newest follower! You are and your hubby are too cute and I can't wait to start reading your blog myself!

  2. Wow, you did a great job with this!! Thanks for the tip about the tack cloth. We just built a toddler bed for our son and I'm going to be painting it this weekend. It's very sawdusty, so I'm going to need to get a pack. :)

  3. Your table turned out great! Love the yellow :)

  4. Love this! The bench will be so cute too, will it match the other one? Thanks for visiting my blog, glad to have found yours too! :-)

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