Vintage Rebirth

How do you fix something that is falling apart?  You gut and rebuild it.  As I said in the previous post, this cute vanity was falling apart when I got it.

A part of the top right drawer pull was missing so I had to make a new one.

The casters, which refused to roll, had rust seeping through a thick coat of paint.  I debated on leaving them off or buying new ones, but in the end I picked the cheapest route.  I soaked them in paint stripper, cleaned them off with steel wool and painted them black.  I spritzed them with WD40 and they were as good as new.

Next, I had to tackle the paint.  It was really thick and really dirty.  I didn’t want the details to get hidden underneath several more coats of prime and paint so I took a 3 step approach.

1.  I put on a coat of Citristrip.  The name says it all:  it is a gel stripper that smells like citrus.  After 10 30 minutes, I scraped off the first layer.  The direction say to wait about 30 minutes, but I was impatient.

2.  Which might have been the reason I needed a second coat of Citristrip.  I like to think it was because there was too much paint.  You can see how little wood is showing through after the first attempt.

3.  After the 2nd coat of Citristrip soaked through, I scrubbed the paint  with a plastic brush.  Finally, I scraped and wiped away stripper/paint mixture.

Here’s what I got after all of that work.  As you can see the previous owner had already filled the damaged wood.  While I was scraping the old paint off, I accidentally took a few more chunks out so I had to add more wood filler to smooth the surface.  At this point I was really frustrated with the vanity and just wanted to get done.  So I skipped the rest of the paint removal and went straight into priming and painting.

I saw this piece on one of my favorite blogs, Centsational Girl, and had to use the same color scheme.  The vanity is in Rustoleum’s Night Tide and the drawer pulls are in Krylon’s Gold Leaf.  I love the gold color which is sparkly, but not too shiny.

After the ordeal with the paint, I still had to deal with the drawers which fell apart when I pulled them out.  They were really gross so I didn’t want to deal with them.  Are you starting to see a trend?  I’m not about doing it the professional way; I need the easiest way.  Well, I found a great way to solve the problem.

I’m sure no one noticed, but the drawers are slightly different sizes in the before and after picture.

I replaced the drawers with a faux front.  I (meaning C) fit a piece of plywood to the empty space and screwed it in from the inside.  The only problem was that we left too much clearance.  There was a gap which showed the screw like a baby’s first tooth.


I needed something skinny, straight and paintable to hide the gap.  Bamboo skewers!  I primed, painted and cut them down to size.  I used 3 sets for each side: one on top, middle and bottom.  Using wood glue, I secured them to the face of the “drawers”.

After the glue dried, I sat back and enjoyed my new little vanity.  I’m using it as a telephone table instead of a vanity.  Yes, we still have a telephone that plugs into a wall.  I’m old school.  Don’t judge, I only learned how to text 2 years ago.

Moral of the story?  A piece of furniture is worth saving if it is good shape, but kind of falling apart.  Try to replace what you can and cover the rest with paint.  It will work out in the end.

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3 Responses to Vintage Rebirth

  1. Jamie says:

    You are my hero! LOVE this piece

  2. tiffany says:

    It’s so cool. I love the color!

  3. tracy says:

    This is so pretty!!

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