Spray painting furniture…fresh look for an old piece

refreshing furniture with spray paint

 I didn’t think much about it.

I would pass it every time I walked in the front door.  It sat nestled in the corner of her foyer.  Fairly unobtrusive in it’s light beige-y green color (that my father had painted  for her long ago.)  It wasn’t some glorious antique or primitive piece.  Just a simple bookcase. Full of old books and knick knacks and adorned with simple hardware that had long ago forgotten what it was.

refreshing furniture with spray paint (before)
I didn’t think much about it. 

Until she was gone.  Then every bit and piece  in her house became a treasure.  A way to possess a part of her.  We all wanted something to remember her by.  To keep her close. It might have been a plate, or photographs.  Some took letters full of precious memories.  I’m not sure if anyone took the gloves she slept in every night to keep her hands soft. :)

I was blessed enough to live close by, and so I was given the piece that had sat nestled in the foyer. I loved it just like it was.  Peeling veneer, tarnished hardware. A few spots that appeared to be rust and the glass slipping ever so slightly away from the doors.

I kept it like it was for a long time.  Full of the same books and I would remember her home and her.  But, then we moved.  and it just wasn’t quite working anymore.  The old girl needed a facelift.  I didn’t want to shove her in the basement or in some forgotten corner upstairs.  She needed to shine again! It was time to showoff how beautiful she really was under the peeling paint, and tarnish and rust.

refreshing furniture with spray paint

So she was transformed into a piece that sits proudly in my own foyer.  Not nestled in a corner but with a place of honor right at the front door.

It was super easy…..

tips for refreshing furniture with spray paint

Gluing down broken pieces, a good cleaning and light sanding.  A can or two or three of Indigo Streamer Primer and Paint In One using several light coats, because sometimes spray painting furniture is okay! grin!

Some Brasso, okay a lot of Brasso, to uncover gorgeous brass hardware and new adhesive to keep in place perpetually falling out glass doors.

refreshing furniture with spray paint

Mirror tiles from Lowe’s Home Improvement were placed along the back of the shelves, because after all this dolled up gal needed a little more glitz and glamor.

and here’s the deal…..I know my Nana would love it! See, she was all about  beauty, she was the most beautiful woman I’ve known, and she would be so thrilled to see her bookcase with it’s fresh coat of paint and shiny brass pulls and knobs.  I know she would LOVE the color, because she was also spunky!

And this old gal is most definitely spunky now!

Refreshing furniture with spray paint (before and after)

Yep she would have liked it…a lot! 

accessorizing a bookcase on a budget
In fact, if she were still here I think she would try and take it back! I cherish everything that was given to me from her home. More importantly I cherish everything she gave me that you can’t see….because really, those are the best gifts she could have left us!

Love you Nana…

refreshing old furniture with spray paintsignature


Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 8.14.09 AM
Randi Dukes
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Katie Kimsey

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  1. Beautiful, Heather! It does sound like your Nana would have loved what you did to it. The hardware came out great, too. I will have to remember Brasso.
    Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions recently posted..Lladro At A Garage SaleMy Profile

  2. Love your transformation! And your devotion to you Nana! I miss and think of my Nana often too. She was quite spunky too! Love the blue, love the mirror, love the owls! Love YOU!
    Vicki Shead recently posted..Friday Etsy Finds #23My Profile

  3. Wow! I have never spraypainted furniture before, but I’m thinking it’s time to give it a whirl. Love that story of your grandma’s treasures. I have a few of those as well, and they mean the world to me.
    Beth@Unskinny Boppy recently posted..Curtain Solutions for Small WindowsMy Profile

  4. That blue is pure bliss. Have to try it : )Great job!
    Soiledrotten recently posted..New Sofa/End Table MakeoverMy Profile

  5. I love the blue and you have given me the courage to spray paint a small end table, a treasure from my grandmother. Thank you!

  6. This piece had me from the very first pic. I love the blue. You did a fantastic job. I may have to do something in that glorious color. Thank you for sharing, and keeping this great piece alive.
    Kathryn smith recently posted..Lovely Little French GalMy Profile

  7. Wow…gorgeous…I love the color and how wonderful it must be to enter your home and see that beauty!!…
    and congrats to the winners!
    Shirley@Housepitality Designs recently posted..My High Low ProjectMy Profile

  8. It is absolutely a beautiful color!! So rich and elegant!!
    Lori@VintageCharmRestored recently posted..Taking Care of BusinessMy Profile

  9. I LOVE that color. It is so striking. Adding the mirror backing was a great touch. Beautiful bookcase, beautiful story.
    Sharon recently posted..Comment on How to Remove Wall Anchors and Patch Holes by Shirley@housepitalitydesignsMy Profile

  10. This is Absolutely precious. I LOVE the sentiment and value that this piece holds. More importantly hearing the LOVE in your heart for your precious Nana. A priceless treasure. I {{Giggled}} on the part about the gloves. My Grandma was just like that ;) LOVE the color, LOVE the piece and LOVE the Story :)
    Angelina-JoJo and Eloise recently posted..How to make a Burlap BagMy Profile

  11. I completely understand where you are coming from in this post. I have a couple of pieces from my grandmothers home and I have spruced them up a little. I can also see my Gma wanting them back. On another note, it never occurred to me to use spray paint and Brasso to clean up the hardware. Brilliant!

  12. That looks amazing & any Nana would be proud! I can never get my spray paint to turn out that well. I may be using too heavy of a trigger finger. Fantastic burst of color & I might have to steal the mirror idea.

  13. Beautiful, that’s all I have to say about this! All of it, the story, the bookshelf, the accessories.
    Sharon B. recently posted..Salad Week! 8 Tips for Keepin’ It Healthy While Eating OutMy Profile

  14. I love it! I love the bright blue, I wouldn’t be brave enough to pick that color but it looks fabulous!


  15. What an amazing transformation and I love how you have accessorized it! I want to go paint something bold now too!

  16. Beautiful color! Love the mirrors!! I’m sure your Nana is smiling!!~~Angela
    Angela recently posted..Stenciled Patio RugMy Profile

  17. Great transformation! I have my Nana’s gossip bench in my entry, in its original condition, I think you have given me the courage to spruce it up and renew its glory – I think my Nana would like that too…I had the greatest Nana and I miss her too! Someday I hope I get to be a Nana and be as good at it as she was!
    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG recently posted..Thrifty FindsMy Profile

  18. What a fun, electric blue! Really great impact piece and that brass looks amazing! Really amazing :)
    Shannon @Fox Hollow Cottage recently posted..Tour 24 Killer Kitchens: plus a Giveaway for you!My Profile

  19. You’re right Heather. Nana would have loved the “new” bookshelf! And, she probably would have asked for it back!!! She really loved you and your sister! What a lady! Mom (and Dad)

  20. Jenny@thelavendermagnolia says:


    I am always for a pop of color in a room. It looks great! Lately I am really into deep blue combined with gold, so I LOVE the color you chose, especially with the shiny brass hardware. Your Nana would only care that you treasure the piece, not what color it is or how you use it.

  21. I love treasured old pieces. I loved that piece in its chippy phase and think it makes a great, contemporary statement all painted up. Great job on the handles, by the way. I had to paint some of mine for a piece because I couldn’t get them to polish up. Should have tried the brasso.
    Debbie recently posted..The Stuff Legends Are Made OfMy Profile

  22. This turned out so beautiful! I absolutely love the color!! Such a beautiful tribute to your Nana. I think it’s cute that you said she’d try to take it back if she was still here. . . sounds like my Nana:)

  23. SWOON! I totally love the color and I’m delighted with how you share all the details of how you accessorized the bookcase too!! LOVE, LOVE this post!!!!

  24. Aside from the color change, you gave the cabinet a totally new look. So stylish and pretty! (I love the idea of using the mirrored tiles, too!)

  25. I love the bold color!

  26. Heather, what lovely memories you shared with us of your grandmother. I used to be concerned with whether my grands might want to paint furniture that I would never consider painting. Well, all you ladies who paint have taught me that it’s a wonderful honor to have a piece that your loved ones can enjoy in their home after you’re gone. For example the cherry bedroom furniture that my parents bought new for me at age 10! In the past couple of months, I’ve decided it will be a great honor that they want it and that they enjoy it regardless of the color. Thanks, Helen
    Helen recently posted..Orange Has Returned Or Has ItMy Profile

  27. What a lovely story and what a beautiful restoration/redo. My Grandmothers both passed away when I was younger. I don’t have anything from my Dad’s Mom but I have my Mom’s Mother’s Handwritten/newspaper clipped cookbook, a few linens and her wedding picture. I treasure them all.
    Mary Beth @ Cupcakes and Crinoline recently posted..Things I Like Saturday ~ Ikea 365+ CookwareMy Profile

  28. It’s lovely that you took the time to make your Nana’s cabinet beautiful again. Given how the bottom of it looked, I’m sure there are some people who wouldn’t have bothered to give it a second life. I think some people are intimidated when repairs are needed, which is a shame, because look at what you did. You took a lovely, quaint little piece and turned it into a show-stopper! I’m sure your Nana would approve!

  29. Heather you really did a beautiful job with this piece. Bravo!
    Judy recently posted..Waverize it! with Joann and Waverly FabricMy Profile

  30. Nice that you speak of your Nana so nicely. Your dresser is beautiful!


  32. Ahaa, its good conversation about this paragraph here at this webpage,
    I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.
    Ambassador Painting Home Painters Denver recently posted..Ambassador Painting Home Painters DenverMy Profile

  33. Hi! What brand and color is the spray paint did you use on this? I need to buy it!

  34. Girl, you got me over here crying. The piece is beautiful. I am obsessed with owls and green is my favorite color…


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