Furniture Rehab 401

by Kimba on September 29, 2008

in Furniture Rehab

Maybe I should have titled this post, “The Best Laid Plans.” My plan was to get this project done over the weekend but Mother Nature simply wouldn’t cooperate. First rain…then wind. Neither one helps when you’re spray painting. But I finally got a finally got a break and we’re all done!

Or maybe I should have called this post, “Bob Villa’s Got Nothin‘ on Me” because I whipped out the power tools for this project. This piece was in rough shape so we’re going to look at a method for repairing veneer.

So here’s the before…If you’re not interested in reading “Girls With Tools”, you can just scroll right on past the repair process to see the finished product.

I called him Great White. He was a $30 Goodwill find.

I loved the detailing on the drawers and on the trim.

It had clearly been painted a couple of times before and top was in really rough shape. The veneer was bubbling in a lot of places and needed to be repaired.

I started by pulling out the power sander and getting the top as smooth as possible. Do you like my safety glasses? A girl just can’t be seen in goggles. 🙂

Like I said, the veneer top was bubbled up in a bunch of places. You can’t tell in this picture, but the dark area is where the veneer was raised.

There is a method where you can just slit the bubbles and put some wood glue inside. They you weight down the top until the glue dries and it flattens the bubbles. I tried that and it didn’t work on this piece. I think the veneer was just too old.

Instead we had to start by cutting out the bubbled pieces of veneer. I used a utility knife to cut a hole in the bubble.

Then I used a putty knife to pry off all the raised veneer.

Now comes the fun part. Get yourself some wood putty. You can find it in the trim section of Lowes or Home Depot or in the woodworking section of the craft store.

This next part is kind of like spackling. Squirt some of the wood putty into the area where you removed the veneer.

Then spread it around until the whole area is filled.

Scrape off the excess and let it dry. It should only take about 30 minutes to dry. There’s no need to worry about getting off every bit of excess wood putty because you’re going to sand it later.

I used this process on all of the damaged parts of the top. Waaaaaay more repair work than I anticipated when I bought this piece.

Then I got the sander back out and went over the entire top again.

Now it kind of looked like a patchwork of painted veneer and wood putty.

Once all the repair work was done, it became a basic (although large) Furniture Rehab 101 project.






I still love the detailing.

And I decided to keep the original hardware because it is so unique.

It is definitely not perfect. The top isn’t perfectly smooth and there are still some marks in the paint, but I love it anyway. It looks like it’s lived here forever which I guess it has since we just moved in 2 months ago. 🙂

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1 Anonymous October 1, 2008 at 10:57 pm

I love how the piece turned out. What color and brand of paint did you use?

I have an old buffet that my mother bought about 46 years ago in a thrift shop. It’s pretty beat up looking now and it’s dark. I want to put it in my guest room to store vintage linens. I can’t decide whether to paint it black or white with a brown glaze.


2 Sarah October 2, 2008 at 5:24 am

Looks great! I’m just doing a little catch-up since I haven’t been able to read since Saturday. I’m curious as to how you can talk about your relationship to God (I’m a believer, as well) and also talk about “Mother Nature.” Not looking for trouble, just curious where you stand.

3 Kristen October 2, 2008 at 9:52 am

KImba – It looks great! Love it!!

4 Joy October 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Wow, you did an awesome job…looks beautiful!

5 Holly October 5, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Love it!

6 vintagewindow October 5, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Awesome job on the rehab and what a wonderful $30 find.


7 Mind Your Manors October 6, 2008 at 6:48 am

Totally worth the work!

8 sweetfunkyvintage October 7, 2008 at 10:55 am

So beautiful! I was kind of hoping you would paint it turquoise, though! 🙂

9 Laura October 7, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Just found you. Thanks!!! for this post. I have a yard sale dresser with the same problem and have been contemplating how to fix it so I can paint it. Yay!! Now I know! 🙂

10 Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents October 11, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Oh how I love how this piece turned out! Beautiful & charming!!

The old hardware is just awesome ~ so glad you decided to keep it!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

11 momof3girls July 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Oh Kimba I love the dresser! Thank you for showing step by step how to repair when veneer is bubbling up!!! Thanks you ~ you have inspired me!

12 Kevin May April 11, 2010 at 11:26 pm

I love old furniture and have been collecting it over the years. Unfortunately my house is not that big. Did you spray paint the whole thing? I’ve been wanting to do this since I saw a trundle bed a customer of mine painted China Red. It is beautiful and I couldn’t believe she painted it with spray cans. Cans or bigger spray painter. Oh I’ve got so much to learn

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