Laminate furniture makeover

Laminate furniture makeover -- How to turn old laminate furniture into AMAZING pieces {Heather's Handmade Life}
When the Kijiji ad described the furniture as “really heavy,” my eyes lit up.

Maybe I’m just haunted by memories of the flimsy laminate armoires and bookcases we had in our apartment days — put together with an Allen key and a prayer — but heavy furniture is the dream. It’s the stuff that lasts. The stuff that doesn’t wobble like Jell-O when you try to drag it across a floor.

I contacted the seller and we struck up a deal. The price was right, it was promised to be “really heavy,” and I needed storage in a major way.

You see, I’m in the process of moving my home office into a larger space (our former toy room/guest room/rec room) and turning the old office into a dedicated guest room.

It’s been a ton of work, but definitely the right decision. The kids were hardly using their playroom since all of the “good toys” were in their bedrooms, and I was crammed into a 10×10 box with way too much stuff.

I pawned the kids off on a neighbour, helped my husband put down all the seats in the minivan, and we headed off to claim my purchase. We followed the Official Don’t Get Killed During a Kijiji Transaction rules — bring cash, don’t arrive alone — and before I knew it, I was looking at my new armoire.

Laminate furniture makeover -- How to turn old laminate furniture into AMAZING pieces {Heather's Handmade Life}

It. Was. Laminate.

I felt like I’d been duped, but what could I do? Refuse to pay the stranger, who was already lugging it up the stairs with my husband? I still wanted it — I was just a little pouty that despite being as heavy as promised, it wasn’t REAL wood.

It certainly was heavy. It was torture carrying it into our house and then downstairs to the basement. But the storage made up for it: six drawers, including a huge one across the bottom, and a cupboard with plenty of shelves. If it had to be laminate, at least it was the good, old, people-paid-decent-money-for-this-at-one-point laminate.

I picked up a new shade of Fusion Mineral Paint — a soft grey-green called “Inglenook” — that I wasn’t too sure about. I knew it would be a nice neutral shade that would match the colours in the guest room quilt I was making, but it sort of looked … like toothpaste.

Laminate furniture makeover -- How to turn old laminate furniture into AMAZING pieces {Heather's Handmade Life}

Colour doubts aside, I removed the hardware and nervously brushed on the first coat. Would it flake right off laminate? I didn’t think I’d ever tried before.

Whew! It went on beautifully (and I hadn’t even bothered to sand). I did the first coat in about 15 minutes, and then went back later that evening to do two more quick coats.

It was quite the lazy paint job, actually. I didn’t empty the drawers, which I’d eagerly loaded with craft supplies the day more. I’d removed the bottom drawer, but left the others in place — just pulling each one out slightly so they didn’t overlap. I left the cabinet door on, too, and just propped it open while the paint dried. Super lazy, but I didn’t care about painting the sides of the drawers.

The hardware was yellow gold with chunky faux-wood inserts, so I’d figured I would need to replace it. But when I examined it, I realized the little rectangles of wood popped out easily — leaving a perfectly worn, perfectly acceptable gold handle. Hallelujah!

Less than 20 hours after I started with the first coat, the armoire was standing neatly in the corner of our new guest room — fully painted, with new-looking hardware. I painted a nightstand to match and practically leapt around the room with joy.

The paint colour I’d thought looked like toothpaste? STUNNING! It’s the softest, sweetest colour and immediately became one of my favourites. It goes perfectly with the gold hardware on the drawers and cabinet, and the whole piece just looks a million times better.

Laminate furniture makeover -- How to turn old laminate furniture into AMAZING pieces {Heather's Handmade Life}

I may not have responded to that Kijiji ad if they’d specified it was laminate, but I’m so glad I did.

Just call this a laminate love story.

Laminate furniture makeover -- How to turn old laminate furniture into AMAZING pieces {Heather's Handmade Life}
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