by laura janning

Six of my Best Before and After Furniture Makeovers

August 12, 2013

I equate painting furniture projects a lot like my little Lily trying to ride her bicycle, the more you ride the more comfortable you feel.....and the faster you take the training wheels off.

Of course the first few pieces are daunting, perhaps even scary but surprisingly after your first few projects it's as though you have been riding without those training wheels forever.

Like this table in my Keeping room. The first table I ever painted. Here's the before~

And after~
 My one true table love. For more click here.

Then this cute little goodwill table that I found for next to nothing.

Since I really loved the top of the table but didn't want the 70's vibe that came along with it,  I decided to just paint the base and restain the top.
 Best decision that I could have made with this piece. 
Click here for more transformation details.

I think I begin to question (and tremble) my decision to paint, when it comes to expensive or sentimental pieces. 
My mantra is "Paint now, ask for forgiveness later"

Years ago and before kids, this piece set us back a few more dollars then I would spend today. Since I love the chest and wasn't going to part with it, I needed to make it work in the room so I transformed it with a little paint. 


I have never shared this 'version' of the chest before and will be sharing more on this beauty soon.

However nothing makes my brow sweat more then painting 'fixed' furniture pieces. There's nothing like the thought of screwing it up, and having to walk by it every single day of your life with your head down in shame. 
During lunch one day I decided to throw a little paint on my fireplace mantle. I figured if it was unplanned and quick, I wouldn't have a lot of time to back out.

Here's the before~

And the after, which by the way was the prelude to my biggest furniture makeover....ever.
For more click here.

The cabinetry in my breakfast room.  Yes, my biggest painting project in my life.
The before~

And the after.

Click here for more of this transformation.

Luckily I can walk by both of these pieces with my head up and proud....and not hear husbands "I told you so". And although my husband is equally happy with the outcome.... it did take some serious convincing because he would prefer wood over paint in all most cases.

And speaking of sentimental ...I always knew there was a reason that we hang on to some of those pieces, like this dresser that my husband acquired before we got married. It was in storage until I transformed it into my office credenza.
 Here's the before~

And after~
Hard to believe my husband had a life without me....kinda like this credenza.
You can see how I took the bachelor out of the dresser here.

And if the outcome of any of my painting projects is not as positive as I would like, it's just like I tell my little Lily when she takes a fall off that bike of her's.....just get up and paint try again.

What's the last piece of furniture that you painted....or have you not taken your training wheels off yet?

PS- Other then a bruised ego, Lily was fine and training wheels will be coming off shortly.
PPS- For more of my painting projects visit my project gallery here.

Grateful for~
Preservance and determination and being able to instill that in my kids.

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  1. They all look like good decisions to me Laura and they all turned out gorgeous. I have soooo many pieces that I want to paint.

  2. All of your transformations are simply amazing, Laura. That credenza in your office is one of my favorites. Your sweet Lily is just too cute for words.

  3. All of your painting projects are just beautiful Laura...giving them more life and beauty...Lily has her mom's tenacity!

  4. Laura,
    I love the white bombe chest!

  5. love all of these, but your office dresser is my fave!

  6. My husband has this dresser that he claims is over 100 years old. The man wont let me paint it! I have tried and tried to convince him that it's "just paint and can be removed," but he wont hear of it. So...there it sits....looking sad and just downright ugly. I wish he could see the potential. :) Your furniture pieces are just beautiful!

  7. All of your pieces are beautiful. I especially loved the bookcase wall, it is wonderful. Hugs, Marty

  8. Love all the transformations, Laura, especially that cabinetry! Lily looks adorable on her bike... Jillian has tried taking the training wheels off, but then on they go again. :-)

  9. Oh my goodness, Laura! What transformations! You really have an amazing eye for the beauty inside the piece. I am just so sorry that I did not see them all in person!

  10. Wow you are an inspiration...Thank you for sharing...

  11. The pieces that you have done are all gorgeous. You have done some great work. I haven't been painting anything, via Cloches and Lavender. I hope you will read and follow along. I would LOVE to have you as a follower. I hope Lilly was ok from her fall.


  12. So glad you took the plunge and painted anyways, knowing it might turn out great or not. But in your case, your projects are gorgeous Laura! Paint on :)

    xo, Tanya

  13. Your painting projects are so gorgeous! I'm really envious of those bookcases of yours. They are so pretty and look like they could be out of the pages of a magazine!

  14. Inspiring! Love the round table and the built in book cases!! I have a mantle that is similar and I think I am inspired to try a little Annie Sloan on it now that I see yours....hopefully I can hold my head up high too!--great post! aimee

  15. They all look beautiful and it is hard to imagine that your husband had a life before you. :)


    P.S. So glad no children were seriously injured in the making of this post :)

  16. All your transformations are fabulous! I wish I had your guts!! You're giving me the motivation to just do it!!~~Angela

  17. I've got some projects for you - come on over, I'll supply the wine (and band aids)!

  18. I have to say your pieces are beautiful. I have a coffee table I am trying to get brave enough to paint! You have given me the inspiration to do it!
    Have a great week!
    The Adored Home

  19. The chest and the huge cabinet are fab!! Nice job on all of them Laura!

  20. Love them all! My fav is your hubby's old dresser, I think. I could not see the potential there and turned out a-mazing! Very talented you are!! XO

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  25. Very useful article, after reading this I get a lot of ideas to try things that have never been done before
    thank you :D


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