In this mid-mod upcycling project, Made + Remade Creative Genius Samantha Pattillo puts her experience as a furniture designer to work on a salvaged credenza, with fabulously funky results. See more of the process on her blog or skip ahead to part two (designing and painting).
I found my credenza accidentally when I went on a Craigslist run for two chairs I had seen on a listing. This little guy was hidden in the back of that garage and I knew that he just had to come home with me. For $45 and a little love, I knew I could give him a better life.
I knew parts of him were damaged — he had some deep gouges and years of rough wear on his aged body. I wanted to see what the extent of the damage really was, and the best way to do that was to strip him down. (Isn’t that the best way to really get to know anyone?)
Stripping finishes can be a pain depending on the detail of the piece, but when you are working with furniture that has very thin veneer, you can’t just sand it down. Look at the back edge of one of the boards on the furniture to see if it is veneered or not. Only the back or bottom edge will show it since makers use ‘edge banding’ on the fronts to hide it so it looks like solid wood. If the veneer is less than an 1/8” you want to sand as little as possible.
Since my guy was veneered (with what looked to be a pecan wood) I needed to strip that finish off. Here he is after being stripped.
Read on below to see how I stripped the credenza and prepped it for painting, and get tips for doing the same to your own diamond-in-the-rough furniture. Click on the corner of any how-to image to bring up a larger slideshow of the process.