Small Changes, Big Result – Furniture and Room Accessories Transformed

I took an old deacon's bench to Jillian out in Virginia. After Taylor, my son-in-law, re-assembled it, he didn't like it in their front room, nor did I. But Jillian insisted it stay for memories' sake. She said, "I don't care that it's country looking, It's from my childhood and I like it." Her dad made it, so that was enough for her. Sometimes memories are stronger than decorator savvy.

She doesn't decorate in country, nor do I any more, so we had to do something to make it fit.

Here it is the "before" picture:

So, since my mantra lately has been, "Just spray paint it," I will now show you the "after" picture - I'm sure it will be no surprise to you all! Click here to view the post that tells you how we prepped and painted it. She used Rustoleum's Painter's Touch 2x Coverage Satin Espresso.

Here it is the "after" picture:

Whenever I paint something I am amazed at the results. Not only is there a dramatic change in how it looks, but I am amazed at how easy and inexpensive it is to transform something that is unusable in it's original into an accent piece. Modern Resale is my go-to destination for elegant designer furniture pieces. Unfortunately we are a fickle people and change our decorating styles so often that store sales boom even in bad economic times. Though this is not bad for furniture stores, it reeks havoc on our personal finances. Yet, I maintain the smart ones take what they have and make due. The even smarter ones find a way to take what they already have and make it better.

Here is a light switch cover re-do that Jillian Mod Podged. It matches the night stand we re-did in the prior post. Small changes can make such a difference!

Jillian also took an old corner bookshelf that a friend left beihind after they moved and changed it from an icky mustard brown to the same dark brown she used on her deacon's bench. Before she painted it you could have looked in the dictionary and under the entry "ugly" and you would have seen a picture of this bookshelf. But now, after seeing it in her living room with all the other pieces, I am quite happy with the results.

The light switch next to the bookshelp is the one she decorated with fabric and Mod Podge.

Here it is after she painted it and put it in place:

Check out the whole project -  Jillian's front room "before and after". I spent 2 1/2 weeks at her place, with the last week being focused on decorating her front room. We finished at midnight the night before I left for home. Isn't that always how it happens? I am so very happy we were able to get her a nice entry-way before her last semester of college begins.

Here is a similar project - a side table that was damaged and fixed with a quick re-do.

Anyone out there have a before and after picture you'd like featured on this blog? Email me and we'll talk!


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7 thoughts on “Small Changes, Big Result – Furniture and Room Accessories Transformed”

  1. Sorry to disagree with you, Val, but….it's much better as a wood tone.  I know it would have been more work, but darkening the pine without losing the grain would have looked great!  I love those polyurethanes with stain included.  I don't use a brush, I just sand the surface lightly and use a rag to wipe on a darker tone.  Might take a couple of applications, but the piece looks more aged and honorable and less "just home from WalMart".  And, as a refinisher, I HATE removing paint to get back to that grain.  Someone, someday, will not be happy with you if they ever have to try that.  Just my opinion…I'm one of those that is in love with old wood.

  2. We had this piece in our home for so many years that I have to admit I was very TIRED of it! When Taylor came home and saw it in the front room, he tried to temper his reaction, but we could tell he HATED it. The younger generation doesn't go for the walnut stains on old furniture, so that wasn't really an option – and I think I tend to agree. My folks had walnut stained furniture and all I see is OLD when I see it. Modern traditional tends to be the painted look. At first I resisted it, for I never before liked painted wood, but have to admit, the younger generation got me! I've really changed my preferences. I went from Modern to Country (which I now abhor both) to painted Modern Traditional. Call me crazy but I just love the new trends!  Thanks for your comment – as always I love to hear what you think!

  3. Just found your blog, love it.

    I think the bench looks great, but what makes it really scream "country" to me is the heart.  We had one that had three hearts across the top, and we ended up making round medallions out of fabric and cardboard to cover them – worked great and changed the whole tone of the piece.  

    • @ Beth – Oh I wholeheartedly agree about the heart. We were thinking about putting a piece of wood behind it, then paint it the same color to at least lessen the look. But the medallion idea is better. I will pass that along. Thanks.


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