a guest post and a restyle from A Florida Girl!

Today, I leave you in the capable and creative hands of my real-life friend, Iris, aka A Florida Girl. I first met Iris over 3 years ago at a cheesy Christmas sweater party. She’d transformed a big santa sweatshirt into a one-shouldered mini dress that I’m pretty sure a Neiman Marcus buyer would’ve scooped up for winter inventory. It was “love-this-girl-and-must-become-her-bestie” at first sight. Since then, our little circle of girlfriends has tirelessly nagged Iris to start a blog. She did. And it’s all kinds of awesome. Here’s a sneak peek at her DIY skillz — yeah, they’re that good and require a “z” — so check it out and then bookmark her blog

HOLA Pretty Penny readers! I am so happy to be hangin’ with you guys today. I’m Iris from A Florida Girl and am a real life friend of your beautiful and talented, Keira.

The husband and I just moved up to North Florida into a house that needs a little ton of love. So, needless to say, I am up to my ears (and hair) in paint, dust, and remodeling projects. Since this is pretty much what my life consists of right now, I thought I’d go through one of my smaller painting projects with you.

Raise your hand if you have a piece of furniture that needs painting in your house. Yep. That’s what I thought. So, maybe I can send a little motivation your way to pick up the sponge roller and get ‘er done already. Or, maybe you want to just drink tea eat M&M’s and read about my adventure. Either way. I’ll allow it.

You ready, baby? Aight.

Enter yellow, peeling, neglected cedar chest.

My husband’s sweet Nana willed this to us when she passed away last year and it has just been hanging out at the foot of our bed since we moved. It also holds all of my out-of-season clothing since my closet is about the size of Polly Pocket’s.

It is a really heavy piece of furniture with great bones, so I’ve always been pretty stoked on it. I have also always known that it was just a matter of time before I got my grimy, little, paint splattered hands on it and whipped it into shape.

After some contemplation about paint color, I decided I wanted it to be on the darker side to create a contrast since it sits against our completely white bedding. I also decided that I wanted it to have a nice, glossy finish, because I’m fancy like that. So, I went with a color called Almost Charcoal in a high gloss finish. I always have my paint colors matched in Lowe’s Olympic brand because it’s low VOC, cheaper, and actually a really great, thick paint.

I started by lightly sanding the entire piece with 100 grit sandpaper and then I broke out the oil based primer. Why do I use oil based primer? WELL, I have found that it covers a lot better and prevents stains or wood grain from showing through on your final product. It’s okay to use latex paint over oil based primer. The thing you want to avoid is applying latex paint over oil based paint. Unless you really like that gooey, bubbled look.

I gave the entire chest a thin coat of primer with a small foam roller brush. As you can see, the primer doesn’t have to be perfectly even in tone. As long as the whole piece is thinly covered, you’re golden.

When the primer was completely dry, I went ahead and applied my first coat of latex paint. I really like using a sponge roller rather than a paint brush on wood painting projects because it helps tremendously in spreading out the paint evenly across the surface. Three or four thin coats are always better than one thick, goopey one.

Here she is after getting her second and third coat of latex.

Since I wanted this to be super shiny and glossy, I decided to go the extra mile and apply a coat of water-based poly to the top. If you want to do this yourself, I would highly recommend Miniwax. Some other brands have been known to crack or yellow over time.

I applied the poly with a paint brush, making sure to use thin, even strokes. Just a word of caution, when applying any paint or poly, you cannot go back over a surface that is still wet to try to smooth it. It will give you really bad lines and drag marks. The best thing to do is work your way from one side of the furniture to the other and wait until it’s completely dry before going back over places for touch up. Also, make sure you wait a full 72 hours to let everything dry before using the piece.

Thar she blows.

Stella Cedar done got her groove back.

So, what about you guys? Have you painted anything lately? Anyone else hoarding old furniture that’s in need of some love?

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  1. 3.25.14

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  2. 2.13.12
    psbydila said:

    That looks amazing!


  3. 2.11.12

    Fabulous, i´ll be back soon.


  4. 2.11.12

    I literally stomped my feet in jealousy. Love the finished product!

  5. 2.9.12

    Mmm, mama like! You know I love a glossy finish. Remember the peacock tables I had? I coulda used all your advice when I did those. They turned out sweet, but I got a little antsy on the drying :) I love this and can’t to see it in person!

  6. 2.9.12
    Anonymous said:

    You are my hero! I lure everything about your blog and Mrs. Iris’ too!

  7. 2.9.12
    rhiannon said:

    wow! that looks so gorgeous, awesome job!


  8. 2.9.12

    I like the weathered antique look, so I would not have painted the chest in the first place, but you did a really nice job of painting. Very smooth and shiny.

    • 2.9.12
      aflgirl said:

      It’s definitely a personal preference thing. I really love a well executed (or natural) weathered look on a lot of things, as well. I think I was just ready for something smooth after looking at that yellowy paint for sooo long. Thanks for the comment! xo, Iris

  9. 2.9.12
    Denise said:

    Believe it or not I have a cedar chest that needs to be refinished… Perfect timing on your part :)

    • 2.9.12
      aflgirl said:

      Yes I wrote this just for you, Denise. ;) Best of luck with the project! xo, Iris

  10. 2.9.12
    briannacarson said:

    Wow, the grey really perks it up! Thanks for the idea :)

  11. 2.9.12

    We recently painted a few things. We started easy and simple, but it is so fun and we can’t wait to do more! http://wordsofwilliams.com/how-to-give-your-old-furniture-a-new-look/

    • 2.9.12
      aflgirl said:

      Cute! Isn’t is amazing what a little paint can do? I love the fabric you chose for the chair. xo, Iris