The Dark Side

You know what I’m craving lately? If you said brownies, you are wrong, haha! Because I currently have one in my mouth right now. But you were half right, because the answer is browns. Deep, dark, earthy colors. Wood tones. What has gotten into me?

I wasn’t even mad when I saw the color of the year for 2015 is Marsala.  A) that’s a tasty pasta sauce and B) it’s a rich, robust, red/brown which sounds terrible when I describe it, and pretty much everybody else hates it, but you know what? Consider me the one lone fan in the grandstands waving my tiny Marsala-colored flag saying “Hey, it’s not so bad!”

So let’s get down and dirty with a few full-bodied makeovers today, starting with these side tables from Bre. She tore off the old leather of nastiness and used an adorable french stencil in its place, along with a two-tone paint job that screams sophistication. But y’know, sophisticatedly.

See them on her blog BrePurposed.


two wood side tables before

Black - Brown - Side Tables - Script -Makeover |


Black - Brown - Side Tables - Script -Makeover |

Megan didn’t care for the light wood of this armoire and she had nothing to lose since it was a freebie. So she decided to go all the way.  That’s right, this was her FIRST furniture makeover ever. (I hope you used protection Megan. Gloves of course! Stain is a nightmare to get off your hands, amiright?)

Great job. Let’s give her a communal high-five.See more on her blog C’mon, Get Crafty.



And lastly, a lovely set from Sarah, whose thirsty pieces were crying out for a long deep drink of drama. Coaxing out that wood grain and a slick coat of black gloss around the frame did the trick.  Schmancy.

See more on her blog FunCycled.



brown cabinet before

armoire makeover

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Chest Bumps

Sweet tarnation, this before chest is giving me the sweats.  If you’re new here, you may not know that I have a mild phobia of knotty wood. I’m shuddering just looking at it! Quick, let’s scroll down to the after.


wood chest before


Wood Chest - to - Gray Buffet - Makeover |

Phew.  This I can handle. Better After reader Angi received this chest from a friend who was about to toss it.  Who can turn down orphan furniture? Not our girl Angi! Problem was, she didn’t need another chest.  But she realized with a few modifications, it would make a perfect buffet for holding linens and tablewares in her dining room.

I’m including her process here, since she doesn’t have a blog.  (PS: did you know you can always send me your makeover submissions, whether you’re blogger or not? I’d love to see them! Shoot me an email at betterafter@live(dot)com).

Angi says:

  • I removed the top and stripped off all the finish. I soaked in a bottle of mineral oil and then used 3 coats of Watco Butcher Block to re-seal and finish the top, lightly sanding in between. I wanted to be able to use the top for food prep.
  • I also wanted to be able to access the buffet from the top and from the front. I had to cut the front off the chest, and shorten the length by 1 inch so the front would rest in front instead of inside. I attached it with some cabinet hinges so it would lie flat when opened for additional surface work area.I built the inside from another old cedar chest, and created drawers from wine boxes.
  • I added legs to bring it up to a height I liked and tapered the legs to mimic other mission/shaker pieces I have. I also added the framework to the front.



This makeover also started life out differently, first as a piano bench.  What good is a piano bench with no piano?  Well, it’s actually perfect for when I play my air piano, but I haven’t done that in years. I wish I would have stuck with it. I could be playing at air Carnegie Hall right now.

But regrets aside, this bench is still serving a functional purpose, now as a distressed coffee table.

Debbie didn’t mess with much, just shortened the legs and built a new top right on top of the old top, hip hop ya don’t stop. She also added a shelf on the bottom for extra storage, and since it still opens up, there’s storage a-plenty.  Can’t ever have enough of that.  Check it out on her blog Painted Therapy.


piano bench before


Wood - Stained  - Top - Piano to Coffee Table - Makeover |


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Set in Stains

Pop quiz time! Let’s say you restore furniture for a living.  A client comes to you asking for a bright, modern makeover on this set of oak dressers.  You want to give her what she asks for, but you can’t stand the thought of covering up all that beautiful wood grain. Do you:

A. Paint it. Give the client what she wants.

B. Stain it. Insist that she doesn’t know what she wants.

C. Quit the restoring furniture business.  Go get a job at the zoo.

D. Work your makeover magic mojo and make everyone happy.

I’ll bet you can guess what Sarah at FunCycled did …


plain dressers before

Stained - Ombre - Dressers - Aqua - Makeover | Betterafter.netOf course she picked D! I give it an A+.

Sarah and her client were thrilled with the results of this ombre stain and teal treatment.  And check this out:

Stained - Ombre - Dressers - Aqua - Makeover |

Now that’s just cool. I feel the need to go find a bunch of matching dresser sets today.

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Knock it out of the park!

Dated design, worn out wood, and numberless knobs. Three strikes and this dresser was out.

But Sarah couldn’t retire it to the dugout just yet.  She had a curve-ball up her sleeve, a change-up that could make this dresser score big.

Would it work?

Here’s the wind-up …

and the pitch …
dresser makeover mcm before|

baseball themed dresser makeover |

Boom! A grand slam home run of rad!

*thunderous applause*

*triumphant marching band music*

*confetti cannons*


Good eye Sarah! See more at FunCycled.

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