You may remember a few weeks back (ok, more like a few months back would be more accurate…) I scored an awesome mid-century modern credenza for $100 off Craigslist. I knew it had potential, but somehow it fell on the back burner to a slew of other projects.
I was browsing around in an antique shop on Main one day when I stumbled upon a product called Restor-a-Finish. It’s got to be one of the first times that I didn’t discover a product in blogland! Of course, low and behold, Kate from Centsational Girl had already done a review, so I was doubly keen to try it.
How did it take me this long to do? It was so easy and so so worth it. I literally moved the arm chair I blog from (that white one in the corner) to a different angle just so I could stare at it while writing this post. Such a dork.
My purchase was in pretty good shape, and I loved the antique colour and feel of the piece. I didn’t want to fully strip and stain it; I wanted to preserve its vintage quality. Here’s the full play by play I followed to get it in shape.
I didn’t edit the colour in these images at all so you can get a true idea of how it turned out!
1. Scrub it with a magic eraser
The piece was in decent shape, but there were lots of little dings and scratches, along with some leftover sticker marks. I used a magic eraser to get rid of the marks and to do a very light sanding (since YHL taught me it’s equivalent of a very fine grit sand paper).
Here’s one corner of the piece when I got it home:
And after a few minutes with my favourite cleaning sponge:
2. Wipe the whole thing down with microfiber cloth.
3. Wipe on restor-a-finish and wipe off with a clean cloth.
Here’s the same corner, now restored.
Restor-a-Finish is like the lightly tinted nail polish you use to make your nails look simple and polished. It’s not going to completely change the piece like a red manicure would; it will just enhance the natural grain and finish of the wood. Plus, like clear nail polish, it’s virtually fool proof. Don’t worry if you put a bit too much on; you can easily wipe it off. (Also, yes, like other reviews said, it smells. It didn’t bother me much though because again, it just smells like nail polish!)
I just poured a bit into a container, took a spare clean rag and wiped it on. Then, with another clean one, I wiped it off. Easy.
It did recommend using very fine steel wool for deeper scratches, probably like mine. I kind of like still being able to see a few of them like this though: adds character in my opinion.
4. Apply Feed-n-Wax.
After a couple hours, once the product was fairly dry (it leaves an oily residue for the first while, so I found that when I would be comfortably putting my things back on the piece, it was ready for a wax). I applied Feed-n-Wax to protect it and add a nice finish. Once it had been on 20 minutes, as per instructions, I wiped it off. Even easier. Plus, it smells much better!
Doesn’t it look so much more vibrant? It was so dull before. (Though I suppose it’s a matter of opinion. My boyfriend can’t tell the difference. Kind of like a haircut.)
This is now one of my favourite little “nooks” in our home. I’m not sure if those cute Moroccan style mirrors will stay there since it’s such a large expanse of wall, but they’re great for the interim.
Magic Eraser: Around $3
Pretty sweet deal for $126! I’ve seen other credenzas in speciality mid-century modern stores for upwards of $800. Plus, this only took me about 2 hours total work time to complete.
What projects have you been putting off recently? Anything you’ve been over the moon to have finally completed?