I have done this twice. Below is one example: a little passage of color in an otherwise woody and neutral set of rooms.
Color is in my collection of objects (mainly orange and green) set off by a sweet little cabinet bought for five dollars at our local flea market. Removing paint on some things is preferable to adding it. Remove it, reveal older color layers, and then apply a glossy finish to reinforce the idea that this surface is intentional, not simply neglected.
The first step was to straighten the faces, re-glue and clamp. After drying, some of the orange paint was removed with an electric sander to reveal the other colors in the cabinet’s history. The whole process took maybe two hours.
Last weekend we bought this little table for ten dollars. Yesterday I knocked the project out. The table had many paint layers and was very flaky. The table top is tongue and groove, and Glenn had to fit the puzzle back together. Much of the table is put together with pegs and did not need much structural work.
The flaky paint was easily removed with the electric sander. Then I concentrated on the edges of the legs, revealing a darker incarnation. These lines define the legs nicely. There is a beaded edge along the base supporting the tabletop, and the paint was removed from that detail as well. Also, the rounded pegs holding the legs to the base lost their white color.
I think this little table must have been in someone’s garage for use in paint projects. When we got it, the top was a s**t brown. Underneath was a rich red. White drips were superficial and in masses on the top. They sanded off very easily as did some of the brown. The table top got richer and richer. What I noticed then was the shadow of words from a newspaper printed on the red parts, underneath the brown. By this time there was an even smooth surface, and I decided to leave the words. Some are readable, some not. All part of the history.
It is so much fun to do this! Told my husband that a little business could be created here, and he said yeah. Which one of these things could you sell?
Just around the corner from this table, my ladies of the shower are moving towards completion, slowly.