Author Archives: Furniture Refurb

Afraid of Painting Your Furniture?


arhaus grey tablesIf Bassett, Crate & Barrel, and Ballard Design are painting theirs, why are you afraid to do it?

painted dressor crate and barrelSo much of our wood furniture–whether a scratched family heirloom or end tables we picked up in college–has the potential to be painted.  And, most importantly, painted furniture gives the piece another lifetime of use.painted dressor crate and barrel

At Elegant & Refined, we paint furniture by preparing and sealing the wood first.  We only apply paint that has been created for wood surfaces and lastly we lock in the paint with poly or wax.

Painted furniture is not only in style now but it truly can perk up a room with a hint of color that breaks up a monotonous décor.

An important footnote is that we do not recommend painting all wood.  Some of our furniture will never be painted.  The luster and grain of the wood means some pieces should not be touched. We have turned away potential clients because their wood furniture doesn’t need to be covered with paint.

How do you know if your furniture is ready for paint?  We recommend painting wood furniture that is faded, scratched or so out of style you are ready to pitch it. Let us help you decide and we will tell you the truth.

Once a client has picked a color, we often prepare paint boards so you get a look at what the paint will look like on the selected piece.

Still afraid?  Call us and we can walk you through your fear!



Re-Do Furniture with Good Bones

Julie white end table before 2With Halloween around the corner, what better time to talk about bones!  The old saying “it’s got great bones” is so appropriate when talking about  wood furniture!  Good Bones in our business means solid wood that’s perfect for a re-do and impossible to toss.

There are two big things to look for when considering a refresher on your wood furniture: composition and construction. For example, look for joint construction and if there’s glue involved, you shouldn’t see it.  If you do, you will likely be re-gluing the piece annually.

Structurally, look for solid wood or sturdy plywood, as opposed to pressboard. Don’t be fooled by terms like “hardwood” and “softwood,” which have more to do with the types of trees the wood comes from rather than the type of construction.

And lastly, forget the term “Destroy” when your solid wood furniture has “Good Bones.”File Sep 30, 5 11 27 PM

Check out these accent tables both solid as they can be and refurbished by Elegant & Refined for another lifetime of use.




Julie white end table after










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IMG_0030-1For over 30 years now, I have watched sadly as quality furniture stores in the DC area have closed down.  Inexpensive imports turned up in the big box stores appealing to the constant flow of young workers and families who migrate to the area, leaving both us old and new timers little choice.

Luckily, some families bring along beautiful furniture that has been passed down for generations or pieces they invested in years ago.But even those cherished pieces have been dinged and scratched by children, animals and careless party goers who left a cold drink on grandmother’s hutch.

IMG_0035-1To respond to this conundrum, small companies like ours began painting furniture to give solid wood furniture owners the option of using their pieces for another lifetime.

Today’s blog gives you a peak at some of our work and encourages you to review your  solid wood furniture pieces in the attic or basement or hiding in plain site.

We are a women-owned small business supported by a troupe of delivery guys and a great community. Chain Bridge Bank (,  Cooper rocker finishedMcLean Hardware(, and Color Wheel ( have all welcomed us and worked with us over the past three years so we can keep providing a unique hand painted furniture service, unlike any others.

Don’t fret because you can no longer purchase a Baker or Henredin original of fine quality solid woods.  Take the old ones and let us  breathe some new life into them. You won’t regret your decision and your bank account will thank you for trying something new!






Our oldest hand painted piece to date

A dear old friend asked if we could update a desk that her father built back in shop class in high school. It had been sitting in her attic for decades waiting for attention. Except for a few rusty hinges and handles and a broken back cover, it was in pretty good shape.

handcrafted drop leaf deskDiane Page desk detail


We started with a thorough cleaning, light sanding and minor repair work.

handcrafted drop leaf desk
Our client wanted to brighten this up for her daughter’s New York City apartment and she requested a robin’s egg blue as the central color. We were able to custom make this color using latex paint that we had on hand and adding one part calcium carbonate to two parts paint to create our own chalk paint.

After painting just one coat of color on the piece we gently sanded it to get some of the old wood to shine through and then applied a medium dark wax for additional detail. Here’s how it turned out! Another happy client! And we’re thrilled that one of our hand painted masterpieces now resides in the Big Apple!

hand painted drop leaf desk

hand painted drop leaf desk

Hand-Painted Furniture Highlighted in Granddaughter’s Nursery

Hand-Painted Love in Granddaughter's Nursery

Hand-Painted Love in Granddaughter’s Nursery

Our customers and friends have asked us to share more personal stories with them–so here we go.

My oldest daughter picked coral, pink and gold to build a sweet spot for her upcoming bundle of joy. Next she was off to the races to find pieces that gave the room an elegant but warm feeling.

She started with artwork framed and full of gold metallic hearts.  Next a gold striped lampshade arrived and then an Etsy artist provided custom painted sheets (safe for the baby) in coral and gold chevron and stripes.

My daughter was pleased to find a changing table but it needed some TLC.  Well, let’s just say it was salvageable at best!  Old and chipped but with Benjamin Moore’s coral paint AND beautiful iron knobs from another Etsy artist, it turned from a pumpkin into show stopper. Grandma and “Aunt” Laura were happy to turn that potential Ceci's room 1“disaster dresser” into creamy coral heaven.