IKEA Hemnes TV Unit That Needed Some Lovin'...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Our sad IKEA Hemnes TV unit had seen better days. I've had this unit since 2010 and it has been though FOUR moves. One of those moves was to a storage unit, which is where I believe it suffered most of the injuries you see below [minus the scratches--those were most likely from our old dog, Sasha]. This poor piece had some nice dents and awesome scratches and just looked plain raggedy. Also, I was kind of over the super dark black-brown wood, since we have a smaller apartment. I've been finding myself shying away from dark furniture because I just feel like it makes the space feel even smaller. I could have made my life easier years ago and just bought the white stain one IKEA sells...but hey, a fixer upper is always fun too! 

I turned to trusty Minwax for wood filler. I made sure to purchase a filler that could accept paint and stain. I had no problems using it at all. I applied with my finger and my putty knife over all the spots that I felt like needed it. I had let it dry a couple days before sanding it because I didn't have time to get to it before then. I just used a fine grit sanding block and went over each area I applied the filler just so that it was flush with the wood. I then used a tack cloth to wipe away and dust off the piece before I painted it.


Here's where things got interesting...I like to experiment and try different chalk type paints out there. I had read on another blog that this girl used this chalk type paint from Home Depot called Americana Decor. So I went out and got an 8oz can for about $9, thinking it would be plenty to cover my piece. Wrong--it was really thick and I wound up having to buy another 8oz can. [Duh, I know, I should've just added water] This is when I started kicking myself in the ass for not just going with Annie Sloan [and adding water]... but that required me to drive like 20 mins when I only wanted to drive 5 mins. Being lazy doesn't pay.

See how from far away this old thing doesn't look so bad on the internet?
Proving many projects you see on Pinterest that don't provide close ups probably look like shit in person.
So theeeeeen, I got my second can. Same deal, had them shake it in store. I shook it at home, stirred it up. And then I noticed something just wasn't right. It felt like there were huge chunks in the can...because there were. See? Total nightmare.
I kind of definitely cursed a lot when this happened. But from that one time I made my own chalk type paint and almost failed, I remembered that water can save the day. So I added a little bit of water to some of the chunks that I poured into my paint can, and then stirred it up until I got the consistency I wanted. EEK! I don't know if I just got a bad batch, or it had been sitting on the shelf for two damn years, but I would say at this point I do NOT recommend this paint. In order to keep from ruining my piece, since even the first can the paint was very thick [but not at all like this second one], I lightly ran a fine grit sanding block over the piece to make sure I got out any little chunks the paint left behind and then I cleaned off the dust with a tack cloth.

Luckily, my piece SOMEHOW turned out exactly like I had wanted it too. Phew and amen. This is the area where I had applied a lot of the wood filler, and taken at the same angle as the photo above where I showed you how much I had to fill in. I'm very pleased with the results. You can barely tell there were icky dents!


I decided to distress just a little with a medium grit sanding block. I liked the way the black-brown color came through, and in some parts the original color of the wood. After distressing, I applied Annie Sloan clear wax with an old t-shirt, because I always have that handy and find it to be the best wax.

Even though I thought this paint was the devil, I like the strokes I got from it. And now our living room is a much happier and brighter place. Once I get my much hated olive green chair out of the right corner, I'll write a post sharing the whole living space.







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