Fool Proof Way to Update Furniture Like a Pro

Fool Proof Way to Update Furniture Like a Pro

Hello friends! It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures, back this month with tips on The Fool Proof Way to Update Furniture Like a Pro! I have some tips to make your furniture finishes look like they were professionally done. Help you pick the best paint, primer and tools for the job. And finally a few quick and easy ways to update your furniture in minutes! If you’ve been craving updated furniture, but aren’t sure where to start, this is your chance.

Update Furniture Like a Pro Materials:
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How to Paint Furniture Like a Pro

Prepare Your Furniture the Right Way

Sanding Dresser

Proper preparation will make the whole project a success. First remove any hardware. Carefully look over your piece and fill any cracks or dents with wood putty.

How to Paint Furniture Like a Pro

Sand the putty and the rest of the furniture until the finish is smooth.

If you didn’t have to use any wood putty, a light sanding with a sanding block will go a long way to helping your paint stick and give you a smoother finish. Remove any sawdust, dirt and debris from the piece with a tack cloth or vacuum. Finish cleaning off the furniture with a damp rag and mild cleanser. Allow your furniture piece to dry.

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For the past six weeks I’ve been taking the Simplify101 workshop: Organizing101. Aby has been a great instructor, and it has motivated me to take back my home!

A few of the projects I’ve completed are:

Bathroom Vanity Drawers

Underneath the Kitchen Sink

Hall Coat Closet


…Duh, du, duuuunnnn. Our linen closet:

This abyss is 5 feet deep with no light…I wasn’t sure what I’d find in there. Did I just see E.T. hiding in that closet?

Per Aby’s instructions, I emptied the entire closet.

Uh huh, all that stuff was in that one closet! I told you it was an abyss. Check out that tail in the upper right hand corner, Pretty Handy Dog is coming to the rescue.

Wow, look at all that room. I can store…two little boys? Does this photo remind anyone else of Hansel and Gretel?

Once I had the closet emptied, I cleaned the shelves with some Shaklee Basic H2 cleaner (still liking this stuff!)

Now comes the fun part! I got to pretty up those ugly painted shelves with decorative contact paper (found at Target.)

When I worked for a sign and banner shop (oh about 22 years ago), I learned how to lay down vinyl without bubbles and wrinkles. The same method works well for contact paper as well.


  • Contact paper
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Staple gun
  • Safety Goggles



Begin by laying the contact paper on the shelf.

Cut it about 2 inches longer than the front of the shelf.

Flip the contact paper over and peel back about 3-4 inches and fold the backing down.

Now turn the contact paper back over so the adhesive is facing down. Line the paper up with the back edge and the wall. And press it down with your finger.

Gently pull the backing off the contact paper a few inches at a time.

At the same time press your hand in the middle of the paper and smooth the paper from the center to the outside edges. The goal is to push any air pockets out to the edge.

Pull the backing out a few more inches and use your hand to smooth forward and towards the sides again.

Repeat until the backing is completely removed.

If you need to, cut a notch out of the contact paper around the shelf supports.

Then fold the paper underneath the shelf.

Tack the paper in with the staple gun, one or two staples should hold it. Be very careful that the staple gun is shooting into the wood and not towards your face. In fact, Meri-K would tell you that you should be wearing eye protection while using a staple gun.

I chose to label the edges of my shelves (so Pretty Handsome Guy would obey the new closet organization rules!) I used some decorative baskets and bins to hold other odds and ends.

At the last minute I decided to add a plug-in style under-the-counter florescent light beside the door frame. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a light in this closet now! No more boogie men hiding in there.

And they all lived happily ever after with their newly organized linen closet.

Check back bright and early Saturday morning. I have an important announcement for y’all! Get those noise makers, party hats and confetti ready. It’s PARTY TIME!