ITH outdoor activities curtailed by the pandemic, many people
have turned to new, stay-at-home hobbies, including DIY furni-ture
“When COVID happened, we saw a rise in paint sales and
custom orders,” says Jody Dorsey, owner of Wilmington antique
store Flea Body’s. “What’s a better way to make yourself feel better than a makeover?”
Other benefits include it is often cheaper to refurbish, there is sentimentality in
keeping grandma’s chair, older furniture is usually made from real wood, and often
the pieces are made in America, she says.
Adding color to an old piece of furniture with paint or fabric is a simple way to add
a personal touch to a project.
“When I first started professionally 12 years ago, painted furniture was not that
popular. It has more appeal now,” Dorsey says.
In fact, the interest in painting furniture seems to be trending. The introduction
to furniture painting classes offered at Flea Body’s always fill up quickly.
The upswing in DIY projects applies to all types of people and includes all types of
painting. Dorsey says seniors like to do a craft with paint or decoupage. Others like
technique classes on glazing, waxing, or embellishing. There are many options for
choosing paint types — chalk based, mineral based, acrylic, milk paint and more.
One embellishment currently popular is Saltwash. The product, produced in
Wilmington and used throughout the world, gives a layered, coastal look to projects.
Dorsey advises new DIYers to pick a furniture project with good bones. Do some
detective work to make sure the furniture is solid wood, and not just wood veneer. She
says to check the back or bottom of a piece. Compressed layers means laminate. A sign
of real wood furniture is dovetailed drawers, which look like joined puzzle pieces.
“Make sure it is sturdy and don’t use any rotted or moldy wood. It’s hard to get
WBM november 2020