Creating Tacky Furniture

As we all know, tacky, unused furniture can be found in just about every home. It lurks in the recesses of our rooms, hidden behind piles of clothes or stashed in an attic or basement, future Salvation Army fodder. But the tacky I bring to you is something you can do to recreate a piece of furniture you might otherwise discard. All it takes is a little paint and a few tacks to create a design original.

I first came up with the idea after I pulled a broken vintage stool from a cellar clean out somebody had left on the side of the road as trash. Along with the stool was a table that had been slightly modified with an extra board added at the bottom for stability. I'm pretty sure it had been used as some type of work bench.

Both of these discarded items sat in my cellar for a few months before I decided to do anything with them. It was the find of an awesome primitive bench complete with tack embellishments at a nearby vintage store that inspired me to upcycle the pieces.

First, I repaired the stool and spray painted it a John Deere green. Then I carefully hammered cheap white tacks you can get at the grocery store in the hardware section (the ones that are on cardboard backs) to the legs, but I didn't like the contrast between the white and green, so I spray painted over the tacks. I loved the textured look it gave to the piece.

Instead of painting the table, I sanded its original green paint and sprayed with a coat of clear to show off where the wood came through and to give new life to the existing paint. Then, I embellished it with heavier brass tacks. It gave the piece a totally different and appealing look. I knew I had done something right when an interior designer friend of mine purchased it from me to use as a plant stand in his kitchen.

I did other smaller stands later and have had great success with this type of furniture upcycling. It's a nice and easy alternative to keeping your tacky furniture in hiding.

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