In Melissa Pribish’s world, everything old is new again. The Jupiter resident has made a business out of giving old furniture new life, refinishing pieces and selling them at Do-Over Décor in Jensen Beach. “Growing up, I was taught to always see the value in things,” says Pribish, 49, whose great-aunt Dorothy was an antiques dealer. “You just didn’t throw anything away.”
Pribish is one of 16 local artists whose pieces are sold at Do-Over Décor. The shop was opened in 2018 by Denise Aragona, 58, a Port St. Lucie resident who had recently started dabbling in furniture refurbishing at the time. She got the idea for Do-Over Décor when she realized her particular style didn’t appeal to everyone. “I decided to add vendors who share the same passion but each have a different style,” she says.
With an estimated 12 million tons of furnishings being discarded by Americans every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, refurbishers like Aragona and Pribish are diminishing the impact on landfills. In addition, reusing old furniture means fewer trees are harvested for new furniture manufacturing.
Most of the pieces sold at the shop come from estate sales, yard sales, and neighbors’ castoffs that might otherwise end up in landfills. To create new pieces, the artists use a range of techniques including paint washes, layering, blended finishes, and colored wax to add dimension. Some, like Pribish, also incorporate transfers, stencils, and hand painting to create unique graphical designs. “I let the furniture speak to me,” says Pribish.
For budding furniture refinishers, Do-Over Décor also offers classes in basics and specific techniques including Furniture Painting 101, Resin Art, and Special Techniques. Pribish urges newbies not to be afraid to give it a go: “Just try it, because if you don’t like the results the first time, you just do it over again!”
Pribish notes that Palm Beach Regency, Hollywood Regency, and sleek looks are all very popular now, while coastal decor is always in demand. Rattan, faux bamboo, and vintage Florida are also trending. “Think modernizing The Golden Girls,” she says. Want to get started on your own custom piece? Here are her three top tips for beginners:
Start with good bones. Pick a quality piece of furniture and examine it closely. Make sure you know in advance if it needs repair and how to fix it.
Prep is key. Spend a lot of time stripping, sanding, patching, and priming. The better the prep, the better your finish will be.
Start small. Begin with an easy piece like a small table, then work your way to more complicated projects.