Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DIY: Refurnishing a dresser

So I don't intend to start every entry with a comment about my employment status, but here you have it - I still don't have a job (although I am working part-time for a friend who has her own business). Since we're leaving in a few weeks to Europe anyway, I have to admit that it has been difficult to keep up the search with the same amount of gusto.

In this whole job search process, a number of working friends have - in hushed voices - told me to enjoy this space and time to do other things that just don't happen when one is working. So, partly out of my need for sanity and busy-ness and partly out of a keen interest in having a new home that I really like, I've tackled a few projects that will hopefully make it to the blog. Here's the first...

DIY (Do It Yourself) project #1: Refurnishing a dresser


Recently we inherited a dresser from some friends who were moving, and although it was white and painted quite pretty, I had been wrestling with a vision of an "antique blue" piece to spice up our new bedroom. She immediately became the perfect guinea pig.


Thanks to many online tutorials, Phil (who let me use his power tools), and a mask I had taken home from my last doctor's visit (to protect against H1N1), the project was off to a start. The first steps were to sand down the top layer of paint (and in some areas, about three layers came off), and wipe down the piece to get rid off all of the dust.


This is what the piece looked like after the sander did its duty. Not very pretty, but having a new coat of paint stick requires that a piece have a "rougher" edge to grab onto, rather than an old glossy layer of paint.

The picture below shows the most frustrating part of the process: the detail work. Clearly this is also one of the highlights of the piece, but painters in the past had been sloppy around the details, and the paint layers in the crevices were so thick that putting the frictional heat from the electric sander onto the paint created a gummy mess that was difficult to smooth.


After a layer of primer in the picture below, things were starting to look up. Primer serves as an adhesive that sticks the raw wood or old paint to the new layer. They recently came out with a combo primer/paint which is great and saves a step, but this one being my first piece, I wanted to try my hand at doing everything the hard way... oh yay.


Painting is pretty scary the first time around, and frankly, by the time I had purchased the primer, paint, sand paper and brushes, my "cheap" project had cost enough that I had the added pressure of needing it to come out well! Here she is in our room. It's still a bit barren in her corner but all in all, we kind of love her spunk...

6 comments:

Damaris said...

love your dresser!

Marie said...

Wow, Metta! Great job. It looks awesome. I love the blue. I would love to do something to my bedroom set that was "born" in 1979, but the thought of the project intimidates me. I'll have to get some lessons from you in October!

Elizabeth said...

Metta, it turned out great. The perfect shade of blue. And combined with that touch of red is perfect. Miss your spunk!

Kristi said...

so so cool Metta! i LOVE it!

Mike and Rui said...

Good JOB! Mike just refinished our coffee table that he painted last year. Refurnishing is a definitely a good skill to have.

Elizabeth said...

Metts!!!! I absolutely LOVE your dresser!!! I can't believe how BEAUTIFUL it turned out!!! These two pictures look like they came out of a magazine!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! :)