Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nine Drawer Dresser

 I came across this dresser on a local online sale site.  This is the picture from the online ad:

I was immediately drawn to the details of the drawer fronts and the decorative molding along the front edges.  I was fortunate that my husband and a friend were able to help me pick up the dresser.  With 9 drawers, it’s big and HEAVY!  Plus, it was in a basement suite at the bottom of a LOT of stairs.  Yikes!

The dresser was in decent shape, but definitely had some wear showing.  Because I was going for a lightly distressed finished look, I didn’t bother attempting to fill in any of the nicks or dents.   I decided to just sand it down and coat it with primer.

After that came a few coats of a warm white latex paint and then I lightly distressed all the edges.  

To finish it, I rubbed on a finishing wax to protect it and give it a nice shine.

I liked the shape of the hardware – it just needed some updating which I gave it with a couple coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. 

 Yes, I would have to say it's another successful transformation!  


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Short & Sweet

No long elaborate story for this little piece.  No roadside rescue or  major damage requiring repairs.  I picked it up last summer at a garage sale.  It was in fairly decent shape, just a bit dated with it's yellowy paint and gold accents.

After a light sanding, some primer, a couple coats of crisp white paint, a little light distressing along the edges and a glossy clear top coat, this sweet little side table is perfect for a nursery or a little girls room!

I decided to keep the original hardware, but freshened it up with a couple coats of a warm buttery cream color paint.

The single drawer is just the right size to tuck away little treasures and the bottom is the perfect place to store favorite bedtime stories.  Or, add a cute little basket for additional storage.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Small Half-round Side Table

 Before & After

I purchased this small wooden side table over a year ago and not quite sure how I wanted to finish it, left it sitting in our garage with my other projects until I could get to it.  The finish on it wasn’t in the best shape, was peeling and quite damaged along the legs and there were some fairly bad scratches on the bottom shelf.

The other day I decided to try a DIY chalk paint on it. (not the same as chalk board paint)  The amazing thing about chalk paint is that the furniture requires NO prep.  Nothing!  No sanding & no priming – even if the current finish isn’t great.  I thought this little table would be the best candidate to see how true that was.  The “real” stuff isn’t cheap, so that wasn’t an option for me right now.  I started hearing of a DIY chalk paint with basic ingredients,  so I thought I would give it a try!  There are a few different options I’ve heard of, but the one I chose only used two ingredients – both of which I currently had on hand!  They are flat latex paint and powdered Plaster of Paris.  Yup, that’s it!  

The recipe I found used 1 cup of flat paint to 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris.  I had a Behr paint sample on hand that I’d purchased awhile ago and thought it would be perfect.  Paint samples are cheap (I think it was $5), come in any color you want,  are usually flat paint and the Behr ones are 236 ml which is just shy of the 250ml required.  I decided to take a chance and just use that. I mixed it with the Plaster of Paris and came up with a thick, lumpy, gritty mess.  I was sure it was going to be a disaster!  With a regular paint brush, I started brushing it on – and was thrilled when the paint started to smooth out and the gritty bits disappeared.  The first coat dried fairly quickly.  Unlike regular paint, the table had a very rough texture to it.  I lightly went over it with some 220 grit sandpaper and noticed very quickly how easy it was to sand.  I added two more coats of white, lightly sanding before and after each one.  Because it was so easy to sand, I used a little more pressure along the edges to remove the paint and allow some of the wood to show through.   

What really surprised me is how much paint I still have left!  Even after 3 coats, I’ve still got over ¾ of my mixture left!  Plenty for a couple more small projects!

I decided I wanted to try a “wash” over it, so I mixed up a small batch of light grey chalk paint and added some water to thin it out.  I brushed a single coat on and once dry, sanded most of it off.  After that, I added a layer of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in natural.  

I’ve never used wax before but will definitely use it again.  It was easy to apply and left a beautiful sheen when buffed.  With the white and grey paint and the sheen of the wax, the finish reminds me of a pearl!  I think it’s very pretty.

I’m thrilled with the way this little table turned out and will definitely try more pieces with chalk paint.  This little table has been added to my shop and is available for purchase.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The "not so real" Wood Cabinet

 Before & After

When I came across this cabinet on a local online sale site, I wasn't too sure what to think of it.  It was in rough shape and I was quite sure it was a laminate piece, but listed at only $10, I thought I could afford to take a chance on it.  I emailed the owner and was told numerous times it was in fact solid wood. 

These are the pictures that I "borrowed" from the online ad.

Hum...looking at the picture and the detail of the "wood grain", I still suspected it WAS laminate, but, hoping I was wrong, I went to see it.  A closer look confirmed my suspicions.  It was definitely laminate.  I'd never painted laminate before, but I'd read up on it and it seemed to work, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The current paint job on it was bad.  I could tell that no primer had been used on it.  Not good.  Laminate tends to be a very shiny finish and so without a primer, the paint was literally peeling off.   

I thought it would be easy to sand off the old paint, add a layer of primer, and I'd be set to paint.  Perfect - a project I'd have finished in no time!  I started sanding...and sanding...and kept sanding.  After an hour of getting nowhere, I decided to attempt another route.  I grabbed a razor blade and thought I'd try peeling the paint off.  It worked, but it was slow and far from enjoyable.  My hands and arms were cramping up from holding the blade.  After hours of scrapping, I finally decided to sand off the small pieces of paint remaining and told myself it was good enough!

Originally I believe the shelves in the right swing out door were for dvds and cds.  The top shelf was too high for dvds and would have been wasted space as I planned to only store my kids dvds in it.  I took the door apart, removed the top shelf and then moved the 2nd shelf up.  It was a bit of work, but worth it knowing I'd be able to use all the shelves now. 

I rolled on two coat of my favorite primer and then sprayed on a few coats of white satin paint.  I finished it off with a couple coats of Minwax Polyacrylic to protect it.

One thing I knew I wanted to try on this cabinet was the use of chicken wire.  I've seen it added to a lot of furniture lately and love the look.  At first I thought it would be easy to remove the existing glass.  Unfortunately, I guess the door was built around the glass instead of the glass added afterwards.  Unless I physically took the door apart (knowing that it could very well end up being completely destroyed in the process), I had to come up with another way to "remove" the glass.  I laid it down on a few sheets of newspaper and put a few more sheets on top of it.  I grabbed my hammer wouldn't break!  WHAT???  I was hitting glass with a metal hammer and it wasn't breaking???  So, what did I do next?  I took a large framing nail, put on a pair of thick leather work gloves, and attempted to hammer the nail into the glass.  Well, it worked that time! It completely shattered into a million pieces.  I'd forgotten that's what safety glass does.  Because I had it lying on the newspaper, it was quick and easy to clean up.

I used my nail/staple gun and my air compressor to staple the chicken wire to the back of the door.  Using pliers, I curled under all the cut edges hoping that will be enough to keep fingers safe.  It's certainly nothing pretty to look at and I may add some sort of wood trim around it in the future to pretty it up a bit, but for now it works.

I decided to use the existing hardware that had come with the cabinet.  It's modern and I liked how it matched the chicken wire.  I may add an additional shelf at some point, but for now it's in our living room being used as our new media cabinet.  Love it. :)

Just a note:  While I am extremely happy with the way this piece turned out, laminate wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to painting.  Even with a good primer, painted laminate does have a tendency to scratch easily. Of course, if I had any other laminate pieces that I was tired of or felt could be freshened up with paint, I wouldn't hesitate to paint them!