Friday, August 16, 2013

Dresser Makeover: A Story

Everyone has one--an old piece of furniture that you've had for YEARS. You don't really love how it looks, but you can't bring yourself to do anything about it because:
  1. You're too lazy.
  2. It was your grandma's/aunt's/mom's/Mary Todd Lincoln's. And painting it would be a sin/make you an outcast at reunions/get your name and your children's names scratched off the family tree, etc.
  3. You've never found time in the last sixteen-and-a-half years to DUST it, let alone FIX it. (This is mine.)
  4. Insert excuse here_____.

You KNOW that piece. Maybe it's more than one. Maybe it's a whole dining room. The point is, everyone has one. This was MINE, and this is its story.

It was about a bazillion years ago. Hubby and I were shopping at a trendy spot called Valley Junction, where antiques abound and anything cool can be had for the right price. Including a jar of buttons, but that's a story for another time.

Another "before" shot of our little curvy dresser. Yes. That IS a lot of dust.

We were in one of those shops where stuff is piled on top of other stuff when we spotted it... a cute little curvy antique dresser. Solid wood. Dovetailed drawers. I had to have it!

"How much?" Hubby asked because I'm an introvert.

"$130," said one of the two guys who followed us around the store, spouting off the merits of each item as we passed it.

"Will you take $5?" I asked.

Okay, I didn't really, but I should have because $130 was just a wee bit out of our price range back then. In fact, it still is.

I'm going to give you the abridged version here since you can probably guess the ending. We bought it. We took it home. I put lamps on it and gushed over it and NEVER dusted it again.

Fast forward fifteen years, several dogs and about six houses later. The little wooden dresser is sitting in our upstairs hall because I don't know where else I can fit it. It doesn't actually work as a dresser for any of us because with two teenage daughters, we have enough clothes to build a suspension bridge to the moon.

I suddenly have an epiphany.

"Hey!" I say to myself, "I am pretty handy with a paintbrush these days. I should make over that old dresser that we paid too much for all those years ago!"

I started with a coat of Zinsser primer. You will hear that product name a LOT from me. If you hate sanding as much as I do, then you should get to know Zinsser. Then I followed with a coat of white paint. Any old latex will do. Satin finish. I used sandpaper to rough it up and give it that worn-in, chippy look.

For the top, I did have to crack out the old orbital sander. After it was sanded, I mixed white latex paint and water (about half and half, I'm not very mathy). And brushed it over the sanded top. When it was dry, I went over it with a coat of stain. I brushed the stain on, then wiped it off with a rag. Walmart sells these white kitchen tea towels in packs of 10 that are perfect for this and many other projects as well. This stain-over-white-wash technique gives the wood a grayish driftwood finish that I just love!

And that is pretty much all there is to know. If you are wondering about the end of this story, have a look at the photos. I think it was a happy ending. And I promise to dust it this time. Seriously.

The end.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.