Monday, January 26, 2015

Painted Dresser!

Most of our furniture has come to us via thrift stores. We've purchased things we kind of like but aren't really tied to, because that's not been the stage of life we're in. This means of course that we've owned some really ugly things. We didn't bring any furniture with us when we moved from Spokane to Cleveland because it was cheaper not to, and besides, most of it was really ugly. With the exception of our mattress there, we probably paid a sum total of $50 for all the furniture, so I guess you get what you pay for. 

Now, we mostly like the things we own. They aren't perfect, and don't all work together, which sometimes really bothers me, and sometimes doesn't. When we moved to Ohio, Carson bought our table and chairs, the chest we use as a coffee table, a rocking chair, a mirror and a dresser at one thrift store (without consulting me). It was great to have furniture, but all of it had wood tones and was very very BROWN. When he came home with all of those things, I immediately said to myself, "I can refinish these!" but I'd never done such a thing and Carson liked all the different wood tones and the winters don't lend themselves to re-doing furniture outside, so the clashing tones stuck. 

Fast forward (yeah right... longest intro ever) to our apartment in Florida. I like the layout of it, but it's very cave-like inside. All of those wood tones couples with our already brown trim, our brown couch, the brownish brick fireplace... it wasn't making things look less cave-like. Paint was needed. 

Around Christmas sometime, I told Carson that I wanted to repaint the dresser we now keep in the living room. To my surprise, he was on board. I told him I was thinking a light greenish blue and he was still on board. And he wanted to help. Done. 

Side note: We've never done a project together. I'm way more "fly by the seat of your pants" when it comes to these things and he's way more "take your time", so most of these sorts of things are done when he's not here. So this was essentially a relationship test. 

We both have weekends off, so I checked the weather on our first free weekend of the year and saw that it was going to be 65 and sunny all weekend and designated that as the chosen weekend. We went to Lowes and picked out a paint chip, grabbed a can of paint to mix it in, and headed toward the paint mixing guy with trepidation (who even knows if there's an etiquette at paint counters?!). They mixed it up and we headed home with brushes, sandpaper, paint, and nothing but a plan to finish the thing. 

I'd wanted to use chalk paint because I hear that you don't have to do much to prep it, but this was a project we did no research for, so we'll try DIY chalk paint soon.

On Friday night, we began to sand. More accurately, Carson began to sand. I took the pulls off the dresser and spray painted them.

In the background of this picture are the piles of things we took out of this dresser to paint. Our apartment was so messy while we did this. 
Also, the top of the dresser came to us like this, and I had no success getting the gummy rings from whatever that is off the top, which is what motivated me to refinish it in the first place.

The pulls needed quite a bit of spraying. I used a Rustoleum spray in Oil Rubbed Bronze, which I'd read about on various blogs. It was every bit as wonderful as I'd heard, although very difficult to photograph.
The pulls required multiple coats of paint, and I used toothpicks to keep them upright.

This one got a little dust from the sanding on it after it was dry. I sprayed these a few times at night, and then once more in the morning, when I could see the parts I'd missed a little better.

We were planning to catch up on a couple shows, but there was a glare on the laptop, so we just listened to comedians on Pandora instead. 

Carson sanded three drawers on Friday night, so we got to work on the last three and the dresser itself. I did maybe one and a half drawers (and that's generous), and part of the dresser. It turns out that I am not a good sander. Carson told me at one point that he thought renting a sanding machine was about $10, so I pushed for that but we just used our hands.

It was a LOT of work and Carson decided that because I wasn't really doing a great job, it wouldn't hurt for him to do it alone. So I went inside and organized his dresser and closet, did some laundry, and tried to organize the piles of things that would be going back into the dresser. Toward the end, I went to Publix for fried chicken to feed the hard worker. It probably took 4 or 5 hours between the two days to totally sand things down. It would have taken me a week and it still wouldn't have been finished.

It was a little dusty back there, but they looked so good!

We got out the plastic tablecloth I purchased months ago in anticipation of painting this, the painting supplies, and went to work. The first coat of paint took 45 minutes, then we waited an hour until it seemed pretty dry, and did a second coat, which I'm pretty certain took less than 30 minutes.
The color we used was Valspar Secluded Garden.

In the light, the paint went on so light and I was worried about the color choice (but knew I would stick with it because that was a ton of work!). It dried to the perfect color, thankfully.

We went on a mission for chips and dip that we thought we deserved (and we never ate them, I just realized) and when we came back, the paint was pretty dry so we brought the dresser inside, I screwed the pulls back on, and we admired it.

Also, new living room configuration because I CANNOT STOP rearranging things and also because that corner looked empty now that there's no Christmas tree to fill it up.

We set the TV on one of the black cubes we have while we were moving the dresser outside and decided that we really liked the placement. I suggested that we stop by Goodwill and look for a low table (the cube was just too small) to put there, with a budget of $12, all that was left of my tip money after paying for paint. What do you know, there was one for $8.99, so we bought it and put the cube under it to hide the wires.

This was a fun thing to do together! We have lots of things to do and not do in the future (for instance, Lindsay won't be sanding so don't count on it) and are looking forward to the next project, undecided but coming soon. 
That rocking chair had better watch out.

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