Sunday, April 29, 2012

Projects: Dresser Makeover


Bright, yes?

A few months ago we bought this dresser on Craigslist for $15. I think it could best be described as a french provincial knockoff. And that's putting a positive spin on it. Cheap french provincial might be a better descriptor.  

I wasn't sure how this project was going to turn out: painting a piece of furniture a glaringly bright shade of green and slapping on some sunshine yellow accents doesn't usually have the makings of a success story. 

So spending as little money as possible was a must. Frankly, I wasn't even sure Goodwill would take this sucker if it was simply too atrocious to stick in our guest room. As this dresser is primarily going to be used for the storage of towels and sheets, I didn't need a massively solid piece of furniture. 

So, this is what we started with:

It had a broken center slide on the bottom drawer:

And some lovely tissue paper glued on the inside drawers:
 But I took off all the hardware:
 And came to the conclusion that, except for the broken slide, it wasn't in too bad of shape. 
First step: two coats of primer.

And then paint. Holy moly, Peeps, I've never painted anything such an electric shade:
Put your sunglasses on, these drawers are bright:

Two or three coats of green later, I was seriously reconsidering my painting choice. Why did I listed to the paint guy when he told me to be bold and brave?! 

The next step was to break out this Martha Stewart kit that I got on sale at Home Depot. It's basically of box of tools for making patterns and designs on paint. For this project, I used a bit of leftover yellow paint from Ben's little stool project and bought a quart of glaze. You need exceptionally little paint as it's 1 part paint to 3 parts glaze. 

I tested out the various tools on a bit of sheetrock. I ended up using the largest-toothed comb (on the left). 

One thing to keep in mind: try to apply your yellow/glaze coat as even as possible before dragging the tools through that wet layer. I have a few spots on the dresser that look a little, well...spotty. 

Also, I found that the thicker combs worked best for my project. The paint, after applying the very thinnest comb, tended to mush back together and the pattern was lost. 

One more thing: If you're looking for a perfectly straight set of lines, this kit isn't for you. As you can see above, the pattern isn't perfect. Any little lateral movement of your hand will cause waves and squiggles. I like the overall look, but I could see somebody going nuts trying to get perfect lines. 

Once I'd applied my pattern to the top of the dresser and the drawer fronts, I applied three coats of clear lacquer. I also painted the legs, knobs, and two faceplates bright yellow. And then I lacquered them too.

And here is the finished product:

Here is a closeup of the yellow lines on the drawer front:

 Holy moly this sucker is bright! But I like it. 




Dresser: Craigslist
Paint, Glaze, and Lacquer: Home Depot and Fred Meyer
Painting tools: Martha Stewart Decorative Painting Tool Kit
Dresser Knobs: Anthropologie