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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Old College Dresser Gets a Facelift

So in my continued quest to re-do my bedroom on a zero-sum budget, I have re-finished another piece of furniture. This dresser is one I used throughout college and is great condition, except that I didn't LOVE the way that it looked - it was sort of drab and dated to me. Since I already had a new dresser, I decided to give this piece a facelift for my husband (his dresser was one he had used since childhood and when I put clothes away, I had to shove them in a drawer and then quickly close it). It seems like our bedroom was the last room we put much thought in, especially when it came to buying new furniture, which is kind of sad! Here is how to get a great new piece without spending a lot of money. First, here is the before:

I know I said this in my previous post about re-finishing furniture, but it's not an exact science. Because the dresser wasn't really wood, I need to first apply a primer to get the paint to stick. This primer is awesome and sticks to almost anything:



I used the sponge roller to do several coats before going over it with my paint color. If I had been thinking ahead I would have done two things differently:

  1. Had the hardware store tint the primer - why make more work for myself with having to go over white primer with black paint?
  2. When I bought the primer, I would have taken it to the paint section and had them shake it for me in one of their industrial shakers - the primer was sitting on the shelf for so long that it had separated and as much as I shook and stirred, I couldn't get it to the right consistency. Luckily I had saved my receipt and was able to take it back to Home Depot and they shook it up for me.

I was going to use the same paint brush for this project as I had used on the white dresser, but once I started using it, the brush strokes were awful and I realized I needed to use a brand new paint brush to eliminate this. Thankfully I had an extra one in the garage and used lots of paint to cover the entire dresser and the drawers. I did two full coats and a third touch-up coat and that was it - the actual priming/painting only took two days.

The most fun thing to me about re-finishing furniture is you get to make it into a brand new piece. This dresser was so blah to me, but I knew with some hardware I could really add some visual interest. For several years I had been looking at the this dresser, but when I finally studied it, I realized that the top two drawers were smaller than the bottom three, but with the current hardware, you couldn't really tell. So, I decided to use knobs on the top two drawers and pulls on the bottom three - just to emphasize this difference. This meant I had to go through and fill in all the holes, which I did with wood putty, before I began the painting process.

I'm not going to lie - it got a little dicey at the end when we were installing the new pulls and sometimes our holes didn't match up. Thankfully, though, we made it work and I now have a finished product to show you:

I love it! I think with the wall color it really pops and my husband loves all the drawer space he now has (although now he can never remember where anything is).

Are there old pieces of furniture around your house that you are tired of looking at? Give them a facelift!

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