Thursday, November 17, 2011

Project: Repainting a Dresser and Nightstand

This project was a doozy!  I haven't done anything this major since February of 2010 when my hubby took all three kids to grandma's for the whole day so I could paint the entire downstairs living room and kitchen.  So I guess I was about due for an overwhelming project.  At least this one didn't involve removal of wallpaper.  But it involved sanding, so maybe it isn't that far behind....

I found this dresser and nightstand set at a garage sale and managed to get both for $20.  They clearly needed refinishing but were solid wood and had nice simple clean lines.  They were yelling for handles to be added too!

Of course they were bought almost 4 months before I did anything with them, but that's the way things go around here.  I have to both suddenly find the time AND motivation to start.  A feat in itself, but why doesn't that ever happen with, say, cleaning?  the bathrooms?
So one miraculous day I said, "I'm going to start sanding that dresser" and pulled out the ol' black and decker electric sander.  That made the process go pretty fast and since it was still nice out, I was able to do it outside during naptime for the younger ones while the oldest was at school.  Until pick-up time when I had to wake up younger ones, put away all the tools and dangerous things, and head over to school.  But my arms and back were usually getting sore by then anyway.
I did the nightstand first to put in my daughter's "big girl" room.  Once I had finished it all, I realized it stank with a capital S.  So I couldn't put that in her room.  I found this great eco-friendly no-odor no-VOC product on Young House Love called Acrylaq, and ordered it from a local place (well, a 45 minute drive from me, so I didn't want to pick it up.  They were glad to ship it right to my door!  Of course I had to pay a bit more, but it was worth it.).  Two coats of that stuff and I was breathing much easier.  It doesn't even smell anymore!  (I used regular cheap paint from WalMart, which I got without really thinking ahead about the fumes issue).
The finished nightstand motivated me to tackle the HUGE dresser (which is for our master bedroom).

After sanding (which took a week or so as I fit in an hour here and there), I had this:
This was the stage I measured and drilled holes for the handles.  Some are slightly wonky and not totally level, and I had to go back and make a couple holes bigger to accommodate for it being not in the exact right spot, but now that it's all done it's hardly noticeable.
 Then I spent another week or two fitting in time to prime it (two coats of primer).  You can also see my garage setup of everything, and our old dresser peeking out on the right.  It has broken inlaid handles that I didn't want to deal with finding another solution for.  Plus, it was slightly bigger and the space we have for this dresser is a walkway as well, so smaller is better.

Putting the Acrylaq on the nightstand (in back) and the primer on the dresser
 And finally 2 coats of paint and it was pretty much done!  I thought I could see a little brown still showing through in places so I added a third coat for good measure.  Big mistake!  The weather had turned chillier and the paint was gooping up and acting all weird.  The dresser was lying on its back during painting and the paint started to drip in huge GOBS down the sides and top.  Needless to say I started panicking a bit at that point.  I quickly tried to brush the gobs away but they never completely smoothed.  However, after the final two coats of Acrylaq, it's not really noticeable from afar- and since my dresser has so much stuff on top it's hidden anyway.
The finished product, after about a month's worth of work:

 All knobs and handles are from Target.
 There was nothing left to do but lay on the grass and stare at the sky with my kids at that point.

Happy painting and sky-watching--

1 comment:

  1. You are so cute, I am laughing and crying at the same time while reading this, laughing because the way you write about this is so funny and you make me feel like I am there with you; crying because I know what you went thru, having finished the table and chairs we did. However, you are much braver than I. I just gave up and let your Dad finish the mess I had started, ha. They look great tho, can't wait to see them in person, and love your new blog.