Monday, June 24, 2013

0 First attempt at painting furniture: A new dresser

Being a new mom is like living in a land of "half-finisheds"  Half the laundry is put away before the baby cries and I get distracted.  Half a sandwich is eaten before the baby needs to eat and I get distracted.  Half of a bathroom project is done (it's painted, but nothing put back on the wall).  Half of this blog entry was written for 3 weeks until I could get back to it.  And until recently, half of our yard sale dresser was done.

If you'll remember, 3 days before baby girl was born we scored this dresser for $25 at a yard sale.


I'd been wanting a dresser for our basement guest room, and this seemed like the perfect one to attempt painting my first large piece of furniture.  

So I started scouring the blog-world for tutorials on how to paint furniture.  I found this one at Centsational Girl the most helpful and this one from Just A Girl.  I used a mix of these tutorials on the dresser.

For the paint of the dresser, we used a $5 gallon of Sherwin Williams paint.  $5? That's right!  Our local flea market has a store that sells "mess-ups" from Sherwin Williams where the paint color didn't turn out quite right.  It was a little difficult finding the right color there, because I wanted the dresser to be as white as possible, and most of the paints they have are colors.  But we ended up finding a great creamy off-white.

Originally, I had only found the CG tutorial and I was going to follow all the steps in it, so we started by sanding down imperfections and brushing on the Zinsser primer with a Purdy brush.  



As you can see, you might start to get discouraged when you've got the primer on.  It doesn't look very pretty with the primer.  You can see lots of dark areas through the primer.  Trust me, it gets better!


After the primer, I lightly sanded everything again to make sure I had a smooth surface to apply the paint.

Between the primer and painting on the first coat of paint, I found the Just A Girl tutorial, which suggested using foam rollers instead of the Purdy brushes for a super smooth finish.  I could see lots of brush strokes in my primer, so I was worried that my final coats would be the same.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought foam rollers and brushes before starting to put the coats of paint on.  

The paint went on nice and smooth without any lines, but you could still see some brush strokes from the primer below.  It did not look bad though.  I used the tiny foam brushes to get paint in the areas the foam roller couldn't reach.

You can see how quickly the furniture starts looking nice in the photo below.  Half of the top has been painted, while everything else is still just primer.  It makes a big difference to get that first coat of paint on!  You can especially see it in the photo of the top and the side.

The top has paint, the side only has primer - so don't be discouraged if your piece looks awful with just primer!

It took 3 thin coats of paint, and I think I put a 4th thin coat on the very top.
Then it was time to seal it!  We bought the Varathane water-based sealer recommended from the other blogs and I applied it with the foam brushes also.

We bought new pulls from Home Depot.  I considered for half a second spray painting the lion head pulls that came with the dresser because I was annoyed at spending more money on pulls than we spent on the dresser itself (it cost about $50 for 16 new pulls).  I'm glad we went with the new pulls though, because I really like the modern look the new pulls gave the dresser!


And because everyone likes a good before and after...


The original home for this dresser was supposed to be our basement guest room, but we ended up liking the finished product so much that we put the dresser from our bedroom in the basement, and moved this one up to our room!

You want a similar looking dresser from Restoration Hardware (that doesn't even look as good as our's, in my opinion).  It'll only cost you $1,995.  Our dresser cost under $100 total after buying new pulls and paint.

And here it is in its new home...

End result: A nice smooth finish!

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