Of all of the projects I’ve tackled thus far in the nursery, this dresser is, by far, my proudest. It was also my greatest labor of love! When I happened upon the listing on Craig’s List for this diamond in the rough, I knew it was just the piece I needed for the space. I loved the spindled mirror and the shapely elevated feet, and the dimensions were ideal for the piece to double as a changing table.
September 19, 2011
Antique Dresser Transformation + Embellishing Furniture with Vinyl
My sweet hubs is a very supportive enabler of my DIY addiction. But when it came time to unload this untouched beauty, he had some very – um – frank comments. “Um, Tootie? Did you happen to drag this thing behind you all the way down I-40?” Thanks for the vote of confidence, hon.
In his defense, this was the most ambitious furniture rehab project I have ever in my life tackled. As you can see, the piece had more than its fair share of imperfections and cosmetic issues, and the last owner’s shoddy staining job was going to be a real chore to mitigate. But I was ready!
Everything I know about painting furniture, I owe to Kate of Centsational Girl. When I first read this post on her blog earlier this year, it immediately became one of my favorite pages on the web. Kate has done the hard part of whittling down the best products for the job for me, so all I had to do was follow her lead and use the products she specifies. If you ever have any aspirations to paint a piece of wood furniture, this is a post you absolutely must read!
I started by using my trusty sander to get rid of years (and years) of ugly. I followed that with Kate’s recommended series of steps: a coat of Zinnser bond-coat primer (oil-based, with the brown label), a light sanding, two coats of paint, and then a coat of polyacrylic. For this project, I used Benjamin Moore Natura No-VOC Paint, because once the sanding and priming was done, this pregnant mama wanted to be able to paint in the air-conditioned indoors without worrying about fumes and other nastiness.
I have to say that I absolutely adore the color I used for this project: San Antonio Gray. It is the perfect neutral backdrop against the bold, bright colors in the rest of the nursery.
Once I had given everything a chance to dry completely (3 excruciating days!), I added some white knobs I bought at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, which brought them to less than $2 apiece. Not too shabby! I adore the juxtaposition of bright white against grey, and when I saw that the piece still needed a little something once the knobs were in place, my first inclination was to try my hand at stenciling the drawers. I honestly wanted to cry, though, when I thought about breaking out the paint supplies again, so I opted to take a different route: adhesive vinyl!
I purchased the perfect design from the Silhouette online store, and I cut out four of the designs in the appropriate sizes using my Silhouette. All that was left at that point was to place them where I wished. So easy, and I adore how it turned out!
FYI: did you know that if you don’t have any transfer paper on hand, the perfect substitute is repositionable contact paper? A very cost-effective alternative!
I honestly cannot say enough how much I adore this piece now. This project admittedly did take quite a bit of elbow grease, but this dresser truly is the star of this space!
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