It was my dad's desk as a child, then my parents used it as a changing table, then it was my desk, then my little brother's. And now we're using it! It needs some cleaning up, and I already have a few ideas.
But the main project for the week was working on a dresser for the baby. We didn't want to paint the walls because we're not sure how long we'll be here and will have to repaint white before we move, and that's a huge pain. We've done it before, and will do it again, but not for this house. So I want to add lots of color to the room with the furniture and accessories. I spent weeks scouring the internet for dresser ideas, and never found one that was really perfect, so I decided to get a pine dresser from an unfinished furniture store and paint it myself. I could have gone super thrifty with a vintage flea market find, stripped it and then painted it, but I don't have the energy for something like that and it was worth it to pay more for a new dresser.
I collected my inspirations, and spent a couple of days mulling over designs in my head before settling on one. We've already decided to use both dinosaurs and airplanes in the nursery -- I love dinosaurs, Chris loves airplanes, why not both? We're not going for super themey or matchy-matchy, and mixing it up really suits us both (wait until you see the quilt he, my mom, dad and I designed together).
Deep Sea Dresser from Chromalab
Shadow Dresser from Purpose Restoration (via ohdeedoh)
The project breakdown
- Time spent: 5 days
- 1 quart latex Kilz primer
- 1 quart Behr 550B Blue Ocean low VOC latex, gloss
- 1 quart white latex paint, gloss
- 2 cups clear high gloss polyacrylic (water-based) clear coat
- Big splurge
- 8 glass knobs to replace the wooden ones the dresser came with
- a new dresser rather than an old one
- Big save
- cheap-o brushes for detail work (bad idea!)
- posterboard I already owned
- homemade pteradactyl stencils
- plastic container lids in 3 sizes
Step 1: Sand
Cover the floor with newspaper or a drop cloth! Remove the knobs from the drawers and remove the drawers from the dresser. Lightly dampen the dresser with warm water. This will raise the grain for you to sand down before painting. It'll help make sure the wood is super smooth. When it dries, sand the dresser across the grain with 220 grit sandpaper, then sand it with the grain. Use a sanding block to make sure you get an even finish.
Step 2: Prime
Step 3: Paint!
For the drawers, I first drew on the cloud design. I used 3 different plastic lids and traced semicircles to make the clouds. You could also cut out your pattern from posterboard and use it as a stencil, if you're not sure how steady your hand will be when painting the lines.
You will have to do many, many coats to get an even finish. Because the primer was white, we did more coats of the dark colors than of the light. I think Mom ended up doing 7 or 8 coats of blue on the dresser!
Step 4: Make your stencils
While one of your million coats of paint is drying, get to work making your stencils. You can purchase stencils, or do what I did and make your own. To make the pterodactyls, I found three images I liked of pterodactyls and freehand copied them from my computer screen (just the outlines, no detail) onto a piece of posterboard. Then I used an exacto knife to cut them out in one piece, saving the cut-out part to use for future projects.
Step 5: Apply stencils
Step 6: Add clear finish
After everything's dried, it's time to add your gloss clear coat. Sand the body of the dresser (if you didn't do this already). Apply the finish quickly, in one stroke. This way you won't get brush marks. Sand in between coats. You may have to add as many as 3 coats of gloss. This will protect your paint from chips and peeling, as well as give your furniture a nice shine!
Step 7: Put it all together
Once it's dry, it's time to add the knobs, put the dresser in place and put the drawers back in. Leave the drawers slightly open for about a week or so to let the paint cure. You don't want them sticking closed!