Monday, May 20, 2013

Dresser #2: Mission Complete

I posted about our new dresser I bought on Craigslist and refinished. It replaced the dresser in this post. We had been using this dresser for many years and it matched nothing we owned. So when we cleared it out to use our new dresser, I decided to refinish it to make it more purposeful in our home. And since I already had the tools out and experience fresh in my memory, why not move on to the next piece? Also, I wanted to take advantage of the double naptimes we're still rocking (on most days) I fear are fleeting...

Benjamin is obviously still in the nursery and uses the dresser in there. But eventually, he will have his own room down the hall {eventually being whenever that happens... no, I'm not pregnant} with a bed already in there. That room, however, was lacking a matching dresser. With natural wood furniture, my intent was to strip the wood to natural and coat it with polycrylic. And then click my heels together at how fast and easy the project was compared to our first dresser project.

Sure. Except obviously that didn't happen. This was also meant to be a super cheap project because I really was just doing this as an additional piece and nothing we need to be using anytime soon. Too bad it didn't end up being cheap, either. Le sigh.

But it's done! Here's the timeline:

May 3: Swap dressers and move this one to the garage.
May 4-7: Take off hardware and casually apply paint stripper to areas and scrape.
May 8: Give up on paint strippers after spending over $20 on two kinds and resort to plan b-- painting it white. Sand 1/2 the dresser by hand.
May 9: Sand the rest of the dresser/drawers .
May 10: Clean the dresser really, really well using a wet t-shirt & Lysol Dual Action wipes
May 11: Apply 1 coat of primer.
May 12: Coat #1 of satin white paint applied.
May 13: Lightly sanded, quick wipedown & coat #2 of satin white paint applied.
May 14: Lightly sanded, quick wipedown & coat #3 of satin white paint applied.
May 15: Still not pleased that I can see splotchiness of the cherry wood on the sides. Buy two cans of white Rustoleum and spray paint the whole thing. Deal with a clogged can (delays, additional sanding, cursing) and realize I don't like the color and see splotchiness of white spray paint now instead of cherrywood. Lightly sand, quick clean up & apply coat #4 of satin white paint.
May 16: Apply two coats of polycrylic (with quick sand/wipedown in between) and my husband screwed in the knobs. He's been getting on my case for not giving him credit for work around here like cutting the trees. Move dresser upstairs. Done. For the last coat of poly, Benjamin proceeded to talk to himself in his crib for a solid hour (happily) while I finished the project. He decided two naps were not happening that day. I mean, why be easy when Mom is nearly done with a project?

Before & After
Sadly, the only photo I could find of that dresser before I took it apart and got down to business!
Estimated Costs:
Citristrip Quart Safe Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel: $10 Used only 1/4 of it before realizing I might need something stronger. Still consider it a wasted $10 as I don't plan to use it again anytime soon.
Klean-Strip Quart Chemical Premium Sprayer: $10 Same story as above. I know both work, but this project was just not having it. Another wasted $10 with tons of unused product left over.
Kilz Primer: Already owned-- really old can and super hard to apply because it was so thick!
Glidden white satin paint: $10 (used about 75% of this but consider it full cost)
Rustoleum spray paint: $6 total
Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Clear Gloss: Used leftovers from first dresser project and used no more than $2 worth.
Foam brushes & paintbrush: Used a few cheap ones and reused them each day. Probably $3 worth
Sandpaper: Used leftover sandpaper. For light sanding between I learned using a very fine sanding block is the way to go. You're only roughing it up barely to help the next layer adhere and also get rid of those paint bumps that are inevitable. And bonus, Dollar Tree sells them for $1/each 2-pack. Don't waste your money on these. I don't shop at the Dollar Tree often, but I do buy shipping supplies there and happened to see sanding blocks while I was grabbing packing supplies recently. Score! (add $1 here)
Lysol Wipes: Had them already

Total: About $42
I considered new knobs, but figured I'd try to keep the cost low. Also, if Benjamin uses this as a dresser eventually, chunky knobs work well for kids.

From the beginning to the end, I took some photos, but was far more ambitious in the beginning. Isn't that how it always goes. Zealous to start and then...bleh. Get. me. done. with. this. project. A few of those coats of paint were skipped, but here is what I salvaged from my camera.
Sanded & primed. In hindsight, it needed a better layer of primer. I was working with what I had, but yeah.
In addition to the dresser, I added in a mini project to refinish this wood hook that was hanging in the laundry room when we moved into our house. We have white cabinets in our laundry room and a large magnetic whiteboard, so there's lots of white. Since I had the white paint out... I went for it. We still have to get around to hanging that, but you get the idea here. A good place to hang a future backpack (!), some laundry items, bags, etc.
Knobs hanging and painted & hook getting a few coats of fresh paint to update the look
The front looks quite chic now! And in keeping things cheap, I kept the knob that has a piece out of it-- it's actually not accidentally broken but was made using knotty pine and the knot broke. It's so hard to tell now that it's white. 
It took awhile to figure out which drawers fit where, despite labeling them before we took them out. Problem was, we had moved this dresser so many times and never labeled them properly before. After musical chairs drawers, we finally found a good fit for them. Well-used dresser, but with a nice new facelift. I just wish I could brag about only spending like $4 on it or something. Ah. You win some, you lose some. It fits nicely in one of our bedrooms now and I'm thrilled it's over. Ha!


LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

I think it looks great!

And sometimes the fact you get a project finished (period) is enough, ya know?

What's next? haha

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I love any project that is under 50 dollars that makes you feel like you have made an entirely new piece of furniture. Impressive! Fabulous job!

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Love it!!! We have a dresser that matches it...wanna do the same process for me?! It will go faster now that you have the process down!!
You know you want to!!

Darcey said... [Reply to comment]

Amazed at all you get done...looks great!!!

AlliFerg said... [Reply to comment]

Love it! Great job, you have so much more patience than I do ...

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Hmm. Not sure why you had to wear a wet t-shirt while cleaning, but I'm sure Elliot enjoyed it.

Lame joke, sorry.

Turned out great in the end! I've found that you have to use an oil-based primer when painting wood that's been finished like that. Zissners is the best for getting good coverage. Live and learn, though--I had to figure that out the hard way when we painted our old bookshelves.

aLiYoOp906 said... [Reply to comment]

This post makes me want to make some of my rummage sale finds prettier! Thanks for sharing! Looks amazing!

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

I love it, and $42 is nothing to sneeze at when you look at how expensive decent dressers are.