Hello there, everyone! For those of you in the US, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Today I’m back to share the story of a plain, little dresser with big dreams, and a wannabe DIY-er who has much to learn about painting.
Many moons ago my grandmother (aka Nanny) was gifted a simple pine dresser to use for extra storage. After she moved into a nursing home the dresser was evicted from Nanny’s room to my parents’ basement, where it sat for a few years doing nothing but collecting dust. Then one day I got the itch to makeover some furniture. You know how that happens, right? So after giving it a good sanding, my dad sent the little dresser over to my house, where it sat neglected in my garage for months.
And perhaps a year.
Then one day this summer I said “Enough is enough! I shall turn that little dresser into storage for all my craft supplies!”
I fully intended to get all fancy with that dresser. I bought some awesome brown snakeskin embossed wrapping paper and was gifted glorious brushed brass hardware from D. Lawless Hardware. The plan was to paint the dresser semi-gloss white using paint I already had on hand, then decoupage the top and drawer fronts using the same process that I used for my son’s bookcase.
So I primed the dresser with Zinsser’s and rolled on a coat of white paint. It looked TERRIBLE with the wrapping paper. Just awful. All wrong. So bad I didn’t even take a picture of it.
Okay, not a tragedy. I dragged both children to the local hardware store to pick up some black semi-gloss paint, which should have been my first choice all along. One problem: they only had black glossy paint in stock. Seriously? Oy….up until this point I had never worked with glossy paint before, and now I know why.
Back in my garage, and over several nights after the kids went to bed (10pm painting sessions and then getting up for work the next day at 5:30am after inhaling paint fumes), my little dresser started to take shape.
My biggest mistake was painting over the semi-gloss paint without priming it with tinted primer. I did sand it first before rolling on the black paint (I’m not that much of a novice), but glossy paint desperately needs primer, and black paint definitely needs tinted primer. It took me three coats to cover up all the white paint, and the paint didn’t stick at all to the spots that were not well-sanded. Glossy paint also shows every flaw in the wood and highlights poor painting skills. For this reason, I am not keen to use it again.
After the paint dried thoroughly I attempted to decoupage the drawer fronts with my pretty paper. FAIL. Here’s why:
- Mod Podge doesn’t take well to glossy paint. It would have been better to just leave the drawer fronts primed but not painted to give the glue something to grab onto.
- The drawer fronts’ edges are curved; it would be much easier to apply the paper to flat fronts (think the IKEA Rast dresser)
- Heavy-weight wrapping paper is best for decoupage, and my pretty paper was simply too thin.
After several attempts (and even more curse words) to apply the wrapping paper neatly, I cried uncle. The good news is that the glue was easy to clean off my glossy paint job; a damp sponge did the trick. In the end, I wound up with this, which is far fancier than it’s plain-jane previous life.
Although this dresser makeover isn’t nearly as artsy-craftsy as I intended it to be, it’s still a refreshing change from the piece’s former state. The drawer liner is wrapping paper from Target’s dollar section.
It doesn’t fit all of my craft supplies, but definitely enough of them. Eventually I’ll get around to organizing the drawers. Maybe in 2014.
As for that brushed brass hardware (courtesy of D. Lawless), I’m in love with it. The new knobs definitely add a little hint of glam, right?
At the end of this dresser makeover I learned some tips about working with glossy paint that I hope will help you with your next furniture makeover: