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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DIY // How To Transform a Vintage Dresser

I don't know about you, but I always feel anxiety and guilt over painting a vintage piece of furniture or any piece of furniture, for that matter.  Right before I smear on the first coat my right eye starts to twitch, my forehead beads sweat and my whole body starts to shake.  I know that the paint will liven up the down-and-out piece, but it just seems so wrong to cover up the wood.

A past project had me all wrangled with guilt when I chose to paint (EEK!) my mom's childhood dresser. 

I think everyone in the family has used this dresser at one time or another.  But first, it was my lovely mother's. As a child, she saved up all her money to buy it and it's been around ever since. I know, what you're thinking...what child saves up to buy something so practical? That'd be my mom.

For nearly 40 years old (sorry, mom!), this dresser is in pretty good condition. It's still rolling around on its original wooden castors and only two pieces of its veneer had chipped off. But the wear and tear of being passed around was definitely showing and the old guy needed some TLC. Refinishing veneer can be quite the challenge, so I figured paint would be the way to go.  I rolled up my sleeves, plugged in the hand sander and got to work. Sanding and sanding and sanding until I had this:


And then I began sanding some more.  Grr...


The carpal tunnel inducing sanding, paid off.  It was looking so good that I felt my guilt start to rise with the thought of the first impending paint stroke. But, that one drawer with the chipped off veneer kept me from pulling the plug.  It would just have been too difficult to fix.  Plus, I bought a whole gallon of paint.  (Over estimation!)  And after what seemed like a hundred coats and just when my arm was about to fall off, I was finished. 


The old boy is the perfect bright blue dresser for the next recipient in the family line, my boy, Luke. Don't you just love how the color livens up the space?  (It's "Glacier Lake" by Behr Paint/Primer) I wish I had a before picture to show how much of a change it really is.

LOVE the detail on the bottom.

There's a few things that I'll try next time to get better results. 
  1. Use a brush rather than sponge roller. It just doesn't have as smooth a finish as my perfectionist self would have liked. 
  2. Sand between coats to, again, get just that much more of a smoother finish. (Yay, more sanding.) 
  3. Don't leave the knobs out over night in the chance of rain, which can you really call it a chance of rain when you live on the Oregon coast? 
  4. Run the paint job by my mother before it's already finished.  (Again...Sorry, mom!)
So, what about you?  Does painting furniture get you guilt-ridden like me or do you just say "Go for it!" and slap the paint right on?

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1 comment

  1. I absolutely love this dresser and even more now. The color is great and I also LOVE the detail at the bottom of the dresser. Very cool!

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