You Can Dresser Up But You Can’t Take Her Out
Ever since I moved into my new place, I’ve been slowly trying to decorate it. The challenge here is to stay within my budget, but do things adorably.
I thought that since I’m wildly enjoying this process, I’d share some of it here on the blog.
This past weekend while visiting my folks and celebrating my Dad’s Birthday, I went garage sale-ing with Mum.
You know, when I left the house that day, I literally thought to myself “I don’t really have much cash on me, but it’s not like I’m going to get too much.”
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
I came home with two giant drum lampshades, curtains, a jewelry display frame, AND A DAMN DRESSER!
The dresser was an unexpected but perfect find. The giant maple dresser I currently have is about 3 inches too long for my bedroom’s geography, so I’ve been looking for a replacement. This one had good bones and was only $40. WIN!
Incidentally, if you are looking for a solid maple, six drawer dresser in fairly good condition for a good price, please give me money and it’s allllllllllllllllllll yours.
Anyway, here’s what the dresser looked like when I bought it.
Not bad, right? It’s got some wear and tear and it’s a lot more scratched up than it looks in the photos, but it had character.
I like character.
I was SUPER excited to get started on this project because not only do I love a good project, this would be my first solo furniture re-do.
The first thing I decided was that I wanted to give this a chalk paint treatment because I see it all over my Pinterest and it looks bitchin’. The second thing I decided was that I wanted to give the little details carved into the wood a chance to shine. Literally, shine.
Step 1: I took off allllllllll the handles.
I’m not sure exactly how old this dresser is, but I can tell you one thing: Every piece of dust that has ever touched this dresser was behind those handles. EVERY SINGLE IOTA OF DUST.
It was half fascinating and half gross.
Step 2: I labeled the handles in case this somehow became important later because maybe they’re all the same but maybe not, I don’t know. I can’t tell and I don’t want to screw this up.
Step 3: I went out and bought a dark gold paint and painted all the detailing and handles in gold with multiple layers.
Now, I just used an acrylic craft paint for this, but I technically should have use a latex or something so that I didn’t run the risk of the acrylic peeling off under the other paint. However, I did it this way because I’m not made of money, to hell with your rules, I only wanted the gold for inside the cracks where I won’t be painting over anyway, and I honestly didn’t think of that till afterwards.
Step 4: After work, I excitedly walked down to my local Home Hardware and chose my paint colour. I’d been thinking a teal originally but then thought about something like an oxidized copper. I couldn’t find exactly the colour I was looking for but after comparing the colour of the gold paint I’d bought with the paint chips in the store, I settled on a colour that is somewhere on the line between blue/green/and grey. I also bought Plaster of Paris (because I was set on making my own chalk paint), a brush, and sandpaper for distressing. Behold, the tools in my arsenal!
Step 5: I mixed my chalk paint mixture. After watching numerous YouTube videos and reading various blogs, I’m still not sure if I’ve done it right, but I suppose we’ll find out. The majority of my research said to mix 1 cup paint with 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris (the power is to be dissolved in the plaster of Paris), so that’s what I did. After the first couple of coats, I was pleased to find that I had made the right colour choice and after three light coats, it started to look pretty snazzy.
Step 6: As I waited for the paint to dry, I decided that the handles needed to have a bit of the main colour added to them, so using a paper towel and my fingers (it was ALLLLLLLLLLL over my fingers), I rubbed them down with a light covering of paint. See the difference between the two I haven’t gotten to yet and the super gold ones?
Before we go any further, I’d like to acknowledge that yes, I am fully aware of how phallic these look.
I see it.
I don’t care.
I am not ashamed.
I love my oddly phallic handles and I won’t be ashamed of them.
And on that note:
P.S. If I have enraged you with a two-part post, may I remind you that every sitcom in the 90’s had Two-Part episodes and they were ALMOST ALWAYS WORTH IT.
P.P.S. Ok, maybe they weren’t, but shut up.
P.P.P.S. MOM, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, YES I HAD A DROP CLOTH UNDER THE DRESSER WHEN I WAS PAINTING, I REMOVED IT FOR THE PHOTOS.
P.P.P.P.S. Ok, it was less of a cloth and more of a cardboard slab, but you get the point.