Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yucky Ol' Dresser... to Functional TV Stand and Storage

This is probably one of my favorite projects to date. Maybe because I've had the idea for so long and it finally became reality. The bad part is I did this over three months ago! We had hardware issues, so I didn't want to post until I had a good "after" photo.
My inspiration came from something I "pinned" on Pinterest over two years ago. I LOVED it!
I've been searching for the right dresser ever since. Then, this popped up.
 Maybe it was the missing drawer that made it so obvious.
Elyse and I drove up to Dupont and brought her home in the truck! Bill was not impressed when he saw it. Sue saw it that weekend and didn't think much either. It was super ugly - just trust me. Call me crazy - but I could just see the possibilities!
Here's the part where I'm really mad at myself. I took better pictures and I must have accidentally deleted them. UGH!
You will just have to trust me by this blurry blown up cell phone photo. It was UGLY. It was solid wood, but was painted to look like stain with the black dots attempting to look like wood grain. It had stains, gouges, and gunk all over the top. Handles were ugly and some were missing or broken.
I followed some Katie Bower tips from this project. I completely sanded the entire top of the dresser. I started with coarse grit - and sanded, and sanded and sanded with a palm sander. Once the main finish came off, I slowly transitioned to a finer grit. It was pouring the day I did the sanding, but I stayed inside the garage - making a good mess!
I then applied two coats of Rustoleum’s Kona stain and made sure to do full length strokes for the best and most even coverage.  Then I wiped it all down with a cloth diaper and did my first coat of regular polyurethane in satin finish. I lightly sanded between coats and did two more coats on top for good measure.
I cleaned the entire base - outside and inside the drawers too - with TSP cleaner. I painted the unit with Annie Sloan chalk paint in graphite. I wanted something more masculine since this was going in the man room. I sealed with two layers of wax - buffing coats with a cloth diaper.
It was finally done, but it needed some time for the wax to harden. It was HOT, HOT, HOT in the garage and we wanted it to cure, but after a few days thought it would be better to bring it upstairs to let it set in more normal temperatures.
In the meantime, Bill built the "box" that fits inside the open drawer space. I painted it with more graphite and sealed with a polyurethane satin spray.
Here is a peek at the finished product. The graphite is supposed to be light black or dark grey - it definitely looks different depending on the lighting.
I picked up this shelf liner from Amazon in grey and white chevron and lined the drawers for a little fun and function.

I'm very happy with the stained top. It gives it much more durability. Consider this option when repainting a new piece, particularly when using chalk paint. I don't love the wear on the top of our dresser in the guest bedroom and wished I'd considered a stained top instead.

The hardware was maddening to find! The large handles had to be five and a half inches screw-to-screw. No hardware stores carry them in store and we returned not one, but three orders from on-line vendors who sent handles that did not fit. Only one was my fault (I didn't read the details correctly). We were so frustrated. These handles were not really our favorites, but they work and look decent.

This was a fun project and I really enjoyed that Bill and I worked on pieces of it together. It now holds DVDs, puzzles and other toys upstairs. We love finding old and ugly things and bringing them back to life. Any new projects in your life lately?
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