Thursday, October 13, 2011

What I Did on Fall Break (part two)

For my next trick...

I had two other projects working this week: one that was really easy and one that made me cuss. The easy one first. My 14 year old has had the same dresser set since he was still living in my belly and I filled it with baby clothes. Back then his clothes fit in the dresser drawers. Now, not so much.

I've been checking Craigslist every night and yard sales every weekend trying to find one tall (5-6 drawer) chest of drawers to replace the 4-drawer chest and 6-drawer long dresser that he has now, but I haven't found anything that I like which I can also afford. So, unfortunately for now, he's stuck with his kid-sized furniture to hold his man-sized clothes. But also unfortunately, they were fugly. They were scuffed and scratched and had these really awful fake brass drawer pulls. Well, see for yourself:

Old English Scratch Cover and Rust-oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint to the rescue. Both of those products are must-haves for me. I've used the Old English scratch cover on so many things--to erase a bunch of minor scratches in furniture when we moved, and more recently, to help me restore a Bombay Company jewelry chest which I've seen on Ebay and other sites for $100, that I scored at a yard sale for $5 this summer. It was in pretty rough shape, but with a little sanding and elbow grease and Old English, it is beautiful again.

Rust-oleum Univeral paint and primer in one is my go-to for anything that needs to be replaced when I can't afford to replace. Seriously, this stuff has saved me bundles of cash. I've painted (in two different houses) bathroom light fixtures , towel bars, toilet paper dispensers, drawer and cabinet pulls (see bathroom cabinet makeover, next), hinges, my metal (fake iron) bed, metal wall art, decorative crosses, picture frames, and probably some other stuff that I can't remember right now. I love this paint. It looks black at first glance, but when the light catches it, it gives off this really pretty glowy, gold-flecky, sparkly sheen that is so lovely.

So, back to the dresser. It's not a huge change (at least it doesn't show up well in the pictures), but it's enough that I can live with the chest of drawers a little while longer until I find something better. And then when I sell the old ones on Craigslist, somebody will get a less fugly pair for their kid's room. Win, win. Here is the finished product:

Now on to my bathroom. I painted the walls over the summer to match the blue/brown motif we have going on in the attached bedroom. I love that shade of blue. My plan was to paint the cabinet base in a dark espresso brown, paint the door and drawer fronts blue, and then texturize them with some brown glaze. It was cream colored with lots of scuffs and scratches, and it had a couple of places where I'd dripped hair color down the front of it and stained it. Oh, it also had fake brass hinges, drawer and cabinet pulls. I forgot to take the "before" picture until after I'd already removed the cabinet door (and I forgot to put away my flat iron too).

It should have been a piece of cake to do because it's so small. I might not have mentioned this before, but I have the smallest bathroom and the smallest closet in the family. But of course, right off the bat I ran into trouble. The screws holding the drawer fronts in place were totally stripped and I couldn't unscrew them. After trying every Phillips head screwdriver we own, and lots of brute force, I managed to get them off. However, the fake drawer thingy (what do you call those things?) was firmly attached. So I decided rather than tape it off and try to paint it the same blue as the real drawers, I would just leave it the same color as the base.

I couldn't find a brown that I loved enough to buy a whole quart of it to do such a tiny section of cabinet. I really wanted this project to be free (my favorite price) like the dresser (since I already had a can of spray paint) and I didn't want to have a nearly full quart of brown paint sitting around. Then I discovered two things that solidified my decision: one, the previous owner had used oil-based paint, so I could not paint over it with latex; two, there was still half a can of the cream-colored oil-based paint that the previous owner had used just sitting there, free (my favorite price) in the basement. Decision made, I sanded the worn spots on the cabinet base and applied another coat of the original paint just to freshen things up.

I took the hinges and door/drawer pulls off and painted them with my beloved oil-rubbed bronze. I sanded down the door and drawer fronts, primed them, and painted them with four coats of the blue wall paint. Yes, four coats. Ugh. The hardest part of the whole project was getting the drawer fronts off and back on again. Because of this fact, even though I don't absolutely love the way it turned out, it's staying this color for a while. I'm not taking those suckers off again any time soon. I thought I would really love the contrast between the blue and cream, but I'm not in love with it. I don't hate it, but it's not as awesome as I'd envisioned it. And it really bothers me that the fake drawer thingy is white but the real drawers are blue.

I really love the next picture because you can see my goofy hand in the mirror trying to avoid capturing my own image in the photo. Trust me when I tell you, I do not want the cyber world to see what I look like right now.



So, there's two more projects checked off my list. The others are much more time-consuming, requiring power tools and strength and skills that I don't possess. At least not by myself. I need to build a shelving unit in my laundry room to make it a proper mudroom, paint the whole room, rip up the Brady Bunch linoleum, and stain the concrete floor. Then I need to sand and repaint my front porch columns and gable, caulk the cracks and seal the concrete porch, repair the handrails and attach one side to the brick wall of the house for stability. Then I need to sand and paint all the shutters. I don't look forward to doing any of that alone. Yuck. I may have to break down and hire someone for that part of the list.

But at least I got some of the minor things crossed off the list this week. And I still have a few more days to tackle some more.

I still ♥ fall break.

1 comment:

april said...

They both look great! I love the blue rug with your cabinets. So cute.