Saturday, October 6, 2012

The BIG Reveal!!

I couldn't wait another second to show you. It's done. And it's in. And it's perfect!

I've gone ahead and done my very first tutorial for this lovely creation too. So as much as you're here to see the before and after shots, stick around and read about how easy it actually was to accomplish! :)

So, my what I started with.

A pretty sad looking piece of neglected 1970's furniture. A piece that my mother thought I was crazy for wanting. BUT....

THIS is what I have NOW...

And let me tell you, I am IN LOVE. It's perfect. In every way. There is not a single thing that I'm looking at and wishing it was different. It's just....perfect.

And so...this is how it all came to be! It was so laughably easy that I'm a little embarrassed.

First, there's the dresser, of course, which came in at a grand $31.74

I just love that price
I have to say, I got extremely lucky that the piece that I found was in pretty good shape. There was a drawer track missing, a couple knicks in the wood, and a looooot of dust. But there was no funky smell, no huge holes, no malfunctioning drawers. It was a good piece from the beginning.

My first step was to clean it out. And I mean really, really clean it. I found this stuff on our way out of Lowe's, and it was a last minute add to the cart. But it was a great pick up. It claims to cut through oil, wax, dirt, everything. I thought it was a good idea, since I had no idea what the previous owners may or may not have done to this thing. It was totally worth the $6.99, because it definitely did everything it promised to.

We took all the drawers out, and cleaned everything individually. It was necessary. I think it's safe to say whenever you buy something and you don't know its history, a deep clean is extremely necessary.

A huge thanks goes out to my mom for helping me scrub it all. The paper towels were preeeeetty nasty when we were done.

Next came the sanding. Since the back of the dresser is just plain plywood, and we wouldn't be finishing or seeing that, I laid it down on its back so I could easily reach all the areas that needed to be sanded.
I didn't go crazy with the sanding, because the wood was actually in pretty good shape too. And, I was going to be covering it with a dark color, so any small imperfections would be covered with the paint.

Next came priming. 

[The first picture also shows the sanding block I used; a fine grit]
I used ALL Valspar spray paint on this. The first coat of primer didn't coat as well as I was expecting, so I did two.

I didn't waste my time priming areas that weren't going to be painted, or painting areas that weren't going to be seen. Save yourself the trouble. I also sprayed all the drawers with their faces up. This cut down on any drips! 
*I must say, at this point, I was almost wishing white would fit into the decor in my house, because I was loving the way it looked in white.*

After letting the primer dry for a good 3-4 hours, I brushed over it all with a piece of steel wool, just to "grind down" any uneven spots or anything like that. The wool was pretty soft, so it really just added a nice "smooth" to the primed wood.
Kind of looks like a squirrel's tail.

Once that was done, I was ready to move onto the black. There was no turning back now!

I used Valspar Black in a Gloss finish. I wanted a shinier look to the piece. If you're looking for something without as much sheen, go with a Satin finish. You'll still get a smooth look, just without the shine.

It took me a good two coats over the entire thing, and a few areas still required me to go back and add a little more. Since it is real wood, it was really soaking up the paint, so the primer was showing in a few places even after two coats. But it didn't take long to go back and fix the areas where the white was peeking through. At this point....I was getting beyond pumped. It was turning out amaaaaaazing.

I let it dry over night, but it was still pretty tacky in the morning. And more problem areas had shown up. So I went over those areas again, and then turned a few fans on it at full blast to dry it.

Once it was dry, I went over the areas that were prone to damage with a coat of polyurethane. I did the top, where the TV would be sitting, and the sides, where Landon is sure to bang things into it.
I bought the smallest can they had, because I knew I wouldn't need much. I also got this in the "gloss" finish. I used a cheapo sponge brush (49 cents at Michaels) and brushed it on. Not only was it protecting it and giving it awesome shine, but it also evened out a few areas where you could see some uneven spots from the spray paint.
I sat it back up on its side for this step, to avoid drips from the coating.

I also spray painted the inside of the top two drawers. I wasn't going to be using those drawers, so that needed to be black as well.

We let it dry for several days. Which, now, was probably very wise. At the time, my excitement was killed each day Jeremy said he didn't want to move it in yet. But now, it was worth the wait.

Once it was entirely dry, we drilled a couple holes in the back for our cords to fit through, and added the hardware. I fell in love with the silver drawer pulls, and fell even deeper in love with the fact that they were only $3.49 each! Score!


And...that was it! It was time to move it in! I am in NO way done figuring out what I want to display on the top, and the black and white fabric bins may only have a temporary home on the shelves. I'm picturing chunky baskets, but until I find the ones I fall in love with, I'm happy with the bins, which I just happened to have laying around the house.

I seriously, truly, could not be happier with the way it turned out. And I am LOVING that every single one of our dvd's is hidden in those drawers, along with all the Wii accessories, including the Wii Fit board, and we still have the three small drawers in the middle totally open for storage. Ah-mazing.

Please ignore the massive mess in Landon's corner of the room, obviously, we were not focused on cleaning up after him today. Whoops.

So there ya have it! I had such a blast doing this, and told Jeremy today I want to make this into a job. I love finding things that other people think are ugly or trash, and having a vision of what they can be. And now I KNOW I can do this. And pretty damn well. On the hunt for the next project. Although, probably not for OUR house, I need to give Jeremy a break. This whole process seemed a little traumatizing for him, bringing something so old into the house. But, even though his pride is keeping him from telling me that he LOVES it, he has made several comments so far today that elude to the fact that he is, in fact, impressed. But, if you're looking for something, and you want it cheap, tell me! I'd love to hunt and fix it up for you! :)

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