Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kid's Dresser Revamp - Project of the Day

I have been crazy busy with the projects lately so I figured I would take a brief intermission from them to update everyone on my progress.

I don't know if it is because it is spring or what, but I keep piling the projects on and am not losing any momentum. . . yet. The result has been a somewhat neglected blog, but check out my latest accomplishment:

A quick update on other loose ends first. Last weekend was a partial bust thanks to the weather and some sick children. I say partial because we did manage to knock down two awnings (woot). Even though we only removed 2, we love the natural light we are getting from just those windows. 2 down and 8 to go! If you missed out on the awning excitement, check out this post.

There are several garden projects going on in the midst of this that will be a blog for another day. I also decided just yesterday to tackle a project that I have been procrastinating on for 2 years. I am talking about my Little Dude's dresser.

For those of you who don't already know, I go a little overboard on my baby nurseries (check them out here and here). I really enjoyed planning and designing everything about my babies' rooms from the large scale aspects such as murals and furniture to the details such as outlet covers. For K's room we gave him an old dresser that had been bought for my room as a teenager from a garage sale. It was ugly but not a horrendous eyesore. I wanted to at least re-stain the thing, but I was leaning more towards painting it. After a few months of procrastinating it really left my consciousness all together until this week. Flash forward to yesterday as I was checking out some gardening supplies at Menards; It hit me that I never did do anything with the dresser. I figured, since I'm on a bit of a roll right now, that I would buy paint and new knobs, and hopefully get around to finally crossing that project off the list.

Both kids are on the mend from some virus so we have been spending our days at home this week. Today was no exception so I decided to go ahead and tackle the dresser.

I am an idiot and deleted the only before shot of the dresser that I had on my camera while reviewing photos a while back. Genius I know! I (thankfully) managed to find this old shot of it though hidden away in my old computer files:
Sorry for the bad quality, but you can see it was a rather boring old dresser. What you probably can't appreciate from this photo are all the scratches and peeling varnish all over.

First of all I gutted the dresser of its drawers and their contents, and brought it out onto an old painting blanket in the kitchen. I would have preferred to do this all in the garage but with both kids around the garage wasn't an option. The weather was gorgeous and breezy so I opened all the windows and doors which created ideal ventilation.

The first step was to sand the scratches and peeling varnish. I just hit the problem areas which took all of five minutes. For the rest of the varnish I simply wiped all the surface area with this:
This stuff removes stain and varnish fairly decently with just a wipe of a rag and dries within ten minutes. It is also the stinkiest stuff I used all day so I was thankful for the nice ventilation I had going. Once dry I brushed on a coat of low VOC oil based primer. Since I didn't really sand the dresser too extensively I figured I would need the oil based primer.
The can said to allow thirty minutes of drying time before painting over the primer so I left an hour for good measure. Then it was onto the color. I used Dutch Boy low VOC paint. I decided to go with a deep jungle green to match K's room theme. This was after the first coat:
I let it dry for a half hour and then put on the second and final coat.

From there I moved on to the drawers. Here is what the bottom three drawers used to look like:
Those drawer pulls have made me nervous from the moment we decided to put them in K's room. The corners are pointy and curve out. It is amazing that K never hurt himself on them. Better late than never I guess to fix that issue, especially since little Miss H has started cruising a little lately. The problem I ran into when trying to switch out the drawer pulls two years ago is that the holes for these are a rather non-standard distance apart. They are only 2" apart whereas Menards and Home Depot sell 3" pulls as a minimum. I checked online and there are a few options but I figured it would be best to get exactly what I wanted and simply fill in the old holes. So I took off the old pulls and busted out the all purpose spackle:
Then I put the drawers through the same process that I had the dresser. With the primer, the filled in holes were already invisible:
 I went with a bright lime green paint for the drawers for a nice two tone look:
I also painted the new knobs and pulls the same lime green color to match. After everything had been drying for a couple of hours I drilled new 3" holes on the three drawers with that kind of pull and installed the new hardware.

This is the final result:
I did take the drawers back out after taking this photo because the paint still needs a few days to cure. This weekend everything should be a go for normal use.

I LOVE how it turned out and am so happy that I finally bit the bullet and got this done. It matches the room so well. I had purchased the lion knobs on clearance at Babies"R"Us for $3 for the two a few months back and they are my favorite detail of all:
I also want to mention that I have never painted a piece of furniture before so I think I did pretty well for a newbie. Now that this is done, the focus will go back outside at least through the weekend. I hope the momentum keeps up!


  1. I love it! The dresser looks great! And I love that you spent a lot less on Kaelan's dresser than we did for Danni's stuff! :)

  2. Thanks Sarah, baby furniture gets spendy so it is nice to find deals where you can. I'll do a post about Hailey's furniture later on, but we got a great deal from craigslist for that too and it is perfect for her room's color scheme.

    I'm excited to see your nursery in use!


I'd love to hear from you!