Pretty Paisley

I went looking for a new dresser to makeover and I hit all my local thrift stores. No luck at the first and second one but at the third store I spotted this dresser and quickly checked it out. A little too quickly. I wanted to get a sold sticker on it so no one else would try to snap it up. I should have taken a closer look but I was looking for anything to take home at that point.

It's an okay dresser, but not great. The top and drawer fronts are pine (a very soft wood) so they are kinda banged up. I thought the drawers were wood at first look but they are actually MDF with a pretty convincing woodgrain-looking paper on it. Boo. Even though the dresser was only $3.50 (yep, you read that right, only 3.50!) I felt like I should have passed on it.

I got it home and tried to rough it up with some sandpaper but it seemed the stain on it was too thick. It didn't work very well. Although the dresser has some problems, the drawers do slide smoothly and it's clean, so I went ahead with the paint job.

I still had paint leftover from the can I bought for a previous dresser so I used that. I also had more of those wooden oversized knobs that I bought at the Re-Store (aka my favorite store) for $0.25/knob.

Since I had already done two dressers with pink accents I thought I would change it up and do one with blue. I went to Michaels and picked up some Robin's Egg Blue acrylic paint and a paisley stencil.

I tried using a sponge brush with the stencil on a practice piece of wood but it didn't have a crisp enough outline for me. So instead I used a light blue pencil crayon and traced the stencil in the corner. I then used a tiny little brush and painted in the stencil with the blue acrylic paint. It was pretty tedious but only took an hour and half while I watched some tv. Not too bad.

I like this dresser but I don't love it. I'm having a hard time pricing it (so far I've sold all the dressers) because it's not solid wood. It's cuter than anything you can buy at Walmart (not that I'm biased or anything) which is all MDF but this dresser is not new. I guess I'll just have to pick a price and go with it and see what happens!


Two Chairs, Two Makeovers

I found these two little chairs at Goodwill and thought they would appreciate a new look. They were both in really good shape, very sturdy. And both were only $3.99....but it was 50% off day! So only $2 bucks a chair!

After Goodwill I headed straight to Fabricland. Which I think is only a Canadian store because I never hear any US bloggers talking about it. There were pretty good sales that day and I picked up a pretty green paisley for $3/m and a blue stripe for $5/m. Each chair got a good sanding (okay maybe a quick sanding) and fresh coat of paint. I had bought a quart of off white (a mistint for only $4.50) and that little can lasted me for one dresser, a nightstand, two chairs and a side table. I think when you're using a sprayer your paint goes farther. Anyone else agree?

The hardest part was removing all those staples! And it's really hard on your hands. I used a flathead screwdriver and some plyers (or is it spelled pliers?). After I removed the old fabric I decided the padding of the chairs was still in good shape so I used it again.

For the green chair I just traced the size of the old fabric onto my new fabric, cut it out, stretched it tight and stapled. I stapled in the middle first on each of the four sides and then worked from the corners. Easy Peasy!

For the blue chair I had to use my sewing machine for the back cushion since the fabric is visible from the back. I just sewed a simple slipcover like a pillowcase and tried to taper the corners. Then I stapled the fabric to the bottom of the cushion. For the seat of the chair I just wrapped the cushion and stapled. The original fabric was more tailored but I was being lazy and didn't do it the same way. I should have because I'm not really happy with the way it turned out, but live and learn. Next time I should just take a break and come back to it later.

Isn't great what a little paint and fresh fabric can do?

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Curbside Shopping

Do you have "Bulk Garbage Day" in your area? If you do, they are a great way to pick up some free furniture and save it from the landfill! I got up bright and early (and convinced my husband to do the same) because I knew there was some good things out there. There was a lot of excitement followed by disappointment. I kept yelling at my husband "Oh, down that street, I see a dresser!" Only to see it up close and it really was garbage. But it was all worth it because I found this little dresser.

It had three coats of paint on it (white, forest green & mint green) and because of all the layers of paint the drawers were getting stuck in places. But I figured a free dresser is a good time to try stripping paint. So I headed to Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to see if they possibly had a can of leftover stripper. They had boxes and boxes of it for $4/can. I see the same can in stores for $9.99. It is called Circa 1850.

I was worried about the smell being too strong but really it just smelled like vodka and not too chemical-y. I still put on my mask though. I just spread on the stripper with an old paint brush and in a couple minutes is started to look like this.

Then I just used a scraper and the paint was coming off so easy! I was pretty amazed.

It didn't take long at all to take it right down to the wood. I used the palm sander to get all the little bits of paint off. The wood was beautiful and in great shape. I considered just staining it in a nice colour but it was faded around where the original hardware had been and I wasn't sure if that would show through the stain.

So I painted it white (of course). One of these days I'm going to go for a really fun colour. While I was at the Re-Store I found these large wooden knobs that I thought would look cute if I painted them. And they were only $0.25/knob. Great deals at the Re-Store! I was really happy with the way this dresser turned out, the knobs especially.

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Adorable Retro Nightstand

I was shopping at Michaels and found the cutest little knobs and they were only $1.50 each! I picked up two of them even though I didn't have a project to use them on. I went right to Goodwill in hopes of finding a little cabinet or nightstand that would only need two knobs. Lucky day! I picked up this nightstand for $2.99. It was in fantastic shape (like all the old stuff usually is!) and so friggin' adorable.

I primed first and then used some white latex paint (in the paint sprayer) that I had already on hand. It is such a small piece that it took no time at all!

Here's a close up of the knobs. Michaels had a few different styles of these knobs and now they're even on clearance for $0.70.

Spraypaint Love

When I was pregnant we needed some furniture for the baby's room. We headed to Goodwill and I really wanted to find an older REAL wood dresser but they didn't have any that day. I didn't have any patience so I picked up an MDF one for a few bucks. I don't mind the cheapo dresser too much because it was in good shape and, in fact, cheapo.

We didn't know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl so really I just wanted a fun, playful nursery with primary colours. So I went with red. First I bought an "oops can" of red. It did NOT cover well. I didn't prime first and it was really just a mess. So I headed to the spraypaint aisle (and the mask aisle). Now I was in business!

Unfortunately, I don't have any before photos of either the dresser or the nightstand. But here they are in all their red glory. They still make me smile.