Monday, May 18, 2015

New-ish furniture in my stitching room!

I have a table next to my stitching chair to hold my stitching accessories and iPad while I'm stitching.  It's not the best setup so I've been looking for something else.

Here's the culprit:

The table is just one of those cheap round things with the screw-on legs.  The doily is fine - I made it!  There's not a lot of surface room and I have to have ALL my stuff that I might need out and in the way.  It also doesn't help that the cat loves to walk under it and  occasionally tries to pull the doily (and everything on top) off the table.

So, I've been looking for a small chest of drawers to replace this unfortunate thing.  Thanks to my hubby, I was able to get this for no money!  He swapped some stuff he'd gotten out of a storage unit (think Storage Hunters) for this at a local second-hand store:

Now it's not really easy to tell from this photograph but this needed some work.  Plus, it was a tad too traditional for my craft room.

Here are the rest of the before photos:

Now for the directions on the transformation.

Step 1:

Remove the hardware:

The hardware was, thankfully, easy to remove.  Two screws for each handle and they just came right off!  I had more trouble finding a screwdriver in my husband's toolbox than I did in taking the handles off.

Step 2:


Now hubby was very helpful in letting me use his palm sander.  Since I'd never used it before, he put the first piece of sandpaper on for me but made sure that I knew how to do it so that I could change it when it wore out.  That bit was easy.

I was using 60 grit sandpaper.  If you've never used sandpaper, I'll tell you this:  the lower the grit number, the coarser the sandpaper.  I really should have been using 40 grit or lower.  The finish on this really didn't want to come off!  I ended up using the entire package of 60 grit.

The edges of the drawers and the bottom/feet of the piece I had to do by hand.  That was fun (heavy sarcasm here).  I actually still had to do the left side of the chest after I'd run out of the 60 grit.  I'd noticed that the finish seemed a bit gummy and I knew the 100 grit that I had available wasn't going to work so I improvised.  We always have a bunch of razor blades around our house (the kind you put in a utility knife, not the kind you shave with), so I grabbed one of them.  I used the razor blade like a scraper and took off quite a bit of the remaining finish that way.  It even worked on the curve of the foot area!  I then used a piece of the 100 grit to do the little bit of finish the blade didn't get.  Whew!  I'm tired just writing this!

All total, it took me about an hour each evening for 3 evenings.  Either my back would start to hurt or my hands would get too tired so I'd quite for the night.

Here it is all sanded.

On the side, near the top, you can probably see where I broke the rule:  "Go with the grain".  Seriously, that was the only way I could get in there!

Step 3:

Wipe down.

I didn't take photos of this 'cause it was rather boring.  Take a damp cloth and wipe the whole piece down.  You need to make sure you've gotten all the sawdust off the piece.  Let it dry before proceeding to paint.

Step 4:

Hardware prep.

First I needed to determine if the hardware was actual brass or something else.  With a handy dandy magnet, I discovered it was not brass.  The magnet stuck to it, so it wasn't brass.  Hallelujah!  (Brass is more difficult to paint.).   I gave the hardware a good cleaning with soap and water and a metal scouring pad.  Most directions I found said to use steel wool but I didn't have any.

Step 5:

Priming/Painting the hardware.

Ok, I kind of merged this step.  Priming and painting should have been separate steps.  I already had silver metallic spray paint which I was planning to use.  It turns out that it was paint and primer in one!  Yeah, me!  I took the pieces out to my carport to do this bit.  Since it was quite windy, I placed them in a cardboard box with the opening facing me (rather than facing the sky).  I sprayed them all, then using a toothpick, I swung the moving part of the handle to the other side and sprayed them again.

They were dry to the touch after 15 minutes so I brought them inside to finish "curing".

Step 6:

Priming/Painting the Drawers

I had thought about doing the finish where you spray paint through a lace curtain panel but I couldn't be bothered to go shopping for one.  Yes, I turned down the chance to shop.  I was tired.

I did want to have some sort of accent on the finished piece so I thought I'd paint part of the drawer fronts using the same silver paint that I used on the hardware.  Out came the painter's tape.  The drawer fronts have 3 distinct areas:  the center where the hardware was, a medium-sized border area, and a narrow border.  I chose to paint the medium-sized border with the silver.

I masked the center panel and the outer border to prevent getting paint on them.  Then I sprayed the silver paint on each drawer.  I then went back over each drawer immediately just to make sure I had enough paint on them.  After about 15 minutes, I took off all the painter's tape.  I wanted the paint to be dry to the touch but not necessarily completely dry.  If it was too dry, removing the tape might have taken some of the paint with it.

Here they are painted before I took the tape off:

You can see some of the blue from the tape showing through.

And here they are with the tape removed:

Step 7:

Prime/Paint the rest of the piece.

Again, I didn't want this to be a two-step process so I splurged a bit.  I purchased Behr Premium Plus Ultra (paint/primer in one - interior).  I bought a full gallon because I am going to use it on other projects - a quart would have been more than sufficient for this chest of drawers.  I chose a flat finish.  The color is called Starless Night. 

I started with the drawers.  I taped over the silver all the way to the edge so I could paint the center panel of each drawer.  I left the tape on for about 10-15 minutes which was a bit too long.  While the silver paint had dried overnight, a little bit of it did come off with the tape.

So to keep a nice line between the silver area and the outer edge of the drawer, I placed the tape, painted and immediately removed the tape.  No silver came off and I had a clean edge!  When I was painting the edges, I didn't paint toward the tape, I painted from a bit over the tape toward the edge.  That way, I wasn't "shoving" paint under the edge of the tape.

Here is one of the drawers all painted with the hardware reattached:

I did paint the interior of the drawers as well because they were a bit stained.

Next I painted the body of the piece.  I can recommend spending more money on a paint brush than I did.  I bought a 2in. wide brush that was under $5.  Spend more...really!  Here's what happens when you don't:

That's just a few of the bristles that I had to pick off the cabinet that were stuck in the paint.  I had to use a pair of tweezers to grab them.  The irony is that I finished painting the cabinet with a smaller brush by the same brand with no problems.  Go figure.

Here is the completed chest of drawers:

Here's roughly what it cost me to do this project.  I did try to list the prices with the sales tax included.

  • Chest of drawers - $10 list price  free
  • Sandpaper - $4.50 for 60 grit package (5 sheets) + .75 for1 sheet of 100 grit sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes, one 1" and one 2" - $6
  • Silver Spray paint/primer - $4.50
  • Gallon of Behr Paint/Primer - $40 but I have about 80% still left.
The top drawer now holds the remotes for my tv and dvd player, nail clippers, chapstick, and nail file.

The middle drawer holds my binder with the keys, charts, photos for the WIPs in my rotation.

The bottom drawer is the "snack drawer".  Shhhh!  Right now, it has a package of coconut cookies.

Happy Stitching!



sharine said...

Very clever and very stylish

Katie said...

What a beautiful refinish. Great job! Perfect explanation.

Leonore Winterer said...

That's awesome! Looks like a completely new piece of furniture in the end, well done ^_^

Cross Stitch Claire said...

What a fab job you've made of it, they're brilliant drawers!

Heather said...

Wow I love it! The silver outline was a great choice. I can't wait until I can buy a house and start my own DIY projects. Definitely an improvement over the little table.

Leigh said...

This is beautiful! What a cool project.

Lulu said...

It is beautiful! All your hard work was worth it.

Susan said...

Great redo!! Love the color combo. I have a couple of pieces in the basement that are this style, I now have some idea what to do with them. Yes, I am shamelessly stealing your idea!