Monday, February 24, 2014

Garage Sale Retro Dresser Makeover

Wow.  It's been Halloween since my last post.  Yeaaah...sorry about that.  But I have an excuse....

Actually, two excuses....

Actually, three excuses if you count my toddler too (this list could go on and on so I'll just stop there) :)
So the big news is we are expecting identical twin boys!  We have a long road ahead, but I am finally starting to feel like myself again and therefore can finally share this dresser project I did a couple months ago.  (Note: Once I found out we were expecting, Trey actually did most of the work...painting, polishing, sanding, etc.)  I just directed :)

I had been looking for a tall dresser for our bedroom for a long time when I stumbled upon this piece at a garage sale...(excuse the iphone photo!)

It's a little retro, which I thought could be a fun touch in our muted bedroom.  I loved the warmth of the wood, but it wasn't in the best shape.

I initially thought I would just sand off the top finish layer and re-stain but this gave me a lot more trouble than I had hoped.  We started sanding and discovered that veneers don't really sand down...hmmmm.  Then we started sanding EVERYTHING which was a huge mistake.

At first, it was looking slightly better, but the hardwood turned out to be yellow pine and it was SOOO yellow.  Here is a shot of the doors-  on the right the door is sanded and on the left is when I started adding the stain.  As you can see, the wood veneer is still showing the hardware mark and the frame was waaaay too yellowish for my taste.

I felt like I wanted to scrap the project at that point.  BUT THEN, I found this image on Pinterest....and it gave me some new inspiration on what to do.  

Via Cup Half Full
I loved the idea of insetting leather into the doors/drawers and painting the frame a slightly darker tone.  Because the hardware was real brass, I thought these light colors would really help the hardware stand out.  

So, I went a new direction and had Trey paint the frame Annie Sloan "Old Ochre" and bought some cream textured vinyl for the doors. I was looking for faux ostrich leather like in the photo, but again, was SO over this project at this point I just went with what they had at the fabric store.  Because I knew I would never be able to get the edges of the vinyl cut perfectly (and didn't want the edges to turn up over time), I found the smallest trim moulding I could find at Home Depot and had Trey cut the pieces for me using his miter saw to frame the door and drawers.  This trim pieces covered the edges making the drawer and doors look clean and tailored.  The moulding was attached at the edges using a brad nailer, and filled the holes with wood putty and then touched up with paint.

For the  hardware, I had my Dad cut off the backplates (which I thought looked dated) and Trey spent some time polishing with Brasso.

Instructions on the bottle say not to let it sit on the brass, but the tarnish was so intense we disregarded this and put all the pieces into a plastic bag with the Brasso and let is sit for a while before trying to polish...seemed to help.  I didn't want it to be shiny, there is still a bit of patina on it which I think looks great.

Sorry I don't have more progress shots, after the wood finish stripping fiasco, I was so tired of this I just wanted to get it out of my garage!  

But here is the piece all finished- I absolutely love how it turned out!   

And for fun here's a side by side before & after: much better.  I don't know how much time I'll be having over the next few months to do anymore big projects, but do know I have a new nursery (and big boy room) to plan!  Hopefully it won't be another 4 months before I post on that! :)