Thursday, July 17, 2014

Project: Dresser for Rerun

So as I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I found this beauty of a dresser on Craigslist for $60.

The price was right, and the dimensions were right, so I sent a quick e-mail and then sent David to pick it up.

(Sidenote: The guy who sold it to us was so impressed by how nice David is that he sent me an e-mail telling me that I really have a good guy and he wishes us the best of luck with the baby and the changing table. This is why I call David "The Mayor.")

Anyway, we got it home and not only was the paint ugly, it was chipping and dusty and the drawers all smelled really musty.

So I got to work. First, I used the brush attachment on the vacuum to vacuum off all the dust, and then I wiped the whole thing down with a towel dampened with water and a little Dr. Bronner's soap.

Then I sprayed and wiped the inside of the drawers with vinegar and water mixture, and I set them out in the sun for a few hours.

I still felt like they smelled musty (my pregnancy nose is hyper sensitive), so I added a few drops of lavender essential oil to baking soda (just shook it up together in a sandwich baggie) and then spread the baking soda in each drawer and let that sit overnight. I vacuumed it all out before I started painting.

I also decided that I wasn't in love with the little basket on the top drawer. It looked too country for my taste. So I filled it with wood putty. It took three rounds of filling it and sanding it down before I was satisfied that it was smooth enough. Chalk paint is pretty forgiving, so I was hoping that I'd get good coverage. (Plot spoiler: I did!)

Once it was all clean and the putty was dry and smooth, I started painting.

The awesome thing about chalk paint is that you don't have to do any prep work whatsoever (aside from cleaning). No sanding or priming or anything like that. Just slap the paint on.

It goes on nice and thick and dries quickly with a matte finish. The color I chose was Aubusson blue. In retrospect, I wish it were a bit darker (like more of a navy?) but it looks fine and I still think it's a pretty color.

My wood-putty-filled basket totally disappeared under the chalk paint--so awesome.

I definitely needed two coats to get good coverage over the old paint.

after one coat

You can still see the half wet / half dry paint here.
The lady who sold me the paint convinced me to buy the special Annie Sloan brush, but you don't really need the special brush. It did come in really handy for the wax, though.

I painted this little side table at the same time I painted the dresser. I wasn't intending to paint it when I first bought it (at an estate sale for $10) but after I cleaned off the layer of dust that was covering it, I saw that the finish was in really bad shape. So, for $10, I knew that a layer of chalk paint was just what it needed.

After painting, I let it sit for a while until I got another burst of energy, and then I decided to distress the pieces just a little bit. (Can you tell I've been watching a lot of Fixer Upper? I heart Joanna Gaines.) I've never distressed furniture before and I was a little nervous about it. I like the look of it, but it's not a style I have in my own home, so I just wasn't sure how it would shake out.

I just lightly sanded around the edges with a fine-grit sandpaper. When I was satisfied with how it looked, I did the waxing process. I definitely kept it on the light side, and I was really glad I had the $10 side table to use as my experiment piece before I tackled the bigger dresser.

The paint was zero VOC but the wax does have a bit of mineral oil in it so I was cautious about wearing a mask, opening windows, and running a fan during this process.

I simply brushed it on in small sections and then used a lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe it down. The most helpful instructions I found said to apply the wax with a brush, then use a clean cloth to rub it in like handcream. Once you've rubbed in it, use another cloth to wipe off any excess. Let it dry 24 hours and then buff it for a slight sheen.

Annie Sloan says it's like lotion for the paint, and that's basically how it worked. It gave a light sheen to the matte finish of the paint without making it super glossy. It darkened the color just a schmidge, which I was really happy about. It also protects the paint from getting scratched or damaged, which should be quite handy for a changing table.

Of course, I wanted to fancy it up a bit more, so I cut wrapping paper for drawer liner and added that for a little pop.

POP! I guess the pink pattern might be a little girly, but I don't think Rerun will mind either way.
To keep it smelling nice and fresh, I made my own sachets by putting more baking soda and lavender essential oil in a coffee filter tied with baker's twine. Super simple and smells delicious.

I also spray-painted the drawer pulls. I originally tried to clean and shine them with salt and lemon juice paste, but they just didn't get sparkly enough for my taste, so the gold spray point did the trick perfectly.

Final reveal!


I'm pretty satisfied with how the dresser turned out (and I totally want to chalk paint everything). I picked up a couple of rugs and some curtains, but I'm still looking for some storage baskets for the bookcase I ordered. Now comes the fun part of putting the room together!

It has crossed my mind that I may be doing this kind of "nesting" to avoid some of the scarier parts of prepping for baby--washing newborn clothes and packing a hospital bag. Those tasks feel much more "real" than painting furniture and hanging curtains, since the decorating I'm doing is technically in the master bedroom rather than a nursery. But considering I'm halfway through week 37, I guess it's time to get on that...


  1. Oh Brooke, I feel your pain. When I was pregnant with Henry, I didn't do anything until about a week before my scheduled c-section. I finally started freaking out because I knew that having someone else picking out the essentials (I just envisioned my husband sending his mom to the store to get things right after the baby was born) would make me crazier than just doing it already. So, I went on Amazon and ordered just the bare essentials. Even then, I left everything in the packaging until Henry came home with me. I was way less crazy about someone else doing my laundry. :)

    If I lived closer, I'd take those clothes and prepare them for you...only to return them AFTER Rerun arrives. You do what you got to do, girl!

  2. I love how this turned out, and I think you made a good choice to fill in the wheat and basket.

    How EASY is this chalk paint? I have some old side tables I would like to redo for Piper's room, but I am lazy. I also like the distressed look in other people's home, but I don't know if I would like it in my own. #firstworldproblems.

    Laundry didn't affect me the same way this time, but picking out that perfect coming home outfit was a trial in patience for sure.

  3. You should have hubby, a family member or a friend do the baby clothes. That way you might not feel so jinx-y, and it can get done. :)

  4. WOW! You know I love re-do projects and on a budget... because I just think it's so fun to make something over and make it look just the way you want.

    Totally impressed!

  5. Ok I'm totally going to look I to chalk paint for my next project (dining room buffet) and priming and sanding is such a pain. Looks great and I love the color

  6. Love the chalk paint! I have painted a side table, a storage cubby and next up is my cherry kitchen table that is 7 years old :)

    Looks great!


  7. Wow that looks great! I love the color!

  8. you are one badass DIY lady!

    I haven't DIY'd any furniture in my entire life... but you ppl make it look so easy!!