Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Project #1 - DONE


March 10 - My first official spring project begins today, and it's an old dresser that is getting a facelift. When Ruth was a baby it was donated to us, and just a few days later another one was given to us and since the other one was bigger, she got that one. This one sat here in the game room and was used more for a table than anything else. It's a very sturdy, very heavy dresser that was originally sold as a combo dresser/baby changing table, which is obvious by the raised top and back of the top the dresser.

I took a look at it recently and decided it needs to be put to good use, but first all the paint has to come off so I can see the condition of the wood. From the chips and nicks in the paint here and there it looks like it's been repainted at least 3-4 times over the years, but it also looks solid so I suspect the wood itself is in pretty great shape. So I'll begin the project today with a trip to the hardware store for a can of paint remover & various supplies to see where we're at. I love projects like this and I'm looking foward to seeing it completed and seeing this dresser back in service. I'll post before and after pics when it's all done.

Spring project #2 is finishing the painting in Rachel's bedroom. We've settled on a deep purple for the high ceiling and a pale lavendar for the walls. The trim is already done in white, but the project had to be delayed over the winter for various reasons, so that will resume next week, Lord willing.

I love projects like this, it means gardening is just around the corner!


March 11 - So the project began yesterday and it turns out it will probably take me a little longer than I anticipated to finish it. As I suspected, the wood is indeed in really great shape. The only real problem is, is that it had at least 2 coats of that awful olive green paint so popular in the late 60's.

This is the before pic, and what it's looked like ever since it was given to us:

Obviously this dresser was in a girl's room at some point. In addition, someone applied some type of foam shapes to one of the drawers and they're not coming off very easily.

This is the way it looks this morning:

After several coats of paint remover to the top, sides and front, this is how the dresser looks this morning. You can see the bottom layer of the yucky olive green, on the front. I ran out of paint remover so I'll be picking up more today, along with some steel wool and fine grit sandpaper. It should be ready for sanding by the end of today. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to stain, I may just leave it in it's natural state and apply a light coat of finish. I really love the look of natural wood furniture. I'll make that decision after the last round of sanding.

March 23 - Well, it's done. I no longer have working thumbs, but the project is done. It took a lot longer than I hoped it might and that's partially because I couldn't find my little electric sander (which technically isn't even mine, we borrowed it from a friend about... 8 years ago, and completely forgot to return it. Hows that for absentminded?), so the whole job was done by hand (which explains the wasted thumbs), and partly because there's just so much else going on around here that I didn't have the time I'd hoped. In any event, it's done!

While stripping the drawers this is what I found on one side of one the drawers, under the top layer of white paint:

I'm not sure what the fascination was with this color years ago, but I've lived in places where the toilet, sink, fridge and stove were all this color too. I currently live in a place that bears a carpet in the game room from that same era of home decor insanity, as you can see in these pics. In any event, as for the color... I guess it was all the rage at one point, along with neon orange daisies. Just as I suspected as well, there was one one both sides of this drawer and it was painted on with some kind of industrial strength perma-paint. It wasn't easy getting it off, but I did.
Here is the finished product, as it looked this afternoon before it left my house:

I decided to leave it completely unfinished and let my daughter decide if she wants to stain it or leave it as is. It will indeed be used for a nursery dresser/change table, and fitted with a changing pad. It's already been delivered to it's new home where it awaits the arrival of it's new owner (my new grandbaby), in just a couple of weeks.

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