Friday, March 15, 2013

DIY: Mid-Century Modern Dresser

Originally, I've always loved a fantastic thrift shop/vintage find but as I started to make a bit more income in my late 20's, I admit I became a bit of a snob and just thought I was too good for them.

Fast forward to age 30 and having an out-of-town visit from my sister and having her bring me back down to planet earth vs. planet airi. We were out shopping one day, had to take my car in for a maintenance check at the dealership and half a block down was a SPCA thrift shop. We had an hour or so to kill so we ventured in and low and behold, a really cool wood dresser. Now my criteria for any second-hand furniture find is a few basic things.
    Real wood;
    No broken pieces (I'm not a carpenter or welder); and
    Clean lines.
The dresser fit all the above. It definitely needed refinishing but I was up for the challenge.
When I got home, my husband's look said it all, as in "you're crazy" because this is what he saw. And trust me, this picture does not do all the nicks, chips and water marks justice.

By doing some research I was able to understand the general concept of refinishing and lacquering so your furniture comes out super shiny. The result of some serious sanding, painting and crystal clear enamelling is the following:
Now, as much as the instructions I received through my research was very helpful, I personally suggest the following, just to make life easier in the future:
  1. Only use the electric sander on the raw wood. Once the primer and paint gets applied use good old muscle strength. The reason being, I found using the electric sander on the paint would chip the paint off, I kept having to reapply coats and not being able to progress to the enamelling stage. Once I started manually sanding, all my frustrations were explained to me! (a great suggestion by my very wise husband who unfortunately was the recipient of all my frustrations and anger, SORRY, I LOVE YOU!!!).
  2. Really wait between coats of the enamel to dry. Be patient because if not, the coats will dry blotchy.
  3. If you think this is a one-day project, think again. Be prepared for a full week (if you work during the week) of having to wait for each coat of primer, paint and enamel to dry. Think approximately 2 coats of primer and paint each = FOUR + 3 coats of enamel on 3 sides of the dresser = NINE = a total of THIRTEEN coats + 4 hours of waiting in between coats = FIFTY-TWO HOURS!!! plus time for sanding... you get my gist???
Hope you get to try a project similar to this one, one day, it's frustrating but so fulfilling in the end.
Happy DIYing!

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