Refinishing a Mid Century Modern dresser part 2

Hey there! Sorry this post is slightly delayed. I had major issues with this beast of a dresser but PHEW its done now! Ok so in part one of this journey I showed you guys the demolition process of this re-do...the gritty...not pretty...but VERY necessary steps to getting this dresser ready to be painted and shined! So...diving right in....
After I stripped ALL the laminate off the dresser on the fronts, top, sides, etc I sanded it all down really well...starting from 80 grit and then that I had a nice smooth surface to start with. I then put on a thin and even coat of primer on the dresser body but left the top and drawer fronts bare since those were gonna be stained. I didn't take a picture of this step but I just made sure the primer coat was light and even...I prefer Zinser primer...its what Centsational girl uses...and it really does work awesome. Super grippy and smooth looking under the paint. I let the primer dry over night and in the meantime I stained all the drawer fronts with Minwax liquid stain in Dark Walnut. I only did one coat on the drawer fronts...the wood was really pretty underneath and I wanted that to show thru a bit. I then laid out my plank top (paint sticks) and started gluing. There isn't really any rhyme or reason to applying the top. I just drizzled Gorilla wood glue liberally on the dresser top a little at a time (it dries fast) and then put the sticks evenly on the top...making sure that they were smooshed up next to each other completely before moving on to the next one. I also used paint cans to keep them flat during the drying process. As they dry the ends tend to lift a little...make sure you put something heavy on there and really concentrate on keeping the ends flat. Here she is with the unfinished paint stick top..

Cool huh? I really loved it in its bare and naked state but alas...I'm in love with dark stains! So after the top of the dresser was totally covered I gave it a couple days to fully cure before I did the staining. I applied the same Minwax stain to the top. I normally apply stain using a t-shirt or rag but I used one of my Purdy paintbrushes this time to get a thicker and more even application. I LOVE how it turned out. I let each coat cure for about 25 mins before I wiped it off...let it sit for a few hours...and applied the next coat. I did a total of two coats on the top. While the top was curing I painted the sides and front of the box with an oops white paint that I had in my stash.
See the bottom part...well that had a thin cardboard like panel that originally covered it and made it a solid section..but the moisture had damaged that part beyond repair so I simply removed that and sanded down the frame. I LOVE the modern edge it gives the dresser...and its solid wood too so no worries about durability! So this is the box with one coat of paint on it...get ready....I'm about to reveal the dramatic "after" pictures...are you ready? You sure? Ok here you go...

TA DAHHHHH!!!!!! Ok so you guys are probably wondering what I used for my handles on the dresser...well that was kind of a happy accident. I searched all over for modern handles that fit the overall look that I was going for, were cheap, and just happened to have the same width holes that the old ones did. Well I couldn't come up with anything that would work. I was majorly bummed and thinking that I would have to drill new holes and just settle for something that I didn't really love...when I remembered seeing different dressers that people have done that use rope or ribbon in place of handles in the drawers. Well that sparked a MAJOR bonfire of creativity and I remembered that I had a huge bundle of scrap leather pieces that would work AMMMAAAAZING in place of they are stiff and will hold their shape well! Yay for using what you already have!! The leather pieces that I have are strips...all the same length so all I needed to do was cut them each in half and use one half for each handle. I widened the holes in the drawers just a tad so I could get the strips (which I trimmed the ends a bit to get it to fit) through the holes. Once I had about 3/4 an inch through each hole I simply folded it flat against the inside of the drawer front and stapled it firmly in place. I did this 9 times...and MAN was it tiring...especially with my kids running around me the whole time! The payoff was HUGE though and I could not be happier with how it looks! Its a little modern...a little funky...and it was TOTALLY FREE! I hope you guys love it as much as I do! I'd love to hear your thoughts!!!

Partying it up @
Furniture Feature Fridays
The Shabby Nest

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

All things furniture @ Perfectly Imperfect

Catch As Catch Can

Yummy sign....No really!

I've had a long skinny and totally unfinished cabinet door in my possession for a LONG time and I haven't been able to figure out what to use it for. It dawned on me today that what it was meant to be was a sign. I've been wanting to make a sign that says "Yummy" for my kitchen wall FOR-EVAH and I hadn't gotten around to it. Well this was the day! I started with a blank canvas...since the door was totally nekid...and applied a light coat of dark walnut stain. After about 20 mins I wiped it down and let it dry. After about an hour I took two cans of spray in Rustoleum Dark Gray and one in Semi Gloss White. I sprayed them both at the same time swirly it around so that the colors mingled together to evenly cover over the stain that I had applied. Once the door was totally covered I let it dry. Once it was totally dry I used a BRIGHT NEON yellow oops paint and dry brushed that speratically over the top of the gray/white color. I let that dry. I then found some letter stencils online and printed out the letters to my word "Yummy". I love the font! I cut those suckers out with an exacto knife and taped them securely to my door with a bajillion layers of paint. I lightly sprayed 3 coats of the white paint over the stencils and then quickly removed them. After they were dry I gave the whole thing a thorough sanding by hand to distress and age the finish. Done and Done! It was JUST what I had envisioned!!! I am in LOVE with this sign!!! It hangs right above my daughter's highchair and looks so stinkin cute. I smile whenever I look at it. If anyone out there wants to tackle this project there are a huge amount of unfinished wood cabinet doors to be had in the As-Is section at Ikea. This sign would also be cute with the word "Eat" on it or maybe "Nosh" jk. I hope you guys try this... if you do please let me know. I'd love to see!!!

When life gives you lemons...

Hey people! Loooong time no see...I know I'm the worst blogger ever and its been forever since I posted last! I honestly have been in a bit of a creative funk lately and just focused on Mom stuff and wife stuff and haven't had much in the way of creative goodness to share. UNTIL TODAY! So you guys may remember the estate clean-out that I did for a friend...well I scored a really beautiful mirror from that same clean-out. The mirror was GROSS and really REALLY big and heavy and it had a chunky wood frame and loads of potential so I hung onto it. And it sat....and sat....and sat in my garage until yesterday when I decided that I had been in a stagnant pool of blah for TOO LONG and I busted out the paint brushes! I originally was going to paint this mirror a suuuper bright yellow oops paint that I scored a while ago...but then decided to go the safer route and do a two toned dry brush look. I stained the frame with Minwax dark walnut first...then waited a whole episode of Dora the Explorer before I rubbed it off! (gimme a break...I'm on toddler time!) After it had cured for a couple hours I dry brushed some white oops paint into all the nooks and crannies and just kinda glopped it on there. I then sanded it to make the white paint look like it was just barely hanging on. I wanted it to look beachy and weathered. So since I majorly suck I don't have a before picture AGAIN...I know...hate me! Well after the frame was dry I stood back to examine my gorgeous new mirror and realized that I now had to clean off the glass...well after a lot of scrubbing I realized that hidden underneath all that gunk was about 5 deep large scratches!!! to be me! I just refinished a mirror that would not be hanging on my wall. I was majorly bummed but then I remembered that I had been dreaming about having a huge chunky chalk board for my kitchen! If you want to know how to transform a mirror into a chalk board and have it be really durable here's a tip. Prime the mirror first! I painted on a medium thick layer of primer and let it dry first so that the chalk board paint would stick really well. Then I painted two and a half coat of latex chalk board paint letting each coat dry thoroughly before doing the next coat. After all the coats were dry I hung that sucker up! It says on the back of the chalkboard paint can that you should wait about a week before writing on it so it doesn't "burn" the words into the surface. I guess it needs a while to cure so I'm waiting a bit before I write up there. Here she is in all her beachy glory!

Oooh la la I looove it! It doesn't look nearly as big in pictures as it does in person. Its HUGE! What a happy accident! I actually like it way more as a chalk board than I did as a mirror anyway! :) I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Partying it up @

Refinishing a Mid Century Modern dresser part 1

Hey ladies and gentleman! So I was perusing good ol' Craigslist the other day and I happened upon a post in the free section that read "Old dresser for free. Peeling veneer. Bad shape. Come pick it up" Well like any good DIYer out there I was not scared by the words "peeling veneer...or bad shape" I just saw the word "old" and was instantly intrigued! So I called the lady when the post was only about 5 mins old and she told me she'd hold it for me. I went and got it and was smitten by the complete amazing-ness of this dresser. It is not my normal style. Its boxy...and very mid century modern-y. I generally tend to gravitate towards french provincial and similar shapes so I was kinda excited to work on something that was out of my element. The veneer was in HORRIBLE shape. This dresser had apparently sat in the rain for 6 months...and if any of you know much about does in fact rain for 6 months straight. So this dresser got LOTS of abuse sitting in the elements. I knew the veneer could not be saved so I decided to remove it. Here it is in its partially deconstructed state

When all the drawers are shut it looks like it has 9 small drawers but its actually 3 large drawers on the left and 3 small drawers on the right. Super cool!
Check out the original pulls. LOVE!
You will need one of the above if you are gonna tackle a project like this. This tool is about 5 bucks at HD and is worth every penny. It works great at spackling, filling holes, opening paint cans, making small "distress marks" in the tops of tables and such to give it character. It seriously rocks!
So to remove the bottom veneer I just had to basically peel it was falling off and chipping and it was easy peasy to get it off the rest of the way. For the top it was a HUGE pain. I started with the corner and started just scraping at the veneer. Some spots would come off easily and I could grab onto it and peel it the rest of the way...but some spots I literally had to chisel off tiny pieces at a time. It was SO frustrating. This is not a project for the faint of heart! And in one spot my hand slipped and stabbed a piece of veneer into my finger and gave me a BAD cut. That stuff is friggin sharp! So after I started getting a cramp in my arm from all the chiseling I decided to consult my good friend google and see if there was a better way. Google told me to spray the veneer LIBERALLY with white vinegar...let it sit for a few...and then try again. Well it works, but not well. It comes off a tad easier and it comes off in bigger chunks but its still a royal pain in the booty! Unfortunately there is no shortcut to this project.
Ok so now that you are all thoroughly depressed...I'll tell you the good news! I went to HD today to look for a new top for the dresser. I wanted something super thin...maybe wood planks? But I wasn't sure. I looked around and there really wasn't anything that struck me as being good for this project. I kept coming back to wood planks though and none of the wood that they had was the right thickness. I was thoroughly bummed until I strolled past the paint department and spied the paint stir sticks. Hm....(wheels turning)...this is the perfect thickness...and the perfect width...but I would need a TON of these things to cover the whole top of the dresser. Well I had the measurements of the top handy and I compared the length that I needed with the length to one of the SUPER long big daddies of paint sticks. Um ya...PERFECT! The part of the stick that goes in and makes the handle...if you were to cut that part off it'd be the exact perfect length for the dresser top!!!! Cut to me GRINNING LIKE A FOOL! So I sweetly told the paint counter chick what I was planning on doing...I then told her about how perfect those big daddy sticks would be...I then asked her to measure the width of them and tell me how many I would need to cover the whole top of the dresser...Um ya that'd be 62! So I then watched her grab a BOX of big daddy sticks down from the shelf and start counting out 62 of them for me! I could not be more in love with this idea...and HD for making it FREE and possible! I then decided to "sweetly" con one of the lumber guys into cutting all the sticks for me. (probably would've been a good idea to dress a little cuter next time) I finally tracked down a kid in the lumber dept and he was more than happy to cut them all  for me. LOVE him! So the dresser was free...the big daddy sticks were free....the cutting was free...all I had to buy was some wood glue to glue those suckers down and some more Dark Walnut stain. Yup I'm probably the cheapest DIYer ever! Part 2 will show you the refinishing process and how I beautified this beast! Stay tuned people!