Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Keeping It In the Family: A Furniture Restoration Project

I mentioned in my last post how much my Husband hates white furniture.  He's a "woodsy" kinda guy, which is fine by me.  But I knew I had to incorporate white furniture into at least one room in our new house.

When we moved into this house, there was some furniture left behind.  We gave away most of it, but we kept a Bassett solid cherry wood dresser and bureau.  We stored it in an empty bedroom that we intended to use as a Guest Room (but really only was used as such one time), and just kept our options open as to whether we'd eventually sell the set or bring it with us to our next place (depending where we would be living next).

Disclaimer:  I'm so sorry, but I completed this project pre-blog, so I only had a "Before" picture of the dresser and not the bureau.  In the future, I promise to be better about photographing everything for illustration purposes! :)

Since the place we're currently living in is my Husband's Grandparents' home (both have since passed on), I had a feeling that the dresser set left behind belonged to a relative (it could have been my Husband's Aunt, Uncle, Father, Parents or Grandfather) as they had lived in this home for a number of years at one point or another.  I confirmed that it belonged to my Husband's Grandparents, so I didn't want to get rid of it unless we had to.  I thought it would be so nice to re-use the furniture for a Guest Room (or future Nursery).

I thought this set would be the perfect way to try my hand at painting furniture (and I campaigned hard for painting them white).  My reasoning was actually quite practical:  We already know that when we move into the new house, one of the first big purchases we're making is a new Queen-sized bed, as we've been sleeping on an Ikea platform bed for the past three years and we long for a "real" mattress (no offense to those who are comfortable sleeping on Ikea mattresses).  The Ikea platform bed frame we currently use is a white one (I think it's been discontinued, but it looks just like this one):
IKEA Malm Bed Frame
We knew we'd be placing our current bed in a Guest Room when we upgrade to a new mattress, so the Guest Room was destined to have white furniture after all! :)

Side note:  I actually really wanted mirrored furniture in there, as I was inspired by this photo (below) from Pinterest, but I decided it was best to re-use what we already have and maybe I can splurge on a mirrored-nightstand for this room to achieve the look I love so much (plus, I don't know how the husband would feel about me sleeping in the Guest Room so often, since it'd basically be my dream room).

Due to the crazy amount of rain the East Coast has been receiving, I set up shop in my living room.  I laid a tarp out on the carpet and used it as my work station for a couple of weeks (bless my husband's and kitty's hearts for putting up with sharing the living room with me and my projects for so long) (PS- It may or may not have also been blocking the TV, due to size).

Here's the dresser (with drawers removed) on the tarp, with the coffee table pushed back (rendering the Love Seat pretty much un-usable):

Here are the steps I performed:
  1. Removed the hardware from the drawer fronts
  2. Cleaned each piece with Murphy's Oil Soap Wood Cleaner
  3. Filled all of the holes (and any damage) with Wood Filler and let dry for two hours
  4. Sanded the whole piece down with 60-grit and then again with 120 grit
  5. Wiped both pieces down with tack cloth
  6. Primed both pieces and drawer fronts with Kilz Latex 2 Primer, Sealer & Stainblocker (interior/exterior water-based)
  7. Let dry overnight
  8. Painted both pieces and drawer fronts with Clark + Kensington Paint + Primer In One, Semi-Gloss Enamel in 109A100 "Designer White."
  9. Let dry overnight, painted a second coat.
  10. Let dry overnight and then re-drilled new holes for the new hardware, which were:
GlideRite "Birdcage" 3.25-inch Cabinet Pulls from Overstock.com:

GlideRite "Birdcage" 2-inch Oval Cabinet Knobs from Overstock.com:

Here are the results!
Painted with Clark + Kensington Paint + Primer In One, in 109A100 - "Designer White"

Painted with Clark + Kensington Paint + Primer In One, in 109A100 - "Designer White"
As this was my first blog-able DIY project, so I figured I'd have some regrets or lessons learned.  In this case, there was only one:  I did the shorter dresser first and in retrospect, I wish I had installed the hardware differently for the top drawer (to match the top drawer of the Bureau).  I wish I had done two knobs for each drawer at the top (in the larger side panels), rather than one (in the smaller middle panel), but you live and you learn!

Before I bid you adieu, I will sum it all up with this final Before and After (because who doesn't like Before And After's?!):