Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Present Dresser Pt 1!

The dresser is coming along! I finally had a free day to work on it between exam days. I think this is still gonna spill over a bit with time (Mass Birthday, the Christmas and birthday party tradition that my friends and I have, is Sunday, whereas my family's Christmas party is Saturday... all this after exam week... ugh.) but I am rather confident that upon seeing this, the recipient is going to be absurdly happy (at least I know I would!) and be entirely willing to grace me with a few more days.

I was really pleased that this is turning out so nicely! I was super excited that the top turned out to have a sandable veneer, so I'll be able to stain it after all. I was really concerned about finding a paint that would stand up to having a heavy, older TV set on top of it and not getting ugly in a hurry. This way, I can just stain it - cherry, I'm thinking - and put down a coat of poly and voila! Pretty durable surface!

A comparison of the finishes:

And on top we have the single broken (?!) handle that prevents me from going the cheap route and just using the old hardware. (How do you even break a bronze drawer pull?!)

I'm thinking an aged bronze finished cup pull for the drawers, and I just want to leave the middle drawers out entirely to leave a space for DVD players and consoles and the like. It'll be interesting trying to figure out how to convert the space nicely though...

But I'm excited, and I'll be honestly sad to let this go :P

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The First Post!

So I'm jumping into design blog world! Hopefully I'll be able to get some good suggestions and feedback so I can make some improvements :3

I got addicted to this because of... well, I'll blame my dresser. I needed a dresser! I had horrible plastic drawers (think Walmart!) and was rather picky about what I wanted - good drawers! I ended up with this colonial from like the 60s, that had this HORRIBLE orange stain to it.

A comparison of the stains - I went mahogany. I'm in LOVE with mahogany!

While the finish isn't as perfect as I wanted - the drawers took the stain more lightly than the body - it's been a great piece and I can always retackle the drawers later :P Maybe at some point I'll even try to make it look less colonial! ... or tackle the mirror, which scares me...

Then I tackled the nasty little chest of drawers that had been sitting in my parents' garage for the last year or so. We'd bought it at a church garage sale for $2, thinking I'd use it for clothes, except... it was nasty, so I happened to never get around to it. Well, someone close to me desperately wanted a nice room for his daughters, so on a roll, I finally jumped on the chest.
(A better picture of the color is in the stain comparison picture of the dresser further up)

It took a LOT of work. Tons of stripping paint that didn't want to strip, and then sanding what was left, which gunked up on the sandpaper... I don't know what they used for the crappy job they'd done on it with that yellow, but it did NOT want to come off. But finally, it was off, and then it was time to prime and paint! Sticking with the design scheme, it went black and white with damask on the drawers.
It's been a hit, and that makes me happy :) It still doesn't have drawer pulls, because the new owner has yet to decide on the right ones.

At this point I ran out of projects. I became somewhat obsessed with redoing furniture, bouncing around forum world looking at a billion possible projects. And then I made a booboo:

I found a flea market locally.

And they are COMPETITIVE!

I walked in, not expecting much, because as a student I've got a very limited budget (think no more than $50 for anything, ever, and it had better be AWESOME for the full 50), and most of the thrift and second hand furniture stores were very confident that they had potential diamonds in the rough. But I got into their back rooms and started asking how much things were, and suddenly I was being haggled with, two vendors almost fighting to see who could offer me some big piece of furniture for the least....! I ended up only walking out with a headboard for $25, but a LOT of ideas and plans for future visits :P

The frame was solid oak with a blah brown speckly finish (ugh, I hate speckles!). The shields (at least, that's what I'm calling them) were molded plastic. After not much deliberation at all, I decided to go mahogany with the wood, and after a little more deliberation, to do a glazed khaki with the shields, and if that looked stupid, to do convert the whole thing to a diamond tufted headboard (!!!).

While I have no finished picture for you yet, because the shields are still awaiting a few more coats of paint and a glazing, I can at least show you the interim pic:

The oak took the stain FANTASTICALLY! I can't wait to finish this up, but it will likely be January before I get it up here (left it in Jackson because of the school holidays and exam schedules!)

But - and this is hushhush - I went BACK to this evil store with its many tempting goodies, needing SOMETHING for a friend of mine. She lives with plastic drawers for furniture in her room, and teeny tiny piecy pieces in her living room that don't do a THING to keep up with her many nicknacks, but what can you say, we're college kids with college furniture? So I went with the keywords "surface" and "storage". And of course, I found it. AND a goody for me too (surprise!), without breaking budget.
This is to be used as a buffet/console/entertainment center/whatever you want to call it tv stand thingy for her otherwise bare scattered living room. This is to be black with a bit of aging, if I can find a tutorial for the process I want. (NOT with the map top, though that would be really cool on a simpler dresser!)

I also really want to take out that middle section of drawers with their awkward vertical-but-not-vertical faces and pulls, and make those shelving spaces for my friend's various DVD players and gaming consoles. IF I can figure out how to redo that space!

And that's it for now! Adios!