Monday, April 23, 2012

The Old College Re-try

We all probably did some things in college that we might now regret.  I know I did.

I even have a picture to prove it, and today I'm going to share:

<Hanging my head down in shame right now>

Yes, that would be my very first attempt at repainting a piece of furniture.

I inherited this dresser from my oldest sister when I moved into my first college apartment. It was stained dark brown and a bit scratched up but I was sure it wasn't something a coat of paint couldn't fix.  So not having much of a clue, I bought a couple cans of spray paint, some stencils and some craft paint and felt pretty confident it was going to look amaze-balls.  I mean, I even knew to buy a can of primer, what could go wrong?

Well, for starters running out of top coat, but clearly there were a lot more problems than that.  I never got around to finishing it, and instead have just lived with the shame since then.

It has clearly seen much better days and has gotten quite beaten up moving around to the many places I've lived since my days in Chapel Hill.  Many times I thought about getting rid of this eyesore, but I wasn't really wanting to purchase a new dresser when I had a perfectly fine one at home and after seeing all of the furniture re-do inspiration out there, I thought this thing might still have hope.

On Sunday the hubs and I were supposed to go to the Wine Festival, but since that got rained out, I had a whole day free to finally tackle this project.

And so, not really having much more of a clue than I did before, but this time using the aid of internet, here it is, my second attempt at repainting a piece of furniture:

I knew the old gal had it in her.

Here's how I did it:
1.  Cleaned that hot mess with TSP
2.  Sanded away the sad flower stencils and wiped clean
3.  Looked up the Just a Girl tutorial on how to paint furniture and followed accordingly
4.  Learned that Cover Stain does not wash off with water like Latex Paint, so went to Home Depot to buy Mineral Spirits while the primer dried
5.   New hardware was not in the budget for this project (okay there wasn't an actual budget, but I was too cheap to buy new hardware), so I used this on the existing hardware:

And I followed In My Own Style's advice for painting drawer pulls:
Just insert toothpicks to keep the handles upright

It was like brand new hardware for (almost) free!
6.  Wait patiently for everything to dry and put back together.

So we all make mistakes in life but the good thing is we can learn and grow from them, and maybe even fix them several years later with a new coat of paint.

I have to say this makes me so happy that this actually worked.  While the paint was drying yesterday, I ran to Goodwill to drop off some old clothes I had purged in the cleaning process.  While I was there, there was a man there who told me that he restores old furniture.  I smiled and thought to myself, "Yeah, me too."

Getting my link on:


  1. This turned out beautifully! Thanks for passing along that toothpick trick! It's always a pain to paint those!
    Carisa @ paintmeshabby

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, I thought that idea was totally brills. Made life so much easier!

  2. awesome job, mandy mo! painting things can become a fun addiction:)

    1. So true, I already feel like my next painting fix!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I am still psyched about how it turned out. :)