Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dresser: From Boy to Adult

I was in need of a new dresser, because my new place didn't have enough drawers for me to store my clothes. My boyfriend was only using one of the dressers from his bedroom suite, so he offered me the other one.

I already knew that I was only going to be living in my current house for 4.5 months, so the dresser was not a permanent thing. Regardless I could NOT put this dresser in my room. With the combination of sealed pine, and forest green stain, it looked like it belonged to a 7 year old boy. I'm sure it was appropriate when he got it, but it was going to be the downfall of my perfect room (which still, two months later, has only two small pictures hanging on the wall). On top of that I was hoping we were getting married this summer, so I knew this dresser was going to end up in our house eventually.

Since it was still technically Mark's dresser I had to get his approval. I presented him with a few inspirational pictures I found on the internet . To no surprise he picked the one with nautical charts. So I went to work!

What I did:

I took off the nobs and started sanding. I sanded everything down so there was no varnish and almost no forest green stain left. I had to sand the cracks by hand, but I still never fully got all the green out. It was ok to leave a little green in the cracks, because I was planning on having a darker stain on it.

I stained everything, except the front of the drawers, in a medium/dark brown stain. It was my first time staining so I got it everywhere-I have no tips to avoid this. I'm a messy person. The stain dried quickly and I was able to seal it the next day. I added a very small amount of spare white paint to the varnish.* This allowed me to lighten it up and to achieve a greyish vintageish look that I was wanting. I have done this to most of my other projects so it all matches. I applied a second completely clear coat of varnish for extra protection. I was able to move it to my room the next day, but didn't put anything on top for at least a week to give time for the varnish to harden.

Photo Credit: David Chung
I went to my local marine store and bought a chart. I picked the one of Quadra Island because it had significance to Mark. I pulled out the drawers and measured how the chart would fit on them. I was delighted to find that the chart was the perfect size! I cut out the chart so it was slightly bigger than the surface of the drawer. I then put a glue and water mixture on the surface of the drawers and placed the chart on top. I folded over the corners onto the back, and sealed everything with more glue and water.** I gave 3-4 coats of glue depending on how thick each coat was to fully seal the chart.

Finally I spray painted the nobs with a metallic bronze, so that they would look brassy and not woody.
Here is the final product!

Photo Credit: David Chung

*Water base with water base
**Tip: The chart bubbled a little bit after it began to dry (right side of middle drawer). This can be prevented by sealing the chart with glue and water before placing it on the drawer.