Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another DIY - Dresser Repurposing

I had been looking for a TV stand for my apartment.  I was using a bookshelf that was at an awkward height and was (still is!) on its last leg of life.  I searched for one everywhere I went -  Target, Ikea, Marshalls.....but they were all SO expensive.  Okay, they weren't that expensive, but I am cheap.  Everything that I liked was out of my price range and everything in my price range looked cheap.  So I delayed and eventually stopped looking.

They say that once stop looking, you will find what you had been looking for all along.  Yes, usually this is in the context of a significant other (which side note - is false, but whatevs), but it really applied to me in this situation.  I was shopping with my friend, Caitlin, at Deseret Industries (thrift store) for something totally unrelated to furniture.  We ended up in the furniture department and I found this dresser.  It appealed to me, but I wasn't convinced right away.  It was $40, which at the time seemed more that what I was willing to spend (see - I told you I am cheap!), but I bit the bullet and bought it anyway.  

Beautiful, right?  I thought that it had great structure (it is solid wood - just ask the guys who brought it up to my second story apartment!) and I loved the legs.  That is what sold me.  Love. The. Legs.

I planned to paint it (I didn't know what color yet when I bought it) and add new hardware.  My first stop was Pinterest.  I pinned and researched for weeks.  How did we survive without the internet?  I looked at different paint types, colors, knobs....I wanted to look at all of my options.  If you know me at all, you know that options have a tendency to overwhelm me.  If I am not familiar with a restaurant menu, it can take me forever to decide.  I WILL be the last one to order - always!  Surprisingly, I wasn't overwhelmed at all; I was excited and ready to get started.  Getting started actually was the hardest part for me.  I was busy - this summer was the summer of weddings so once that was all over, I was ready to begin.

In my research, I decided to use Miss Mustard Seed milk paint.  I loved how her paint looked and I fell in love with the color Flow Blue.  I knew I wanted a darker blue and this color was perfect.  There is a local retailer in Fair Oaks so I was able to purchase the paint and talk about my options as well.  I was also able to watch the many YouTube tutorials that the creator has on her website.  Seriously, check the website out - SO many good ideas!

The thing with milk paint is it is really easy to achieve the distressed look easily.  It will naturally flake off and distress (depending on your piece) unless you add their product called a bonding agent.  I decided that I didn't want it to naturally distress (since this can be unpredictable and I didn't want unpredictable at all) so I decided to use the bonding agent.  Plus with the added bonding agent, it required limited sanding (since it bonds well on even finished wood surfaces) so it was really easy to get started.  Laziness - sells me every time!

The paint doesn't come in liquid form, but in a powder substance that you mix with water.  The main prep that I had to do was to clean the dresser (it was a mess!) and to fill in the holes from the previous hardware.  The hardware that I purchased wouldn't fit in the existing holes so this was a must-do step.  

Wood filler
The paint, bonding agent, and hemp oil finish
Once I started painting, it was just a matter of finishing.  I painted the first coat before I went on a weekend cruise.  Then once I got back I resumed painting.  It took a few days since there was limited daylight after getting home from work.  Once it was all painted, I let it dry for a couple of days. 

Honestly, this was the point where I started to doubt.  Did I want to distress the piece?  I knew that I used the bonding agent, but I could have sanded the edges to distress it in the areas that I wanted.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  I went to Facebook to get opinions, but, in the end, I decided to leave it as it was.  I am so glad that I did!

Two coats
One coat

Lastly, I applied the hemp oil finish and let it dry overnight.  After that, I drilled the holes for the hardware. 

In the end, I am very happy with the result.  It took so much longer than I intended/wanted, but I am glad that I didn't rush through it.  I am so in love with the finished product.  Everything about this dresser is me.  I love crazy huge accessories and so when I saw the flower knobs, I knew I had to have them.  Unfortunately, these were the last two in the store (and even online) so I knew that I would have to get others for the other drawers.  I found the pearl knobs on Etsy and fell in love with them instantly.  I love pearls and wear them often so I felt that these knobs fit my personality.  I found the middle drawer pulls off of Etsy as well and I knew they would tie everything together well.  

Before and after

Dresser: $40.00
Paint/bonding agent/hemp oil/supplies: $65.00
Knobs/pulls: $85.00

Total: $190.00

I recognize that this seems like a lot (mostly for the hardware), however, if I were to buy this dresser in its current state (from Pottery Barn, Etsy, or a smaller retailer) it would easily cost me between $500 and $1,500.  My version is a bargain!  Plus I was able to customize it to exactly what I wanted.  I don't regret any part of this project.  This is a piece that I will be proud to show off and keep in my home for many years to come.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Phone Case DIY

I don't consider myself to be very creative.  Sure, I have other talents but I don't really count originality and creativity among them.  Which is why I feel like a total fraud and failure at our semi-regular craft night that some amazingly talented friends (and I) try to get together for.  I usually show up empty handed, ready and willing to assist others in their crafts.

We got together last Saturday night and I, of course, didn't bring anything.  My dear friend Caitlin is getting married and has an endless list of crafts to complete so we all ended up assisting her with painting trays with chalkboard paint so that she can use them at her wedding reception for signs.  Suuuuper cute idea!  We all headed out to the patio and started painting away.  And let me tell you - the chalkboard paint is pretty rad.  Pretty soon we were brainstorming ideas of other stuff to paint because we loved it so much.  I suggested painting an iPhone as a joke (the back of course!  I'm not blonde....yet!), but then the grandest idea of all was born....a chalkboard iPhone case!  I had a cheap, cheap phone case that I had on my phone that I didn't mind sacrificing to the experiment.  


The case was cute, I know.  But when you are in the moment and want to paint everything in your sight with chalkboard paint, sacrifices must be made!

Action shot


Finished product!  So fun!!!

Get yourself a chalk pen/marker (or just actual chalk) and have fun with it!  The best part about it is you can change the design as much as you want.  This project literally cost me almost nothing.  I borrowed the chalkboard paint (but you can buy it at your local hardware store for relatively nothing) and the chalkboard marker I got at Target (Dollar Spot, yeah!) for $1.00.  I highly recommend this DIY project, especially you non-creative ones out there.  

"But first, let me take a selfie"

Have fun!  :)

- Katie