Dress(er) to Impress

BEFORE: at the curb for trash pick up. Although the top 3 drawers were missing/broken, I figured I could make something of this.

BEFORE: at the curb for trash pick up. Although the top 3 drawers were missing/broken, I figured I could make something of this.

After stripping and sanding the frame and drawers, it was time for paint.

After stripping and sanding the frame and drawers, it was time for paint.

Of course I had Toby, my helper. He loved getting under the tarp.

Of course I had Toby, my helper. He loved getting under the tarp.

drawers painted

I decided to paint it 2 colors with some kind of design.

I decided to paint it 2 colors with some kind of design.

Once I settled on birds, I figured I would practice on the sides of the drawers. After tracing the silhouette of a bird from my computer, I created my own stencil using contact paper. Not the best material for the job, but it worked for what I needed.

Once I settled on birds, I figured I would practice on the sides of the drawers. After tracing the silhouette of a bird from my computer, I created my own stencil using contact paper. Not the best material for the job, but it worked for what I needed.

birdsonside

All of the drawers with their birds. I did this on both sides. Really glad I practiced before I got to the front!

I decided to create the ever popular chevron pattern on the top. I saw someone use envelopes to create the pattern so I tried that.

I decided to create the ever popular chevron pattern on the top. I saw someone use envelopes to create the pattern so I tried that.

Perhaps I did not secure them properly, but I had serious issues with bleeding over AND with parts of the envelopes sticking to the dress with the paint.

Perhaps I did not secure them properly, but I had serious issues with bleeding over AND with parts of the envelopes sticking to the dress with the paint.

After learning that valuable lesson, I decided to use the envelopes simply to trace the pattern onto the top.

After learning that valuable lesson, I decided to use the envelopes simply to trace the pattern onto the top.

Then I taped off the pattern and painted.

Then I taped off the pattern and painted.

This is when I learned the valuable lesson of ensuring that the tape is pressed firmly onto the surface, otherwise you will still have issues with bleeding.

This is when I learned the valuable lesson of ensuring that the tape is pressed firmly onto the surface, otherwise you will still have issues with bleeding.

After a few touch ups, it turned out pretty well!

After a few touch ups, it turned out pretty well!

Next I created a pattern for the front. I wanted to do birds on a branch.

Next I created a pattern for the front. I wanted to do birds on a branch.

I decided to go ahead and stencil one set first and see how it went. This was a very good idea!

I decided to go ahead and stencil one set first and see how it went. This was a very good idea!

After beginning this process, which is basically free hand, I realized how difficult (and tedious) it would be...and suddenly less seriously became more!

After beginning this process, which is basically free hand, I realized how difficult (and tedious) it would be…and suddenly less seriously became more!

For a non-artist, I think it turned out well.

For a non-artist, I think it turned out well.

8

The really difficult part was working into the grooves and texture of the dresser to complete the entire silhouette. Of course, my assistant Rosie was there every step of the way.

I also decided to create the chevron pattern on the sides.

I also decided to create the chevron pattern on the sides. Once again, I used envelopes to create the pattern. This is when I learned that you don’t necessarily need to draw the entire line, otherwise you will most likely have more touch ups once you paint and remove the tape.

There were some pen lines exposed from where the tape had left it exposed onto the lighter paint.

There were some pen lines exposed from where the tape had left it exposed onto the lighter paint. This required more touch ups.

Toby helped me paint the inside of the dresser that would be exposed once we installed the shelf.

Toby helped me paint the inside of the dresser that would be exposed once we installed the shelf.

We quickly realized that this was a mistake, because parts of the dresser needed to be removed in order install the shelf. But not a huge deal. We worked around it.

We quickly realized that this was a mistake, because parts of the dresser needed to be removed in order install the shelf. But not a huge deal. We worked around it.

Once the shelves proved to fit properly, I painted the second coat on the inside.

Once the shelves proved to fit properly, I painted the second coat on the inside.

While all of that was going on, I put a protective gloss coat on the shelves.

While all of that was going on, I put a protective gloss coat on the shelves.

Once that was done I installed the new handles. I picked these cause they look like they have wings!

Once that was done I installed the new handles. I picked these cause they look like they have wings!

Also, since the dresser was on its back anyways, I put felt pads on the bottom to protect the hardwood floor.

Also, since the dresser was on its back anyways, I put felt pads on the bottom to protect the hardwood floor.

We decided to go with BC plywood because it was the most cost effective while still having a decent appearance.

We decided to go with BC plywood because it was the most cost effective while still having a decent appearance.

Once we got everything removed, we took measurements and created the shelf.

Once we got everything removed, we took measurements and created the shelf.

There he is. My hero!

There he is. My hero!

Once we ensured it fit properly, we applied the wood glue, heavy books and C-clamps.

Once we ensured it fit properly, we applied the wood glue, heavy books and C-clamps.

Sand, paint and a top coat later, here is the finished product!

Sand, paint and a top coat later, here is the finished product!

I am pretty pleased with how I did. I definitely made some rookie mistakes, but that's part of the learning process.

I am pretty pleased with how I did. I definitely made some rookie mistakes, but that’s part of the learning process.

Valuable Lessons:

1) If you need to make a shelf (or some other major modification), DO IT FIRST! Don’t paint, top coat and then be like “oh yea…nearly forgot about that top part!”

2) Look at all of your options for design, materials (paint!) etc so you don’t make the (paint) purchase and then wish you had gone with a different choice.

4) If you are going to free hand something and have no art training (or steady hand) PRACTICE ON SOMETHING ELSE FIRST! Really, practice anything on something you don’t mind throwing away or covering up first. That’s just a good rule of thumb for beginners.

3) Don’t start a project when you are days away from starting summer classes because it will stress you out if (when) you don’t finish.

I HAD FUN! But I’m glad it is over.

BEFOREAFTER

5 responses to “Dress(er) to Impress

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s