Sunday, July 27, 2014

Craigs List Cedar Chest

  I sold my first painted cedar chest a few months ago.  I immediately missed it because I was using it for storage of CDs and DVDs in our greatroom. I didn't love it though. I did not like the shade of yellow I painted it with, so I was happy to have an excuse to search for a new/old cedar chest. I was happy to have sold the crazy yellow one on CL.
goodbye yellow cedar chest!

I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find a new/old cedar chest in my price range. Eventually good old CL came through with and ad for one for $15. Perfect! I called ahead and my husband went with me to pick it up.
welcome new cedar chest!

The picture on CL showed an opened chest which I didn't think twice about. Until I went to buy it. It had a fabric covered padded seat. Oiy. The fabric was grimey with stains. Cranberry color with small floral print. And it was corderoy. The mdf board was falling apart. 1 of the 4 pieces of hardware was broken and there was a lot of repair work to be done on the lower front. Just what you might expect for $15. Sold!!

I was planning on covering a new piece of mdf for the seat but my husband suggested we buy a stainable board, cut it and route the edges and attach to the seat. I liked that plan much better. That plan called for purchase of a new board vs new mdf, new fabric and padding. After the board was cut and edges were finished, I sanded and stained the board w stain I had from a previous project.

With only 3 of 4 usable hardware handles, I filled in all of the holes and decided I would make this a 2-handle vs a 4-handle chest. I spent some time filling and sanding the front damaged bottom of the chest with wood filler. Once it was adequate, I wiped the dust off and painted w 2 coats of homemade chalk paint. I used a nice neutral color which I have learned I like much better for my house. I sanded between coats, and I distressed lightly when the painting was complete. My husband drilled holes for the 2 handles I was using. I spray painted the hardware w flat black paint.
better already

The hardware was added, the stained top was attached, and everything received a coat of Fiddes and Sons clear wax. The chest is in the greatroom where I had my old one. I like it so much better than the old yellow one. 


Things I learned from this project:
  • when shopping for furniture, don't judge a piece too quickly based on simple-to-change cosmetic issues
  • stick w neutral colors (for my house)
  • there are a billion shades of yellow, and only 1 or 2 are probably the good shades (I learned this w my previous cedar chest)
  • figuring out how to reuse already owned hardware is always better(thriftier)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

MMS Inspired Stenciled Dresser

We all know her and love her work...yes, MMS. I love her stenciled furniture pieces and  I had the perfect dresser to try stenciling on. My dresser was a boring rectangular ho-hum dresser that was not old, didn't have awesome legs or any interesting features at all.
But it was what I had. As I wrote in an earlier post, my daughter has moved closer to home :) and could really use a dresser. She and I both have kept our eyes opened to CL, but no luck. And I already owned the boring dresser and was ready to pass it on.

The inspirations are the MMS blue dresser and the very chippy yellow one, both on her blog and on pinterest. They are beautiful. I'm not 100% keen on chippiness, so my plan was to stencil and lightly distress. First, I made an awesome stencil using notebook paper, a pencil and an exacto knife. I marked the length of a dresser drawer, folded the notebook paper in half and drew my design. Leaving the paper folded, I cut the stencil through so when I opened it I had a wonderful drawer length symmetric stencil.

I decided to paint the dresser a cheery mint green with white stenciling. I already had a partial quart of green from a previous project so that was an easy decision. I mixed up my homemade chalk paint and painted the body and drawers green. The huge benefit of chalk paint is no prep work and quality paint adhesion. The dresser had been uncovered in the garage for 6 months. I wiped the dust off w a paper towel. That was the extent of my prep. Love it! I like to paint,but not so much clean and sand. After 2 coats I gave it a quickie sanding on the drawer fronts to get good stenciling. Doing 1 drawer at a time, I taped my stencil to the front and used white chalk to mark the pattern.
using white craft paint and a small paintbrush, i followed along the chalked stencil until the drawer was complete. I continued on each drawer until all were complete and I was nicely surprised to see all of the drawers looked uniform.
After drying, I put the drawers in the dresser and added a few more details with my craft paint.

I sanded, lightly distressed all surfaces, and wiped with a tack cloth before waxing with Fiddes and Sons clear wax. I added simple white knobs and was finished.

My daughter helped carry the dresser around in the front yard to help find a suitable photography location.   

I'm happy with the dresser transformation. It was a fun project. My daughter is taking it to her new apartment and I'm happy it will have a new home. 

Things I learned from this project:

  • how to make a stencil
  • how to take somewhat better photos