Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How-To Tuesday Give an Old Dresser a New Look

A friend came over the other day and asked me where I found one of my dressers. I told her it was the same one I have had since I lived at home with my parents! I have updated it since then and she asked me how so I thought I'd re-post the how to-from the old blog....
I had been wanting a new dresser for a while-the one I had was super old and UGLY. But when I decided to buy a new one, my car decided to have a complete meltdown. New steering wheel column, new shocks, more freon, and work on my brakes. Ugh. So I was stuck with my old dresser, that I would throw away in a heartbeat, if I didn't need the storage (a necessity in loft living).
I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to transform my ugly dresser into something I could live with. I don't have a "before" shot, but this is pretty much what my dresser looked like:

Generally an OK dresser, if your 5 or have a French countryside decor theme at home.

The inspiration for this project came from some items in my home, a few paintings from local artists and a floral arrangement. These all have pops of colors, like orange, red and tourquoise.
All my inspiration artwork were from local Dallas artists-April Greenlee, Jennifer Morgan and Jacque Forsher

It was pretty easy to redo the dresser. First I removed all of the hardware, then lightly sanded the entire piece. I removed all of the drawers and painted the frame first, then all of the drawers-all in a bright tourquoise semi gloss. I wanted a super glossy finish, so I added an additional coat of high gloss polycrylic. Next I hunted down some cute hardware to replace the original ones. I found some inexpensive red and white pulls that I though would pull the look together nicely.
Total cost: $8 for paint at home depot, $8 for Polycrylic, $40 for the hardware = $56!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Make New Wood Look Old and Distressed

As part of my loft redecorating spree, I am in constant search for old, rustic looking storage. I have seen lots of storage units built with old wooden crates and loved the look. In my search down the antique stores on Riverfront, I found several, but they were pricey and none were the same size. But then I found these brand new and shiny wooden crates at Home Depot for around $10! The only problem was they were brand new and shiny, not old and weathered.
I knew I could stain it, but I wanted the wood to look old, and staining just doesn't give you quite the same effect. After some google searching, I decided on the steel wool and vinegar plan of attack and am surprised at how well it works!

What you need:

  • Vinegar-regular or apple cider
  • Steel wool-I used #00 or finer
  • Container
  • Paint brush
  • Well ventilated area-to escape the vinegar smell
Pour the vinegar into your container and drop in a torn up a piece of steel wool . Regular vinegar will leave a grayish cast on the wood, and apple cider vinegar will leave it more rusty colored. I started with apple cider and then moved to regular because that's all I had. Leave the vinegar/steel wool mixture for at least 24 hours. The longer you leave it the darker it will get.
Grab your paint brush and apply a liberal wash of the liquid over your bare wood. At first it won't look like much, but pretty quickly you will start to see it oxidize the wood. You can also brew some black tea and stain your wood before you brush on the oxidizing solution for a darker finish.

About 30 min after painting with oxidizing solution

Finished crate after sitting outside for a few days

 Once your piece has dried completely you can leave it as is, or seal it if it might be exposed to liquids (like a coffee or end table). Depending on the look you want you can use a polyurethane seal like Verathane (I like the matte finish) or a wax seal. Since I will be using this crate for office storage I left it as is. My plan is to buy some more of these crates and build a shelving/storage unit with them kind of like this: