To date, pretty much all of the pieces that I had done have been in the grays, whites and natural wood tones. To be honest, I prefer these colors for my own house and whenever I start a new project, I start with the intention of keeping the piece for myself - so it made sense to do it in colors I would want to display around my home.
But I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest recently and I'm loving all the pops of color that the brave have incorporated into their up-cycled furniture pieces. So, a couple of weeks ago, I ordered this Rustoleums Coastal Blue Chalk Paint in the hopes that I would find the perfect piece of furniture to use it on. Well it finally happened, I found this gorgeous dresser that I had huge plans for. The best part - it was free. Yes you read that right - FREE!!!
Okay, admittedly this piece didn't have that sexy look you might want for a dresser in your bedroom. But I had already planned out the entire life of this dresser and oh my plans were so grand.
So if you have read my disclaimer, you will know that I am a complete newbie at this whole furniture flipping business. And one of the things that comes with being a newbie is having absolutely no idea on whether a piece that I picked up is a great quality antique piece, or just something put together with some chipboard. I'm working on educating myself, but this dresser fell somewhere in between. It certainly wasn't made from chipboard, but it came with some unexpected surprises that made me change my plans a couple of times.
I started by removing all the hardware. I later decided to strip the hardware and get it all sparkly clean so that I could use it on this dresser, because I just couldn't find other pulls that matched the character of this dresser. Since my original plan was to stain the top of this dresser the same color as the draws, I got to trying to sand and then strip the top. But after two rounds of Citri Strip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel and extensive sanding, I came to the realization that I was gong nowhere slowly. It appeared that there was a thick plastic on the top of the dresser that was not going anywhere (any tips on how to remove this for future projects would be welcomed). I changed my plan and decided that the top would just be done with Rustoleums Coastal Blue Chalk Paint too. I love chalk paint, it literally goes on anything so easily and leaves you with a great finish.
I sanded the draws using my trusted Hyper Tough Orbit Sander, and a Dewalt 100 grit sandpaper. I then used a fine 120 grit sandpaper to give the draws an extra smooth finish. Getting into the grooves between all the curves on the top three dressers was the most frustrating and labor intensive part of this project. My sander just couldn't get into all of those grooves, so I had to go old school with a sand block and some sweat equity to make sure that I had a smooth finish for staining.
Before the fun part could start, I gave the entire piece, with draws, a good wash down with warm soapy water. Its essential to get all the dust particles caused by sanding off of the piece, as well as any of the crud that inevitably builds up over time.
I stained the draws using Rustoleums Kona wood stain. I applied the stain using a foam brush and then wiping it off with a lint free rag (effectively polishing the stain into the wood). I really think this is the best technique to get the stain into the wood. I have previously painted the stain on with a brush, but I wasn't happy with the end result (I felt like it just came out to streaky).
I painted the dresser itself with Rustoleums Coastal Blue Chalk Paint. The first coat comes out very streaky, but by the time you apply the second coat you will be getting great coverage, taking care of all of the streaks and giving you a perfectly smooth finish. Once your paint has completely dried, use a fine 240 grit sandpaper to just get rid of any bumps and really give the piece a smooth finish.
On the detail, I used a dry brush method and applied some gold paint to really bring out the gorgeous curves carved out into the legs. I also used a gold paint pen that I found out Hobby Lobby to line the grooves of the dresser. I really like the way the gold framed the dresser and made the pulls really pop.
I applied 2 coats of a water based polyurethane. I used Rust-oleum's matte based polyurethane so that i could keep the chalky look of the paint, without a high glossy appearance. I actually added an additional coat to the top since it will see a lot of traffic and I wanted to protect it as much as possible.
I finished the dresser by reapplying my newly cleaned hardware. I was surprised at how much I loved the end product. I even converted hubby into a believer that blue and gold could totally work together. This dresser actually came with a side table which I will do as a matching set, so look out for my next up-cycle blog to see the before and after.