Friday, January 27, 2012

Before & After: Jade Dresser

I am so excited about this project. I've been wanting to share it with you guys for a couple weeks now, but have just been too lazy to upload all the pictures (yup, slacker). So here's the run down. I got a little excited with my spending diet money for January (read more about my $100 allowance here) and went straight to Goodwill. I was also in need of another little project. I happened to find this beauty at Goodwill for $40. 

Probably a little pricey (especially with the spending diet), but I thought it was the perfect size and shape for some good craft storage which we desperately needed (currently my craft/sewing/etc. supplies are stuffed/crammed/thrown in our office, which the husband uses for studying... so... really this was for him). :) It was also pretty solid and sturdy, and I loved the handles (which had been painted over a lovely shade of brown, but are actually metal). 

It even had some stellar floral lining. Very Little House on the Prairie.

The first step was to take off the handles. I had a hard time at first because I tried to unscrew them from the face of the drawers. After almost totally stripping the fake nail on the first drawer, I realized that oh, yeah, they are actually screwed in from the inside of the drawer and those "nails" are not real. Only took me 15 minutes of huffing and growling at the drawers to realize that one... Since the hardware was painted on, I had to use the exacto knife to cut through the paint and pry the handles off the drawer (after I unscrewed them from the inside). And no, that's not an awesome flip up pulley-thingy on the handle. It's just some very convincing detail.

Next up was sanding. I think we all know how I feel about sanding after this project and this project so I decided to just do the main areas where paint was chipping off and needed to be smoothed. At first I thought I was going to have to use some liquid sandpaper to take all the paint off, but the hubby convinced me otherwise (and I'm glad he did for the sake of time and sanity!). Smoothing out the rough patches and roughing up the rest of the surface with some sandpaper worked great, especially since I used primer before the final coat of paint. 

BBoy of course wanted to get in on the action. Forever the curious puppy.

After sanding comes... you guessed it! Priming! I ended up buying a whole gallon of primer, figuring I could use it on tons of future projects. I probably wouldn't have painted the little bit on the sides of the drawers or the inside of the main dresser like I did, but I had to cover up the gross brown color. 

I let the primer dry for about a week. I was really excited to start painting the actually color over top, so I came home early from work one day and got it done. However, I forgot to move the dresser and drawers under our covered awning in the backyard... and we live in Washington... and I think you know what happened. Yep, it rained that night. All over my freshly painted dresser. :( I was bummed to say the least. 

Crummy, right? After wiping everything down and letting them dry overnight under the awning, I couldn't wait any longer. Round two of painting. I ended up doing three two and a half coats of the jade color to get a nice even and smooth finish. And yes, that is snow in the background. I'm definitely the crazy lady outside in the freezing temperature painting my dresser green while it's snowing. 

The next step was getting the handles looking like the metal handles they were meant to be. I used this stripper (the getting-paint-off-of-things kind, not the taking-clothes-off-while-dancing-for-money kind) to get the brown paint off of the handles. I also bought some heavy duty gloves to wear while scrubbing it off, just to be safe.

I sprayed the stripper directly on the handles, let it set for about 10 minutes, and then used a scrubby wire sponge to rub it off. It took a while to get all the paint out of the nooks and crannies, but I did it!

Then I used some oil-rubbed bronze metallic spray paint for a nice smooth finish. I did about two even coasts.

Alright, enough of all this sanding and stripping. Here's the final dresser. I used Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer and the color is Cosmic Green (Valspar color matched to Olympic Satin Enamel paint and primer in one)

Isn't it fabulous? I love how it makes such a statement. It's bright and fun and houses all my crazy craft stuff perfectly. I'm in love with the jade color - it almost immediately gives me inspiration. And the husband is happy that his office is one step closer to being organized, clean, and more study-friendly.

Do you like the color? Have you painted any furniture a bright unexpected color lately?


  1. I love how this turned out! I looks great with your craft stuff!!

  2. Gorgeous! Where can I find that exact paint color?

    1. Thanks, Elise! I got the paint from Lowe's - the color is Valspar Cosmic Green (6003-10C) that I color matched to Olympic Satin Enamel. Enjoy!

  3. This dresser is beautiful! I'm about to repaint a Salvation Army desk/dresser thing, so it was great to read about your success. I am inspired now. :)

    1. Thanks MaryBeth! That makes me happy! :) I'd love to see your desk/dresser when you finish!



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