Sunday, February 1, 2015

DIY Distressed Dresser

As a college student surviving on microwave mac-n-cheese and scholarships, I can tell you that finding furniture that isn't made of plastic is difficult. I, for one, want to be able to fill my house with pieces that reflect who I am and where I am going in life. I want my home to reflect who I am.

For the longest time after moving into my current apartment, I lived without a dresser because I couldn't find one for less than hundreds of dollars. Until I went thrift shopping.

I ended up at the Salvation Army off of Beach Blvd one Saturday morning. I like that store because of their layout (tons of space) and surplus of nicer furniture. I mean, you aren't going to find the latest Anthropology couch there, but you can find your future look-a-like. That's what I did.

I came across this dresser inside the store that was an off-white color with a light brown wooden top. It stood about four feet high off of the ground and the wooden top was broken with holes on the sides that revealed the inside of the top drawer. It was one hundred dollars and I decided to go for it.

Since I live in an apartment with no space to do hard labor, I took the dresser to my finance's parents' house down the road. Thankfully, they have a spacious garage with plenty of room and tools to do the work. So we began.

First, we took the power sander that they have and began shaving down the outer, glossy finish layer. Paint will not stick on that layer unless it has something to grip. Then I painted the entire bottom part dark brown and let it dry overnight. While the paint was drying, we leveled the wooden top with wood glue and device that would hold pressure on the planks while they dried.

The next day, I painted over the dark brown paint with an off-white color I bought from Home Depot. I made sure that I got two coats but let the paint dry between the two. While I was waiting for that to dry, I took some satin finish, dark brown wood stain and stained the now leveled top of the dresser. I let that dry overnight as well.

The next day, I lightly sanded a few key areas of the white paint to produce a distressed look. The dresser now looks just like my favorite one from Anthropology for one quarter of the price. I even bought some knobs from Anthropology to replace the ones from the original dresser. That's what I call a win!