Monday, October 7, 2013

{diy project: vintage armoire makeover, part I}

This summer, I decided to rehab an armoire that's been in my family for quite some time. It was my grandma's, then my mom's, then my sister & I's. It was actually the dresser that was used in my sister & I's nursery! So me & this dresser? We go way back. It's been in storage for YEARS & I totally forgot about it. Needless to say, when I saw it again...I fell in love.

Take a look:

Gorgeous, right?

My mom & I decided to tackle it. Before I started, I knew three things: I didn't want to stain it, I didn't want to paint it all one color, & whatever I did, I wanted to keep the integrity & character of the piece. It's vintage! I wanted to keep it looking that way. Since painting it all one color seemed a little boring, I started looking for other ideas...

I came across the book Furniture Makeovers & was immediately inspired! The author, Barb Blair, can only be described as the ultimate furniture guru. The book is full of so many amazing projects! The before & afters are truly incredible. She goes into detail about the different stains, methods, paints, & processes you can use on furniture. She tells you exact brands & products to buy, which was incredibly helpful. And most importantly, she gives step by step instructions on how to do everything.

The section that really stuck out to me, though, was on Milk Paint. I'd never heard of it before, but after seeing the aged, vintage look of the furniture it was used on, I knew it was the way to go. Milk Paint is only sold in select stores, so I had to source it, but I ended up finding it in the most adorable little hardware store outside of Philadelphia.

The only problem was...what color were we going to do?! My mom & I didn't know where the dresser was going to go: our house? the beach house? my future apartment? Because of this, we had to be very "safe" with the paint color. It had to be adaptable.

Here are the colors Milk Paint comes in:

Even though I was SO tempted to paint it "Mustard", we eventually decided on grey. Milk Paint doesn't come in liquid form, only you have to mix it yourself. This was actually a great thing for me, because I was able to create the exact shade I wanted. I wasn't a huge fan of "Oyster White", "Snow White was too white, & "Slate" seemed too dark.  I ended up in the middle: buying two bags of "Snow White" & one bag of "Slate" to create the lightest grey possible.

Before I could start painting, I had to prep.

1. The first thing I did was clean the entire dresser. Dust was in every little crevice, so I spent about 30 minutes just wiping it down.

2. Sanding! I used both an orbital sander AND a fine sanding sponge.

^^Oh, yeah. I totally rocked the protective glasses. I like the ability of sight.

3. After sanding everything down, I took a vacuum & sucked up all the dust. There was a LOT. I don't have a picture, but this step is still very important! You don't want to paint a dusty, sandy piece of furniture. Trust me.

4. While I was sanding with the orbital sander, my hand slipped. Or I got a little too excited. Who knows. Whatever happened, I sanded off a piece of decorative trim! I was super bummed. Luckily it was a clean cut, so I just took some Gorilla Wood Glue & glued the piece right back on.

Next up...painting!


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