Wednesday 5 October 2011

Three Ladies And A Great Idea!

This story begins with my sister spying a couple of dressers being loaded into her neighbour's truck to go to the dump.  She unabashedly asked if she could have them and called me to come help her take them to our workshop.  The young fellow who was trashing them tried not to show that he thought we were crazy and kept apologizing for how old and decrepit they were.

They were in rough shape with non functioning drawers and mismatched handles.  One handle was a hook that you use to hang plants from the ceiling.  I'm sooo thinking a man thought that one up!  They had layers of paint and the final one was a shiny, dark brown. Still, these dressers were in fabulous shape compared to the furniture the gal at Upcycling My (ordinary) Life! tackles.  She does a beautiful job on stuff that would have gone straight to my burn pile!

We repaired the drawers and replaced the handles with simple wood knobs.  Now for the fun part, the paint treatment!

I started working on these before I thought to take a picture.  Sorry, in a hurry again! ~

The idea was to use a light grey for the undercoat, use soft white on top and rub back to the grey in spots.  If you put Vaseline on the spots where you know you will rub back, the second layer of paint comes off easily.  The problem with this dresser was that the red pigment in the brown paint kept bleeding through.  Primer isn't going to take well to the Vaseline so I need a plan B.

Chalk paint will adhere to pretty much anything so I do a Google search for a supplier near me.  There isn't one.  I stumble across a site No Minimalist Here and find a recipe to make your own chalk paint.  Now, chalk paint is expensive and I'm sticking to thrift, gift, reworked and found so I'm definitely interested in giving this a try.  It wasn't really necessary for me to spend two hours perusing all the beautiful stuff on her site but I sure did enjoy that part!  Then, I checked out her Etsy shop.  Then, I joined her site and submitted a wreath to her linky party.  Then, she joined my site and I was blown away because she has a huge following!  Then I was nervous!

I clicked on another site that had used her method.  I liked the little table I saw done on Kristybelle's site.  I had more fun reading all her stuff.  She's very funny and her excitement is contagious!  Drop by and give it a boo.  Then I joined her site and she joined my site.  Eeeeks!

I haven't done any work but I'm making great friends and having fun.

I followed the recipe and made a mixture of 2/3 latex paint to 1/3 Plaster of Paris with a little water to thin it out.  The Plaster of Paris was $9.99 at Michael's.  

You should wear one of those lovely paper masks while you are mixing this as it's bad for your lungs.  Once it's mixed, it's non toxic.  I think you can eat the stuff and be fine but don't just in case.

I used a darker grey, Benjamin Moore Silver Fox 2108-50 and put one good coat on the dresser.  Then, I sanded back to the lighter grey.  I know that wasn't the original plan but sometimes a piece just begs for a certain look and I have to go with it.  The piece is finished with a coat of ebony tinted furniture wax.

Here's the front and top finished ~ 

Here she is in all her chippy glory! ~

Now, do I sell this dresser or keep it?  Hmmmm.


  1. I love the way it turned out, gorgeous!

    I really do think that one of the most important lessons we can learn with these projects is to just go with the flow. The best pieces are the ones that somehow lead us or "tell" us what to do. It's the tao of the furniture, man....

    Thanks for the shout-out, too! My first thought was Eeeek! She cited me! :)

  2. Excellent transformation! Thanks for all of your tips. :)

  3. Hi Maureen! I found you over at Rhonda's end of year party. I am enjoying your blog and am following you now too. When I have time, I want to come back and look at other posts that you have done. I like to find other bloggers that look at their "stats" page...I think many do not know about it or care but I LOVE to look at views make my day.