Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dressing Up

It's been a while since I've posted, I know. What can I say -- life's been getting in the way. I've been unemployed, which you think would give me a lot more time, but somehow that never seems to happen. Between looking for a new job and the mountain of projects I set for myself, well, what can I say. And I can admit to some success -- I've gotten a bunch of my back-burner projects done and (probably more importantly), despite the incredibly crappy job market, I actually found a pretty good new job. So, in honor of that new job, I think I'd better get posting again! I think maybe I'll start back with one of those back-burner projects.

Before (shudder...)
I've needed something to store office supplies in for a while. Somehow having piles of labels, paper, etc. all over my desk makes it a bit difficult to work. However, I'm on a really tight budget these days. Then I rememberted that I had an old Victorian dresser thingee. Yeah, I know it's probably considered a Victorian commode, but I'm storing office supplies, not toilets! Anyway, I bought the thing at the flea market for $10 years ago and it's been sitting in the garage gathing dust, spiders, and mouse poop. It was the right size, had an appropriate amount of storage, and needed a job. The problem: It was seriously, profoundly, scandalously ugly. Really, who paints a piece of Victorian oak furniture pale yellow and green with hideous crystal drawer pulls? Ron thought I was nuts when I bought it, but I promised (solemnly swore) that I had a purpose in mind for it. See, honey, I really did!

Ahhhh. Much better.
Still, it had lots of potential, which is just what I needed. I had my husband drag it from the garage into the kitchen. As he reminded me several times, it's freakin' heavy (well, it is oak...). Of course when I opened two of the drawers I found that several mouse families had been using it for years as a mouse condo. My husband kindly got rid of the mouse-dropping-filled insulation for me, and I swept out the remains. Then I found an old sheet to use as a dropcloth and got to work on the exterior. I didn't want to entirely get rid of the old paint. It was hideous, but I liked the texture. So I scraped and wirebrushed the worst of it away, and hit the entire exterior with a coat of primer. I gave it a day to dry and then painted it again with the remains of one of the sample paints that was too light for the bathroom when we renovated it last year. It was the perfect amount of paint to put two coats on the dresser, and, technically, it was free. I love leftovers. The only real expense involved was the drawer pulls, which were $3 each at Lowe's. I really like the way the leaf  pattern on them mimics the carving on the drawer and door front.

I think it turned out quite lovely, right down to the rough texture underneath the creamy paint, and it really is exactly what I needed for storage. I even had just enough paint left over to repaint a little whatnot shelf I found at the flea market more recently. I had actually liked the minty green the shelf was originally painted, but unfortunately it didn't go in any room in my house. So, rather than relegating it to a back corner of the garage (using up some of the precious space that the thingee had previously occupied), I used up the last of the linen-colored paint from the dresser and, voila, something I can hang in my living room and fill with holiday-themed collectibles.