Sunday, November 30, 2014

DIY - dresser and night stand

Now that I have living quarters for the next six months, I need to stop living out of bags and suitcases and take everything out of my car.  And maybe actually USE some of the stuff that I packed on my original journey out this way.

Since this is temporary, I didn't want to invest in nice stuff...I'd rather do that when I have a more permanent place and when I have a job and have some sort of income coming in.  So, I went to Goodwill and they had this dresser for $20.  It seemed sturdy and was a design/shape that wasn't horrible.  So I bought it.  When I got home and was unloading it from my car, I was disgusted by how many spider and cob webs there were. I  hate spiders and this just sat in the garage for a week until my friend came over with a vacuum and helped me clean it.  Gross.  Made me doubt the purchase.

dresser - before
Later that afternoon I went to an estate sale.  "Estate Sales" make me nervous because where I was from, those were the fancier houses with nice stuff...that I couldn't afford even in their version of a garage sale.  But I went to the one I found and since it was Sunday, they were doing 50% off everything left.  I found a chair for $30 - so for $15 I couldn't pass that up.  It seemed to be in good condition, just needed a good vacuuming and Lysol disinfecting spray.  Next I found this small little cabinet that was $7 ($3.50 on Sunday).  I figured it would make a decent night stand.

cabinet - before
 A day later, a different thrift store, I found a small filing cabinet.  List price was $5, but it was 50% off because that store was closing.  The cabinet does not have the nice smooth drawers, they just pull out...but for $2.50...I got it anyway, I need a place to put some of my important papers.

I went to both Lowe's and Home Depot a total of three times.  The first time was to get a sanding sponge and a drop cloth.  Then I realized I'd probably get all the sanding done fairly quickly - I wasn't sanding down to the bare wood...not knowing if it was wood.  The second time was to get paint brushes and paint samples and the third was to pick up the paint, polyurethane, wood fill and 1 hardware for the cabinet (I forgot to measure it before I left).  It took me forever to figure out the paint thing.  There are so many choices.  After about 15 minutes I selected a semi-gloss.  Then I spent about 5 minutes picking out the color.  I kept debating if I should go dark brown or do something crazy like teal or burnt orange.  In the end, the brown was selected.  Call me boring.  I ended up getting a gallon of paint. I knew it was going to be too much, but the small seemed too small...why nothing in between? How many coats will I need?  I dreaded spending $26 something on paint...that cost defeats the whole purpose.  Hopefully, I will be able to use that paint for other things in the coming months and then that cost would be spread out.

I took the drawers out of the dresser and took off the hardware and began painting, using mostly a small foam roller.

Is it the quality pant I selected, or does a dark color just need many layers.  This is layer one and two.

In the end, I probably painted 5 layers of paint.

I kept debating if I should put a coat of polyurethane on or not.  I read a few blogs/articles that people do it to seal since items will be placed on top and it will get lots of use.  I bought some urethane from an estate sale.  While I read how to properly apply it with long brush strokes and a thin coating...the top of the dresser looks quite horrible.  I may put more coats on top to even it out.  The rest looks can see the brush strokes, and you couldn't with the paint, so, was it worth it?  Yes that only I will be using/seeing the furniture and it will prevent scratches and whatnot.

The original 'test' hardware turned out to be too small, so I went back to pick up more.  But I haven't really liked anything worth the price, so everything was returned.  I ended up sanding down the brass hardware and thought the silver-ish looked better, so I used that, which was 'free'.
top after sanding, bottom original
This great idea of me saving money by buying used turned out to be quite costly.  But I have plenty of free time and it is always good to learn to do something I am going to chalk up the expense to the experience.
dresser - after
  • dresser $20
  • night stand $3.50
  • gallon of paint $27
  • paint brush $1
  • drop cloth $1
  • roller and tray $6
  • polyurethane $11 - returned; re-bought a full container and a spray at an estate sale $2
  • hardware - ended up keeping what was on there, but I sanded it down so it went from gold to silver.
OK, well, that is a lot more money than I wanted to spend, but really $60.50+  for bedroom furniture isn't horrible, especially if you average it out over the two pieces.  And I have lots of paint and urethane for other projects.

1 comment:

  1. Looks good d! Hope your feeling alittle more settled with some furniture and an address. Thinking of you often!