Okay, so I kind of love shoes… I mean who doesn’t right? I don’t think I quite qualify in the fetish mode category… but I’d definitley be considered a connoiseur.
What I don’t love however, are ugly shoe racks. Or piles of shoes in the middle of the floor as you walk into the house. Or piles in the garage right in front of the door (ahem.cough.ChefKev.cough)… but that’s for another post.
As you enter our house from the garage you open into a small hallway that leads to our rec room. To the right are stairs that go to our main floor (where the main entrance is) but to the left is a (rather large) bathroom. Since the rec room is carpeted and I don’t want to track dirt on it, my shoes end up getting removed as I enter and side-kick-shuffled (patented move) into the tiled bathroom.
Obviously we needed a shoe storage solution here.
Let me show you where my shoes live NOW (hint: it’s the big yellow dresser).
Allow me to back up and fill you in on how this ray of sunshine entered my life.
As I mentioned earlier, this bathroom is quite large. It’s actually outfitted with plumbing for a bath to go along that back wall but as the fourth bathroom in our house, and being located off the rec room, it just didn’t make sense to have a tub there.
I had always wanted to get something to go in that space (wasn’t quite sure what) but the project just never made it to the top of the priority list.
Enter Craigslist and their FREE Classified section.
I saw this and (believe it or not) I had a vision…
Yes, it was straight from the 80’s (hello, Mrs. Max Headroom is calling and she wants her dresser back), had chawesome pulls and knobs and was wearing 25 years of scuffs, dings, dirt and dog chewing, oh, and the front of one drawer had fallen off… but I could see it… SHOE STORAGE THAT I COULD TURN INTO SOMETHING PRETTY!
And so it was mine. For zero dollars.
What a pretty flower.
Funny side note – my mom called me the other day and said when I got my first desk for doing homework the first thing I said was “I’m going to change those knobs!” Ha. I guess somethings never change… but taste sure does. Apparently my dad was highly unimpressed with the cost of the ones I chose as a replacement. And yes, they had painted flowers on them.
But back to this.
I did a lot of research in deciding how to make over this piece. I’ll explain my process below.
First up was to patch the dog chewed corner. To do this use some wood filler. Start by applying a layer, letting it dry and then applying another layer and so on until it builds up to the level of the surface you are working with. Then you sand and contour the filler to match your existing drawer. My dad did this part (thanks Dad) as he had taken the drawer to fix the broken front (he had the clamps and wood glue needed). So no pictures of these last two steps but here is one of the rebuilt corner before priming.
Next up I sanded the whole dresser. The key here is to LIGHTLY sand with the lowest grit paper you can. Since the dresser has a veneer finish you want to take off the sheen without sanding down to the particle board. This step is uber-important. Of if you are italian, uber-importantico.
Next was the priming step. I chose Kilz from Home Depot. You can see it here on the left.
Apply both your primer and paint with a mohair mini roller. I didn’t use a brush at all for this project. The mohair roller is key – do not use foam. A mini mohair roller holds and distributes your paint evenly and really gets it into your lighty sanded surface. It’s basically a small version of a good quality wall roller. Anyone who has used a foam roller for a project like this will know what I’m talking about. A foam roller will just push your paint around on your surface. Slicky McSlickerson.
Now the fun part – paint! The colour I chose is Benjamin Moore “Sun Kissed Yellow”. I had seen other dressers done in yellow during my blogland and Pinterest travels and loved the graphic punch they add to a space. For my small and windowless room I thought this colour would look great.
The paint I chose was Benjamin Moore Advance paint in a high gloss finish (seen above next to the primer). My research said this was the product for the job so I took note. It lived up to expectations and dries to a strong finish, is self levelling, easy to work with and very durable, but one thing that surprised me was how thin it was. You absolutely need to use a primer with before this product and may even want to tint it.
After some drying time and knob installation we were done. I may or may not have bought the wrong amount of knobs and had to back and get more. Seriously. It’s only 12. Not a high number to count to. Ridiculous.
You can see how the damaged corner turned out below. For reference it is the bottom left corner of the bottom left drawer in the photo above.
The thing that really drew me to this dresser was that the top two drawers were divided in to six quadrants with bevel detail between each section.
For the knobs and pulls I chose some that I thought would look good (found at Home Depot here and here). I chose this style because I like that it was a nod to the traditional but was going to be used on a piece that had been given a modern glossy yellow twist.
Since these were the front runner after my searching, I actually had a photo of them on my phone for a few months (shows how long this took me to do). One day while in the bathroom I noticed something about the existing taps. Ummm… match much?
It was knob fate.
Here is a different view of the room where you can see how the dresser fits into the space.
See the towel reflection? I picked those for my birthday back in March. Obviously I was planning on getting to this… just took awhile.
I love the layering of the charcoal and white chevron inspired towel paired with the bright yellow and crisp white.
One of my favourite parts of this project is that now I have a drop zone for my jewellery when I come home from work.
And of course, a new home for my shoes!
So there we have it!
What about you? Refinish any Craigslist finds recently? Did it take you months or is that just me? Hopefully you weren’t carrying around photos of knobs on your phone like I was. Um, dresser knobs people. That came out really wrong.