Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunroom Progress: Chunky Dresser Makeover


Awhile back, as some of you may recall, I bought a big chunky dresser for $45 at the thrift store (not on the same Friday night that I bought everything else that's now in my house, but at the same store). Said dresser is unbelievably heavy and still has a stamp on the back dating it to 1974. I'd had some hopes that it might work in our den for a TV stand, but it is, it turns out, far too ginormously long for that. 

So it ended up in the special room in our house where we keep all the things we don't know what else to do with: the sunroom! Only this time we sort of did know what we were going to do with it. We knew, at least, that we were going to paint it and then....put stuff in it. I think maybe craft supplies? Extra dishes? Maybe we'll get really crazy and keep extra dishes and craft supplies in there, because it's just that big. Did people have more clothes in 1974? Maybe it's just that they had smaller closets, so they had to keep more clothes in their dressers? 

Incidentally, Dave does not like calling this dresser a dresser. He really wanted an alternative name, since we won't be using it as a dresser for clothes. I introduced him to "credenza" and he was all over that, but I don't think it is a credenza, even if one defines the term really generously. Although Wikipedia seems as confused as Dave about the definition of credenza. It says that a credenza is "a piece of furniture comprising a central cupboard flanked by symmetrical quadrant glass display cabinets, usually made of burnished and polished wood and decorated with marquetry" ....and then shows two example pictures that aren't anything like that. So I guess Dave can call our dresser a credenza if he wants to.

It started out looking like this:


I've been itching to use some turquoise or aqua somewhere in the house, and the sunroom, with all the light it gets and with its terra cotta tiles, seemed like the ideal location. I spent quite a bit of time online researching the prettiest colors Benjamin Moore has to offer on the aqua to turquoise spectrum, wrote down the names of several top contenders, then got to the store and....couldn't find a single one. I should have written down numbers, too, it turns out. I could have asked for help, but the store was pretty busy, so I just looked at the samples and picked one out right there on the spot. I ended up with Florida Keys Blue. 

It's a little more aqua and less blue in real life than I expected (although in the pictures it looks bluer than in my sunroom. I think. It's hard to tell. Light is a funny thing), but the great thing about Benjamin Moore is that even when colors don't look how I expect them to, I'm still all, "OMG--it's the prettiest color I've ever seen!" Benjamin Moore does not pay me. But they should. 

I agonized for quite some time over how to paint this. I got the paint in semi gloss to leave my options open. Ultimately I decide on mixing plaster of paris in to chalk paint it up, largely because I was feeling lazy and didn't want to sand and prime it first. Also because I knew if I wound up distressing it (which I hadn't decided about yet), I'd want the dark finish to show through rather than bare, sanded wood. I use this recipe from I Heart Naptime. This time I added in a little more plaster of paris, just as an experiment as I've seen other formulas that use a lot more. I didn't notice much difference over other times when I've used it. 

I did two coats of paint (Dave liked it after one coat, with some of the dark stain showing. I kind of did, too. But not enough to stop painting). Then I sanded the edges to distress it, then put a coat of wax on it. 

I only briefly considered swapping out the hardware. I thought it would be hard and/or expensive to find something substantial enough to look right on there, so I just repainted the old hardware with Rustoleum satin nickel metallic spray paint instead. This kept the whole cost, for the dresser plus paint, down around $70 (and we still have plenty of Florida Keys Blue and satin nickel spray paint left over). 

That rainbow striped vase? That I did get on clear-out-the-whole-thrift-store-Friday. 



I think the bottom picture gives the best representation of the real color.

I'm excited about getting a usable sunroom! There have been a couple of other changes in there, too, so I'll have a sunroom update post sometime in the fairly near future. 

Linking with:

47 comments:

  1. Yay! Sunroom posts! I'm looking forward to see what else is going on in there because if you're rocking this aqua color scheme, I am so on board.

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    1. No other aqua in there, yet, but I'm working on it! I might wait until we get it painted before I post an update, actually--that yellow is really getting on my nerves now that we're starting to change things up.

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  2. I love the colour you choose and the hardware look great spray painted. SO fresh and bright! Great job!

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  3. Oh this looks so good!!! I love that you kept the hardware & just painted it. The color is gorgeous with the terracotta tiles too. Love love love!
    Sarah

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    1. Yeah, on one hand the terra cotta is kind of limiting...but I think I'm getting a handle on working with it, and I'm liking the colors that work with it :)

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  4. WOW that looks so pretty. I love the amount of distressing. It's perfect! What a beautiful piece!

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  5. Gretchen!!!!! It turned out beautiful!!!!!! I think it is the perfect color!!!! And the hardware finishes it off so nicely! What a perfect piece for your sunroom!!!! I'm so excited to see the whole room come together! Great work friend!!! Ha and you should get paid by BM!! That is the only paint I use too!

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    1. right? BM should pay us both. I'm sure I've convinced at least a couple of people to try out their paint with my endless gushing about it!

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  6. That is GORGEOUS!!!! Wow. It's perfect. I want to touch it all over. I love love love love love it. I love that color. I reallllllllllly need to do a dresser for me and Aaron. Soon.

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  7. I love it! Thank you for sharing at the Give Me The Goods Link Party!! http://dimplesandpigtales.blogspot.com/2013/04/give-me-goods-party-3.html

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    1. Thanks, Amber--and thanks to you guys for hosting :)

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  8. that color lightens it beautifully! pretty!

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  9. I love turquoise, so this is right down my road! Looks awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Julia--I'm becoming a bigger and bigger fan of turquoise :)

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  10. Looks great! I've been waiting to see what colour you were going to paint that piece. Love that you kept the hardware as well. Can't wait to see more of your sunroom.

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    1. Thanks, Anu....I'm hoping we can get it at least somewhat pulled together before full summer sets in and it's too hot to be out there!

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  11. Great transformation! LOVE that color! Life to the full! Melissa

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  12. Oh I LOVE that color so much!!! :-) Also, thanks for your comment on our house/story on Kelly's blog . . . your words meant a lot to me :-)

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    1. Thanks, Becca! Loved reading about your house :)

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  13. Stopping by from Decor and the Dog. Love the color of this dresser! Great transformation!

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  14. Oh, I love the color! Especially in the last picture it looks great.
    And it really gives the dresser a great new look!

    Love, Midsommarflicka

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    1. Thank you! I had the hardest time getting the color in the photos to match real life!

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  15. It's so, so gorgeous! I love aqua! I'm about to work on a piece super similar to this for a client! I'm visiting from Tatertots and Jello.. hope you'll stop by and say hello :) Have a great weekend!

    -Bonnie @ Revolutionaries
    www.revolutionariesblog.com

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  16. I'm a big fan of anything in green or blue! Your "credenza" looks like the perfect choice for that chunky 70's dresser. Love your work.
    Visiting you from Miss Mustard Seed.
    -Therese @ Fresh Idea Studio
    http://FreshIdeaStudio.com

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  17. Such a great color!! You did a great job painting it too :) Wish I had it in my house

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  18. Gorgeous! Love love love the colour. We did an old hutch in a similar color to use as a TV cabinet in the basement family room. I just picked up another thrifted dresser yesterday to turn into a cabinet for the living room upstairs. This is great inspiration! (though I think I might go yellow this time...) Thanks for sharing it!! Saw you at I Heart Naptime.
    Krista @thehappyhousie

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    1. Thanks, Krista...and good luck with your dresser!

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  19. I love it! It looks sooo good now! Thanks for sharing it at Monday Funday!

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  20. Gretchen, wow! what a beauty you created there! We've begun a sunroom makeover ourselves and I want to use tropical colors and I'm looking for a piece of furniture like yours. I've never painted any furniture with the exception of maybe a bookcase. I see you have a pass through window from your kitchen to the sunroom; so do we. I wished we'd chosen the terracotta tile but DH wouldn't agree to it. I think it's going to be difficult to incorporate what we chose but we'll manage somehow. We use our room as tv room, and have a large kitchen set in there where we have our meals, saving the formal dining room for when we entertain. I want to get rid of the large kitchen set and buy something for two people but large enough he can spread out his morning newspaper to read on. I'm thinking a 42 in. should do it and maybe 36 in. Haven't decided what shape yet. We are dealing with his motorized recliner. I have no place to sit if I want to watch tv except the chairs that go with the kitchen set which are nice but not comfortable for watching tv unless you are sitting "at the table." The room is 9 1'/2 ft.x 15 ft. large double windows on each side plus exit door to backyard. The sun shines in that room from sunrise to sunset so we have to keep the blinds closed to avoid a glare on tv from outside. Any suggestions? I could use that size credenza/dresser for our 32 in. flat screen tv but it would take up most of one wall. Cable connections are at each end of room. Ceiling fan/with light in middle of room, no other lighting except for a lamp. Wished I knew how to post pictures but am not computer savy at all and have nobody to teach me or show me.

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    1. Thanks so much, Betty! Your sunroom sounds like a great space :). I'd originally wanted this dresser for a TV stand, too, but it was too big for our den. I just finally found a smaller piece at the thrift store the other day that I'm hoping will work in there, but I haven't decided how to paint it yet. I see a lot of 70's/80's furniture that's nice and solid and just needs some updating for good prices at one the stores I go to regularly, so I just kept looking. Oh....I was just researching ways to block some of the heat from our windows the other day, and got a suggestion for this stuff: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Gila-36-in-x-78-in-Gray-Glare-Control-Window-Film-CS78/100007408#.UcxBBfnVAxE. They make glare blocking and heat blocking versions, I guess. Thanks so much for stopping by and have fun with your sunroom makeover :)

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  21. This is fantastic! I would like to invite you to SHARE this cool post at my link up party if you haven’t already, hope you stop by every week! I really appreciate your support and encouragement .
    http://sweethaute.blogspot.com/2013/09/thursday-sweet-haute-share.html

    Be Sweet~
    Christina at
    SWEET HAUTE

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  22. Wow! What a beautiful transformation! I love the color you chose, and great call with the Rustoleum for the hardware. Thank you so much for linking up at "Get Your DIY On"! I hope to see you Sunday with your fall wreath! Have a wonderful weekend!

    ~Abby =)

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  23. This dresser is right up my alley Gretchen!! In fact, I wish I had it in my house! I am featuring you tomorrow at the Get Your DIY On fall challenge - come by and grab your button from the happy housie and bring along a fall wreath if you have one for the next leg of the challenge:)
    ~Krista

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  24. Oh, love your... "thingy"!!! Your sunroom tiles are great. We are getting rid of our terracotta tiles because they aren't nearly as nice as yours (and slightly fake) - if they were, we'd keep them!!! Looking forward to seeing what else you'll get up to!!!

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