Today I want to share a project from a few months ago.
When we first moved away from our college town and into our first house, we needed furniture. Being the poor-post college students we were, bargains and freebies were our friend. Enter my dresser. I say my dresser because it was me who wanted it in the first place, and because it was my room full of crafts and stuff that it ended up living in.
From the moment I saw it, I imagined painting it a fun color. Life did what life does, and I never got around to it. Until we moved west.
We live in a rental house, and it’s nice, but there are lots and lots of white walls. Something snapped inside, the beige dresser who begged to be painted could not live amongst white walls. It would never do. So the search began for the perfect color for the dresser. I’d always had a dark pink in my mind for it, but when I got swatches and imagined what the dark pink dresser would look like in my craft area, it just didn’t work. Green, however, worked.
I can’t claim to have done much research at all into the best way to go about painting a laminate dresser, other than finding someone who had already figured all that out. Thank you, Centsational Girl! She is fantastic. Turns out, all you need to paint a piece of furniture is an awesome primer, some paint, and a protectant.
Here’s the dresser before:
Sad right? It was just begging for a bright coat of paint. Just has one of those personalities (I can tell.)
First step was to sand all over. Not so much to remove any sort of finish, but more to just scuff up the surface and give the primer something to stick to. I did make sure to sand really well where the piece was “antiqued” around the edges with a gold paint.
Next, everything needed 2 coats of primer. I’d never used primer before, so I was surprised by how fast it dries. I followed Centsational Girl’s advice and used a cheap, disposable foam brush with the primer so I wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning the oil based stuff off a nice brush. It looked so flat after the primer, almost like a drawing.
I waited until the next day, and started on the paint. I bought eggshell finish paint, but I really don’t think it would have mattered. I added Floetrol to the paint to give me more working time. (Thanks again CG!) The protectant is what decides the ultimate finish of the piece. The first coat went on pretty easily, but getting paint in by those curves without making little pools and puddles was pretty hard.
Silly me thought that after I was finally done with that first coat, that it was ready for another coat. Mistake! You can see in this photo how weird the paint looked when I tried to put on a 2nd coat too soon. Luckily that was only on one drawer.
After the second coat, and a night to dry really well, I put on the protectant. It was so hard to find the Varathane water based protectant in a tube, but I finally found it at our local Orchard Supply. I’ve never worked with spray top coat or liquid top coat, but this stuff in the tube was easy to use. It smelled an awful lot like Elmer’s glue though… a lot more expensive, though! It went on a little ripply, for lack of a better word, but dried so smooth.
That’s it, after all that I have a very easy to spot green dresser to store all kinds of craft supplies. I decorated the top with some things I had around and a couple of frames that were calling my name at Homegoods, and called it a success!
Links to Centsational Girl’s terrific tutorials:
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