Dresser to TV Stand (part one)

I've mentioned Chelsea's blog once before because she's done some pretty amazing DIY projects. My favourite project of her's is the dresser that she turned into a TV stand. You should check it out because it's AMAZING! It's that post that inspired my current tv housing situation. I knew I didn't want anything that was black, chrome or a wall unit. It wasn't until I saw Chelsea's stand on Pinterest that I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Instead of doing what most people do when they decide they want a new piece of furniture (going to a furniture store), I decided to check out kijiji in my pjs. It took a few weeks of scouring and inquiring before I found this baby:

I had originally taken some photos of it on my phone, but when I bought a new phone not all of them transfered properly. Here's the only one I can find (I had already primed the gold inlay and taken the pulls off). It actually looks much nicer than it was, trust me.

I scored this dresser, as well as a night stand and a smaller dresser that I'm using in the dining room (pictured below) for $125, delivery included. Not bad for solid wood, good quality dressers.

One night while I was watching tv I decided to open up a can of primer and cover all of the gold inlay. I had already decided that I wanted to paint it the same colour as the dresser, so I knew I had to do this step, even if I hadn't picked a paint colour yet. This is usually how my DIY projects start, randomly without much of a plan.

After priming the inlay, I sanded and primed all the drawer fronts. Living in a condo with just a balcony, it's hard to do big projects here, so I only did the drawers at my place.

I used a spray primer, Zinsser BIN, which is a shellac primer. The woman at Home Depot recommended it when they didn't have my favourite Zinsser primer in a spray can.

In this shot you can really see that it needed some love... I had already sloppily primed the inlay at this point.

I sanded the drawers, wiped them down, vacuumed the creases and sprayed them with a coat of primer.

It took about 45 minutes to sand and spray all 9 drawers. And look at the difference!

It was looking better already. After seeing how much better they looked, I contemplated keeping the dresser white. But then I changed my mind back to charcoal grey.

Here's a little peak into the chaos and disaster that always happens mid-project.

After doing the drawers, I took the dresser to Matt's house to sand, prime and paint the dresser. Two of the drawers didn't close properly, so Matt fixed it. You can see in this photo that the top of the dresser was in rough shape.

Here's a close-up of the grungy-ness. You can see that stickers were removed, which wasn't the case with the night table, which is sporting some pretty bad ass glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs.

We (yes, we - even though there's only photographic evidence of Matt's contribution) sanded the top with the electric sander and hand sanded the rest.

The spray primer wasn't working like I'd hoped, so I went back to Home Depot for a can of the same Zinsser primer. I figured it'd be best to keep it the same as the drawers.

There is almost ALWAYS a moment in a project where I feel like I've ruined it and that it will never turn out the way I imagined. So far, this has never turned out to be the case, but in that moment I figure it's over. I have even been known to throw my hands up and cry. Then Matt gently puts my hands back down and tells me we can fix it. This happened during this project once I had finished priming the entire piece.

The whole thing was covered in this thick, coarse, popcorn ceiling yuck!

I freaked out and felt like crying. That's when Matt came into the garage and said "Uhh were you planning on wearing those jeans again?" You see, only I would decide that I'm such a pro that I can paint in my favourite jeans without getting any on me. False.

I thought it would be a great idea to save money and buy foam rollers at the dollar store. Matt tried to dissuade me, but I wouldn't listen. They kept falling off throughout the priming stage, and I kept having to use more (good thing I got 6 for a dollar). Apparently at some point in the process I sat on one of those rollers. Sweet. He proved his love for me by saying "Let's go buy paint, then we'll come back and sand the dresser" instead of "I told you so". He's a keeper.

That's when I found I also had paint in my hair. I'm still picking little pieces of it out of my hair to this day. This primer really does stick to anything.

I chose Benjamin Moore Advance water based enamel alkyd paint (like I used for the kitchen table) in Kendall Charcoal. Turns out it wasn't as dark as I thought it would be, but I'm happy with the result.
After a quick sand job, the dresser was looking smooth. I decided not to do a second coat of primer to save my sanity.

The paint dried much darker than this.

After two coats on the dresser and drawers it was done!

Here's what it looks like now:

I'm really happy with it! Now I have to do the second step - removing the top drawers, painting inside, adding some wood shelves and cutting some holes in the back for the wires. I have a feeling it may be a while.

I'm linking up with:

$4 well spent

Take a look at this photo and try and guess which one of the things I bought this weekend (keep in mind that I paid $4).

If you guessed the Audrey Hepburn book, you're wrong! It's actually the table! I stopped into Goodwill with Stacey this weekend to see if they had any little treasures, and I found this guy. I thought that for $4 I couldn't go wrong. I was originally thinking of repainting it (probably white) but I'm actually loving it just the way it is.

What's the best thing you've spent $4 on this week?

Let there be privacy

I've been living in the condo for just over seven months now, and this week I finally hung curtains in the living room! SO exciting :) I'm on the third floor so it wasn't as urgent as if I was on the ground floor... although I guess that's debatable. During the day I usually want them open anyways, but it's nice to be able to close them at night when it's easier to see in - especially since my unit faces the parking lot :) I'm sure I'll be getting high fives and thank yous when walking to my car.

I've had the fabric for a few months - I bought it from Fabricland for $6/meter, but I've been waiting for my seamstress to have the time to make them :)

When Matt first hung them, the rod (that I got for free from my Mum) wasn't long enough to span the width of the wall.

Although I was happy to have curtains, I decided I wanted a longer rod. So when we were at Ikea this weekend, I bought a longer rod (for $6.99!) and new hardware. It makes SUCH a difference!

I'm in love :) Here's the before:

And after!

I love that I can push the curtains completely to the side so that more light can come in through the doors.

Don't mind the giant plant on the chair outside, I was given a planter of various types of lettuce from one of my students this week.

Budget Breakdown:
Fabric: $6/meter = $30
Rod and hardware: $10
Privacy: Priceless

Total: $40

Grateful for...

Tea Rooms, antique shops, small towns and my Mum (she should probably be first).

My lovely mother's birthday is in January. And today, on June 1st, we finally went out to celebrate. For birthdays I love giving experiences as opposed to things. In her card, I wrote that we'd be going to her favourite Tea Room in Dundas, Ontario. I had never been before but I love me a good Tea Room. It's a little crazy that it took 5 months for us to find a date that works. She's retired and volunteers like crazy for about a million causes and has a much busier social life than I do  and seems to always be on vacation somewhere incredible. I'm sure we could have made an earlier date work, but for some reason this is the date we picked. Here's the Tea Room we went to:

Isn't it so lovely?! The food was delish. I could put devon cream on anything.

Then we went for a walk down Main Street and went furniture/antique shopping. This store had BEAUTIFUL things for LOTS of money. I'll stick to my Kijiji furniture re-dos for now.

What a lovely day with my favourite woman in the world :).