Our little man hit the 2-year-old mark this week, and the countdown towards little miss Bea’s arrival, demanding a timeline on the household projects. Hence the progression of little man’s Big Boy Bedroom transformation. You might remember around Christmas time, we began the process by painting 3 walls and adding barn board to the window wall (See this post for the first phase). It’s time to transition the changing table/dresser out of little man’s room and into the nursery. Hence the need for a $30 Craigslist dresser makeover
The budget was $40 and I was getting anxious… structurally this one would do. The last owner made a drawer to fit in the bottom slot, I had the husband remove it and turn it into an open cubby area instead. I have read a lot about chalk paint. The less intense prep work (no sanding, priming, sanding, etc) was kind of a selling point for this project. We don’t have an Annie Sloan dealer near by, so I decided to test some DIY chalk paint recipes instead. I found this recipe worked quite well…
1 Cup of flat paint
+ 1 Tbls. Non Sanded Grout
Chalk Paint for a fun project
(I’ll address the wax later)
Step 1 – create a cubby shelf to replace the bottom drawer.
This was an assignment for the husband.
While he was doing that, I pulled all the drawers and started painting the fronts with a first coat of chalk paint.
As you can see the coverage was pretty thin, but everything adhered really nicely. It appears the major elbow grease could be avoided for this project (at least so far).
Step 2-3 Paint the body of the dresser
Overall, the paint provided pretty good coverage. It was really important to keep a stir stick handy as I realized a few times the grout started to settle toward the bottom of the container. You can see streaks in this picture of where I got a “glob of grout” in the paint.
Just a helpful hint, putting boards under the dresser props it up enough to get the bottom good, and underneath any parts that might be too close to manuever a brush! Step 3 and 4 are repeating the paint job to provide optimal coverage. I used a pretty heavy 2nd coat and almost a dry brush touch up on coat three.
Step 4 – Sand for distressed look
Using a 600 grit sand paper (Super-fine) I gave it a little character around the edges and helped smooth the overall texture of the paint. I found that the little bit of sanding really was enough to take the sharpness off. I actually ended up paint a few places to “fix” the over sanding I did.
Step 5 – Touch up and dry brush
Back to the paint brush, I simply touched up paint spot that I was a bit over zealous in sanding, or wanted to create even more character with a dry brush stroke around the edges.
Step 6 – Wait patiently while everything dries properly
Step 7 – Add Stencil to drawer fronts
I wanted to add some color and character to this dresser so I created number stencils the old-fashioned way (because this was an after thought and my silhouette was resting nicely at home, not the husband’s shop). I also forgot the camera on day 2 so here’s an after-after picture to show you just how imperfect these numbers were (and a close up of the sanded distress job).
Step 8 – Wax finish
Here’s where the elbow grease comes in a little more. Wax-on everything painted. Five minutes later Wax-off. Again we did 2 coats to get a little thicker finish. It added just a finish needed to talk the chalkiness out of the feel of the paint. I felt it also help protect it a little more from dings and scratch. A sure future for a piece of furniture in a toddler’s room.
Step 9 – Replace the Hardware
Much like the rest of the hardware in our house, we went with a brushed nickel look. I was able to buy the handles in bulk ($18 for 10) and the matching knobs at Menard’s.
Step 10 – Fill the drawers and enjoy
All in all it took about 12 hours start to finish. A few minor details that I’ll mention right away. The paint colors are both Behr from Home Depot. Mood Indigo is the blue and Vatican Red. Super fine sand paper is a must! DIY Chalk paint was worth the trial for this project. I wouldn’t be opposed to other ideas, but under the timeline and my lack of resources, it worked for this 🙂
Stay tuned. Eventually, you might even see phases 3, 4 and 5 (imagine a big boy room with wall art, book shelves and entire room reveal). Never know, I might add some girly love and throw in a glimpse of the nursery 😉
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