Thursday, February 19, 2015

#HDBlogSquad ~ Dresser Refresh: Foolproof DIY Guide

Hello Thursday!  While the extreme cold warning over the last couple of weeks might have kept most of us staying inside our home with a cup of hot coco, I have been busy transforming a diamond in the rough dresser into a sensational cobalt blue delight with some help from my friends at The Home Depot.


I wasn't kidding when I said it was a diamond in the rough.  With one missing handle (and they are rather flimsy), an "antiqued" two-tone finish, and the rather unfinished interiors, I knew I would need to give it a facelift.  But hey, you can't pass up a charming piece with tremendous potential (especially when it was on clearance for $130!) just because it has a bad outfit right?  


As you can see from the detail shots, my full of character dresser also comes with a few cracks, dented spots, and areas with chipped paints.  It is crucial that the imperfections are taken care of before the prime & paint process.  Here are the essential tools to complete the task: wood filer and sandpaper.    


To tackle the issues, I've used the white wood filler and the 180 grit fine sandpaper.  There are many different grits of sandpapers to choose from and since the repair jobs on my dresser were rather minor, the fine final surface smoothing grit did the trick.  Here is my simple 3 steps process:
  1. fill the holes (only if your new hardware will require new holes)   
  2. fill the cracks (try to get to the cracks as close as possible ... I should have pulled the drawer out in picture 2)
  3. give the wood filler a light sand (be gentle ... you just want to smooth it out)
One more tip at this point: Be Patient.  You may need to fill the cracks/holes with wood fillers a couple of times (with light sanding in between), so be sure the wood filler was thoroughly dried before the second attempt.


Once all repairing is done, you are ready to prime the piece.  Priming is very important as this coat of  paint seals the surface, blocks stains, resists mildew, and allows for maximum adhesive for the final top coats with the paint of your choice.

I recommend the KILZ 2 Latex water-based multi-serface stainblocker for its fast drying, low odor, and that it can be used under / over Latex or oil-based paint.  No more worries about whether the existing color is latex or oil-based (especially when you are dealing with a vintage piece!)


Now that the prep work is done, let the fun begin with a visit to the Home Depot to pick a showstopper color for my dresser!  There are an array of rainbow colors at the paint department but my eyes were drawn to the BEHR MARQUEE for its ODYSSEY and OPULENCE collections.

A little info about MARQUEE:

Its tough non-stick surface helps resist dirt build-up and the powerful UV protection prevents fading.  Combining with an early rain resistance, stain-blocking and mildew resistance, MARQUEE paint is designed to make your home beautiful for years to come.


I love a fine blend of blue & grey for a sophisticated color, and with the name "Compass Blue", I know this is the one!  Who doesn't like the nautical look of an old, antique sea map right?


Here is another tip for you when painting a dresser: pull the drawers out and have them labelled.  It's far easier to paint (not to mention a better quality paint job) and the number system will save you hours of trying to figure out which drawer goes where.


With the easy part out of the way (relatively speaking), the real challenge begins: hardware installation.


Measure twice and drill once is utmost importance at this point of the makeover process.  After all, you really don't want a few extra holes on your freshly painted dresser for "added charm".  I know myself well enough to know that I would not be patient enough to precisely measure the placement of the handle on every drawer (especially when I have four to tackle) ... so I called in the German engineer for reinforcement.

First you need to figure out the placement of your handle.  In my case, I want it right in the middle of the drawer.  Then you flip the hardware around, measure where the holes are, and make your mark lightly on the drawer front.

To ensure all the handles are aligned on all four drawers, we have marked the middle points on all the drawers as reference.


Now that you know where the holes are on the drawer fronts, it's time to drill the holes.  I have to say this is probably the most nerve-racking process in the entire makeover: you really cannot make a mistake here!  To avoid the drill bit sliding off the mark, I have used a finishing nail to make a dent on where I want to drill.  This little dent will serve as a guide for your drill bit for the real action.

After spending a fair bit of time to get the handle on the first drawer, the German engineer came up with a genius idea to speed up the process: make a template from the first drawer and simply apply it on the other ones! What a game changer and I kid you not, I would have been screaming all night long (and the handles probably wouldn't be aligned) if I had to measure on drawer at a time.


A glass of wine and eight hours of beauty sleep later, I was ready to put on the final detail: line the drawer with wallpaper.  I could have just painted the entire interior of the drawers blue but I thought a hit of wallpaper would add pattern, texture (hopefully things will less likely be rolling around), and a pleasant surprise when you open the drawer.

In my case, I have decided to use the leftover grasscloth wallpaper from the bedroom makeover and learning from the hole drilling experience, I have also created a template for my wallpaper application.  This process took me only 10 mins to complete and I love the subtle luxe look thanks to the shimmery grasscloth!


Are you ready for the final reveal? I couldn't be happier with the transformation!  I knew this piece has potential and by painting it a glossy deep navy blue + pairing it with Art Deco inspired brass hardware, it looks a million bucks!


I know this is about the dresser but the stylist in me couldn't resist to snap a few detail shots.  Fabulous right?


Now if you would like to tackle a similar project at home, here are my top picks from The Home Depot for your makeover!

images via dresserwallpaperpaintbrass knob
I am super proud to be a member of the #HDBlogSquad, especially when the group is full of creative talents like Shannon, Brittany, Jennifer, and Lena!  I love their makeovers and you definitely need to check them out!


Thanks Home Depot Canada for having us and I can't wait for our next makeover! 

20 comments:

  1. Beatiful!! The hardware you chose is so complimentary of the lines if the dresser, just gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Dayna! The hardware is definitely one of my favorites!

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  2. TIM - YOU FOUND YOUR INNER DIYer!!!! I LOVE it all! Do you really keep your gloves so neatly piled in your dresser? :)

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    1. hehe ... I do try that once in a while Jordana! don't you love that little pair of gloves in there? hope the wallpaper will keep the other items from "sliding around". xx

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  3. That is the most handsome dresser I've seen, Tim! Love it's crisp lines and the hardware you chose is perfection. Looking forward to more of your DIY's ;)

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    1. Thanks Jen! I loved the finish look and the deep navy blue!

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  4. From start to finish, this is a dream project! I adore the nautical blue, and so appreciate the step-by-step. Fabulous work, Tim!

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    1. Thanks Lena! Looking forward to seeing your makeover soon! xo

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  5. Looks great, Tim! Is the hardware from HD as well?

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    1. Thanks Janice! the hardware isn't from HD but they have many fabulous options online and in store as well!

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  6. Loves it!! So much better than the original!

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    1. Thanks Pam! I should have invited you over for a DIY party! next time!

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  7. Love it Tim! What a transformation!!

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    1. Thanks!! haven't seen you for a long time .... we need to catch up! xx

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  8. Who knew how fabulous blue could be. What a great colour choice! Love the streamlined look you chose!!

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  9. Sensational cobalt blue delight indeed! I am glad you made use of the template to install the handles and the grasscloth wallpaper is a brilliant addition! Hope you make use of this beauty every day!

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    1. Oh I love that color too! Chris thought it was too dark and I went with it anyway! Yes it's sitting at the foyer to welcome us coming home every day :)

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  10. What a beautiful transformation! Especially love the new color and the hardware choice. Very trendy

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    1. Thanks Alexa! That's my favorite too! xx

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