Friday, September 4, 2009

DIY- from eeeek to Shabby Chic

My two girls share a bedroom. It's a sweet, girly room with lots of pretty things (you can see it here or here) but one thing it has lacked is a dresser. There simply has not been any room to put one and therefore the girls have been living out of plastic drawers in the closet. Well, I've decided to move the changing table out of the room since I never actually use it to change the baby and all it really does is serve as a catch-all for toys, clothes, and clutter. New furniture is not really in the budget and I'm trying to wait until Ella is out of her crib (probably sometime later next year) so I can shop for the pieces together. My only other option was to make-over my childhood dresser....enter exhibit A.

Not so hot but it has a lot of potential. This vintage dresser (yes, I said vintage...from 1982/83, I was 3...yeah, I'll be 30 next month) has great bones. It's an Ethan Allen piece made of solid wood with dovetailed drawers. This thing is Target particle board here (Target, you know I love ya!! Muah). It just needs a little love to give it new life.

Soooo, I cleaned it and gave it a light sanding to remove any of that glossy finish and grit it up a bit. Makes the paint stick better yo! Hey, I just said "yo"...whatever, it's early, I had 5 hours of sleep, cut me some slack!

Next, I went shopping for some sweet new hardware. I found these beauties at my new FAVE place, Anthropologie!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! I could walk around in there for hours...but I had one preschooler and one screaming baby/toddler with me so I didn't...but, I'm going back again soon, very soon. I quickly discovered that I would not be able to find replacement hardware for the lower drawers b/c the holes on my "vintage" dresser are old school at 2.5" apart. Current hardware is made to fit holes 3" apart. No biggie, nothing a little paint can't fix!

Speaking of paint, I decided on this gorgeous aqua color! I knew I didn't want to do boring white on this project. I have a thing for painted pieces of furniture and I knew I wanted something to complimet the shades of pink and green that were already in the girls room. Their rug and their accessories in the room have touches of aqua so I wanted something that would compliment and draw those colors out. Plus, I knew my new knobs would look sooo sweet when paired with this dreamy blue!! First I primed the dresser w/ an oil-based tinted primer (via the paint gals suggestion) and let me tell you...I HATE oil-based paint. It makes such a mess and is so much harder to clean off. I did however learn something new during my painting process...silly me tried to wash the paint from my hands using water...yeah, that didn't work..duh, OIL-based? Sooo, I found that if I poured a little olive oil and salt onto my hands and rubbed them together, the paint came right're left with baby soft hands! Cool huh?!! The bad news was that I didn't have an extra paint brush to use for my latex top-coat so I had to waste a ton of olive-oil to clean my paintbrush...yeah, total bummer...hate to waste yummy {expensive} olive oil on a paintbrush (could use veggie oil too, just didn't have any..oh, and FYI, paint thinner is a good thing to have). Anyway, once all that oil drama was behind me I gave the dresser a topcoat using latex paint. So much easier to clean!

Here's the final result! Isn't it just gorgeous?! I love the blue paired with the salmon pink knobs. Perfect.

I added to the shabby chic feel by distressing the edges of the furniture a bit to reveal the wood underneath (can't see it so well in the photo but it's there)and distressing the painted brass hardware. Overall, I am loving the result! It came out just like I envisioned!



  1. It's lovely! What a change! I love the pink knobs :)

  2. looks so beautiful! good job!

  3. Great job! It looks good, I should do something like for Luke's. *Just not girly.

  4. Love it Hana! The girl's dressers need to be refinished too....maybe I'll just follow your lead and do mine too! I'm thinking baby blue.....Hmm.....

  5. I just love it!! Very pretty!

    I was wondering what the garland you have hung above it was made up of.

    =D melanie

  6. Omg! It is absolutely beautiful! I got a set, I know what color I am painting it now! You are ingenious :)

  7. Hi, Came across your Blog thru Flikr. Im so inspired & wanted to Thank You for such an amazing Blog!! I just Love the post on this blue piece of Furnitire & was hoping you would share what color this blue is?? I Love It!!! Also did you make the shabby chic Cloth decoration that overhangs??

  8. Absolutely beautiful. What is the name of the color you used? Ethan Allen makes great furniture! The color combinations in that room are just delicious. What a beautiful blog you have here and please, please, more photography lessons!! I"m a subscriber now...

  9. Hey guys! Thanks for the comments. The paint color I used on this dresser was Tahiti Blue from the Valspar line at Lowes Home Improvement. It's so dreamy. The garland hanging over it is made from strips of fabric that I tore and then tied onto twine. I also added lace, ribbon, charms, and drapery clips that I used to attach photos. It's so easy and fun to make.

  10. very sweet. Love the swag above her dresser too. What a great room full of love and girly colors.

  11. Gorgeous! Do you mind if I ask the name of the aqua color?

  12. Hi So nice to find your blog, I so enjoy painting old furniture too and love the aqua color you choose, looks heavenly.

    Pearl 13.1

  13. So so so beautiful!
    I love these colors. I used in my daughter's room!
    Congratulations! I love your blog!