Wednesday, July 7, 2010 that is!

Someone, I’m not naming names, did something almost unforgiveable recently. Something so horrible that I’m not sure I can recover from the shame, the cruelty, the thoughtlessness. Someone uploaded a picture of me in my awkward youth to Facebook and then TAGGED me so as to personally invite all my friends, so-called friends and fake friends to join in the mockery.

The only sin that exceeds the severity of this is to upload a very unflattering CURRENT picture of me and tag me. Don’t you know that I have very strict controls of my image. Pictures must go through a screening process (aka photoshop) and be passed by the approval board (me).

I hope you know that I'm kidding...kinda'.

I’m a true contradiction, aren’t I? I mean on one hand I don’t want people to see the ugly past, because I have changed! And yet, I don’t want people to see the ugly present, because I have changed! I need therapy!

Change is exactly what my 4th of July weekend project was all about. My husband and my kids were in Idaho at his family reunion (I don’t have too many vacations days left since my long trip to Guatemala), so I’ve been flying single for the past week. The house has remained clean, I haven’t had to cook, I’ve watched movies and have openly cried, and cried because I can. I also got ambitious and with no distractions I was able to make a dramatic change…to a dresser.

I need a place to store all my craft stuff and the only place we have room in our small house is in the dining room (where all crafting happens anyway). So, I decided that a long dresser would do, but it would have to be white to match the kitchen and distressed to match the other large piece of furniture in the room. Well, I started the hunt for this exact thing weeks ago, but couldn’t find anything that would fit my criteria of size, color, style, etc. So I decided I could create whatever I wanted.

So, I found a very long dresser with lots of drawers to fit my stuff. Here it is before. Sorry I don’t have a better picture. I was so excited to start my project, that I didn’t take a picture of it before. I stole this from the craigslist ad for the dresser.

I went to Home Depot and talked to a very cranky man who couldn’t understand why I would paint a dresser and then take sandpaper to it to distress it. I finally gave up trying to convince him it would look nice, but before I walked away, he did give me this great tip…You don’t have to strip a piece of furniture if you are going to paint it. You only have to strip it if you are going to stain it.

So, I purchased a lot of 220grit sandpaper and sanded down every surface of the dresser, from the top to the feet and of course all the drawer faces. It definitely would have been easier if I had an electric sander…but alas, I just used my arms. When none of the surfaces were shiny anymore, I painted the whole dresser with this paint in Ocean White. This is paint and primer in one. BTW - you don't need a whole gallon. A quart would have been perfect, but now I have paint for about 5 more LARGE projects.

I used different sized brushes for different areas. If I did it all over again, I would have bought the more expensive brushes because the cheap brushes “shed” on the painted surface. Don’t forget to put something down to paint over. I used plastic from a roll of plastic table coverings I had left over.

I painted two coats. When it was dry I took my 220grit sandpaper and distressed the paint. Basically I looked at the dresser and drawers and where ever it looked like it would be worn down, I would sand that area to expose the brown wood underneath. But don’t do it too hard or you’ll sand away the wood and not just the paint. I also lightly sanded all areas to help adhere the brown paint that I will use to antique the white.

Now comes the “dirtying up” of the white. I had left over brown paint that was actually so cheap it was thin and watery. It didn’t work for my other project, but it worked for this. I would brush on the paint and before it could really dry I would scrub it with a cheese cloth to wipe away excess but leave a little brown. You do little sections at a time. This gives it the dirty look, but it really makes it look antiqued.

So here’s the final outcome! I love it.

Seeing this makes me realize that it doesn’t matter what this dresser looked like before, I love it now. It almost makes me forgive the someone who posted those old pictures of me...almost!


  1. Very cute! Great piece of furniture!

  2. Beautiful! I have a similar project (or two) in the works. I am jealous of your alone time! I can't think of the last time I had the house all to myself!

  3. Great dresser. I love that color and the distressing.

    I've decided that the Home Depot guys generally don't know as much as I do about paint (and I know very very little). I had one tell me that they don't carry oil based paint anymore because no one ever uses it. Then two minutes later I practically tripped over the display of oil based paint!!! Of course I had to drag him over there to show him.

  4. Good job! We also just purchased an ugly dresser and an armoire from Craiglist are doing the same thing - just in black. It's looking fabulous and saving about $700 from buying new.

  5. I am such a lover of face-lifting furniture and let's it face it, they don't make them like they use to. Great idea to use a dresser to "hide" the craft projects.

  6. You did a great job. The dresser turned out so pretty!

  7. Wow!! That's awesome, Noreen!! You're awesome!!

  8. Beautiful job on your dresser. I am doing this to some furniture in our guest bedroom. :-)