Tuesday, December 10, 2013

{DIY} Cabinet Upgrade

I bought this cabinet from Craigslist six years ago from a college kid who had clearly inherited it from his mom.  I thought it would make a good office piece to store office supplies and our printer on.  The pros of the cabinet were that it was solid wood, in really good shape, and had beautiful curves and details.  The cons were that it was a dark wood stain with ugly brass hardware that reminded me of something you'd find in your grandmother's house.  Needless to say I painted that sucker as soon as I got it home.  Unfortunately, I clearly did NOT know what I was doing.  It's okay ... you can say it ...

We had some white and grey flat paint left over from another project and I decided to use that- first mistake.  Flat paint (generally) looks *horrible* on wood furniture, and this was no exception.  Second mistake- I didn't fully sand the piece before I painted AND to make matters worse I didn't use a primer.  So it took mmm .. an hour? ... before it got it's first dings and scratches to the paint job.  

And can you spell B-O-R-I-N-G?!  Flat paint, a cool toned grey, and cheap silver hardware made this the most boring piece of furniture ever.  I think I was just so overly excited to get the ugly thing painted, that I didn't stop to think about how to properly do it.  

So for six years I looked at this ugly piece of furniture and hated it, which is why I kept it in the back room where nobody ever went.  Until a few months ago when I saw these really cute knobs at Anthropologie and bought them and that got me motivated to repaint the cabinet!

{Excuse the crappy iPhone pictures!!}

Very dingy looking and you can see the dark wood underneath the thin (horribly painted) layer of white paint ...

I started this DIY project the same way I start every other- a trip to Home Depot. I asked an employee what I should use to take paint off a piece of furniture and she recommended mineral spirits and a paint scraper- she further added not to waste my money on a metal paint scraper, no, no just use these 99 cent plastic paint scrapers.  Sure, I didn't spend much money, but let's just say I was back at Home Depot the next day after trying a failing for hours to get the damn paint off.  I did a bit of my own research online and bought a new paint stripper and a METAL paint scraper.  A piece of advice from my own experience: DO NOT USE MINERAL SPIRITS AND A PLASTIC SCRAPER TO TRY TO GET A THIN LAYER OF FLAT PAINT OF WOOD FURNITURE.  You will only waste your time and sanity and you will curse and scream at this inanimate object like it's doing it to you on purpose until your boyfriend has to gently lead you away from the wooden hunk of junk so you'll stop kicking it.

Do yourself a favor and invest in a metal scraper and buy the BEST paint stripper of all time- Citristrip.  It smells like orange furniture polish and is natural and not toxic and dangerous like other strippers.  And OMG does it work like magic.  I wish I had photos to show, but you just pour this stuff on and let it sit for 10 minutes and it starts to wrinkle the paint and used my scraper and the paint just came off in beautiful gobs.  Yes, beautiful gobs of dingy old paint.

Then I sanded the crap out of the whole thing (door and cabinets removed) with an electric sander and finally wiped it all down with a dry cloth.  Next came the fun part ... SPRAY PAINT! I will never paint a piece of furniture with a brush again.  Spray paint is so easy and cheap and looks a thousand times better than brush strokes all over.  I think I ended up using about 5 cans of color and 2 cans of glossy finish for the whole job.  All in all it was less than $40!  The color I chose was Lagoon by Rustoleum, which is a really pretty deep teal color.

And TA-DA!! Here's the finished product {again, excuse the crappy iPhone picture}.  I couldn't be happier with it!  It's shiny and durable and not at all boring anymore!!  Excuse the Christmas tree, but it seriously takes up about half the living room and I was not about to move it ... it's prickly.

Here are the knobs I bought from Anthropologie, which was the most expensive part of the project coming in at around $50 with shipping.  I couldn't find any handles that I liked for the top two drawers, so instead I used two knobs for each drawer and really like how it turned out.

I topped it off with the only potted plant that has survived by black thumb for more than a month {hang in there buddy!} and a fun Christmas/winter themed table runner I picked up at TJ Maxx for $9.99 and called it a day!  This baby now sits in our living room and holds a TON of stuff- remotes, office supplies, DVDs, video games, misc. cords, and on and on....  

Pretty and functional!

All in all this project cost us approximately $100! Not bad!


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