The dresser that glue built: Part 1

Jul 21, 2011

in None

Before and after of street find dresser.Feast your eyes on this long-awaited before and after. Know that what follows is a two parter and one of my most epic almost fails projects of all time.

I found this dresser way back in May, started phase one over Memorial Day weekend, and it has broodingly sat lonely and accusatory ever since while I went about my usual summer fun having/ultimate procrastination & avoidance. Finally this past weekend I came home and in a fit of productivity fueled by 2 large iced coffees and retail guilt I maniacally finished the sucker off with the power of sheer determination, frustration, and 3 different mediums of glue. Take a second and go look through the little history here and here. Then we’ll be all caught up and can proceed.

Ok everyone made it back? Awesome. I honestly don’t mean to be such a procrastinator but what can I say. From time to time I practice extreme avoidance in the face of assuredly difficult tasks.

This first part of this story does go pretty smoothly. I started with my dresser and this floor covering tutorial from Rachel at Lovely Crafty Home. Only 86 stairs/floor… sub street dresser. But this street find needed legs. I refused to have another stumpy piece of furniture just sitting on the floor making my tiny bedroom look even tinier. After Googling around I decided on these Sultan furniture legs from IKEA. 1 Saturday morning, 2 trains, 3 boroughs, a shuttle, and 20 dollars later I brought back 4 sexy sleek little 7″ gams to prop this lady up right. Side Note: To be quick I skipped in through the checkout area and headed directly toward the “pick up your items” warehouse. I consider this a huge success mainly because I didn’t have to ask anyone for help. I’m like my father in that respect, I’d rather wander around for 20 more minutes than ask directions. Plus sometimes when I ask in store employees for help they look at me like I have 7 heads. I don’t know if I start speaking in a non-sense language or they don’t understand my funny hand gestures or what, but this seems to be my experience in big box stores so I avoid that awkward situation all together. In an emergency I do carry detailed pictures in my Evernote app on my phone should I need assistance with the help of a visual aide.

Step 1: Glue and Kraft paperBack at home armed with a bottle of Elmers and a roll of brown Kraft paper and I was ready to begin. I mixed 1 cup of glue with 3 cups water in a big Tupperware. Then I ripped a bunch of paper into a bunch of sizes and dove in. Whilst being messy, this part is really simple and I didn’t have any problems with the pieces not sticking to the paint, which out of sheer laziness I didn’t even sand. It’s a pretty good slap-dashery job if you just let go of your inner control freak and allow the pieces to fit and overlap as they may. But be somewhat gentle, it is paper silly! The only tricky part was with this particular dresser was the ridges along the two front corners and the bottom part below the drawers. Not bad though, I just made sure the paper was super wet and used my fancy trusty home-grown tool I like to call my ninja finger and settled it in each groove as I went along.I also recommend using the name brand thick Kraft paper so you’ve got something sturdy to work with and soak the pieces for a minute or so and let them get good and absorbed before you wring them out and put them on.

And that’s it. From there I just let it dry. That took awhile, about 5-6 hours I think? But it was also suuuuuper hot and humid that weekend and I had yet to install my air conditioner. I slapped the first coat of semi-gloss poly all over and went to bed satisfied in the way that only a good project brings.

Minwax Polyurethane supplies The next day was all poly, drawers, and legs. Because I’m a compulsive multi-tasker I planned this so I could work on the drawers during the drying time that poly needs between coats. Oh I also used a 5″ foam roller brush to apply the poly which makes it a slick and quick job, but the finish can get a little bubbly if you over-roll so I slapped it on quick and then let it dry and do its thing. Sanding with super fine sandpaper smoothed everything out between coats. I was nervous sanding the Kraft paper but I didn’t have any issues, because I was gentle with it, like a bunny rabbit. I did three coats total but probably would have done a couple more if I had had more poly. Cheap skate.

Spray painting the IKEA legsIn between coats I was out on the roof prepping and spraying the legs and drawers. The whole thing was this weird beige gloss paint, you know the color on the walls of like every New York City rental apartment ever? I also took off the funny little wood handles and smoothed everything out using woody putty as spackle, and then gave the whole shebang a good sanding with my little Black and Decker Mouse sander. I used Krylon primer for the legs and then covered the drawer fronts and legs in two coats of Rustoleum plain ole white spray paint. I’m usually a Krylon gal but the Rustoleum happened to be on hand from a previous project and I’m quite happy with the results. Although a good primer helped I’m sure. So BAM, all done, no fuss & minimal muss. Except for the crawling in and out of my bedroom window to access the spray zone I had set up on my roof. Spray painting is usually one of my least favorite mediums as I tend to suck at it. But just this once, when the chips were down and it was all on the line, I did manage to go all in and be patient and do 2-3 thin coats from a distance like you’re supposed to. Funny how they put those instructions on the can like that…

Spray paintin session on the roof*THRIFTY TIP* I used an old shower curtain liner as a drop cloth in the spray zone. What else do you do with those things? I come from the school of thought that its easier and simpler to shell out 3 bucks for a new liner than clean the old one… but I try to keep it mildly green and turn my laziness into re-purposing. I do find them to be superior drop cloths for drippy messy glue and paint projects that happen around our house quite frequently. They’re a heavier weight than those flimsy disposable things you can buy in the paint section and withstand an outdoor breeze and foot traffic much better. As you can see in the above photo, we have not always used this method. Cough cough ‘Rooms yellow circles… ok ok the pink is mine, see here.

After all was said and done I was really happy with this portion of the project. I just needed to affix the legs and the cheapo economical .97 cent white knobs I had previously bought at Home Depot. Stay tuned for my confession about how I attached those legs. It’s a doozie, and I’m keeping it separate from this post on purpose to hide my shame, but its a doozie go here for Part 2. For now lets just focus on this part and the pretty finished product! Ta da! Below in its new home happily replacing my old IKEA Expedit space hogger.

New Dresser in its New Home

P.S. I am digging around to find a “before” for this wall in the bedroom with the Expedit and all. Major fail not taking one before I went into manic project mode.

Linked up! Stick around and click around then find your way back to all the other linky’s here! Nice seeing you!

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Kelly! July 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

This kraft paper dresser reminds me of another dresser that was once covered with paper… So, question is, are we still keeping tally marks? xo


B.Strave July 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

Oh those were the days. I think they have chalkboard paint for that now ;-) Thanks for takin me WAY back!

coletto August 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm

BAH HAHAHAHAH! Totally forgot about that dresser.

Jenn @ Social Salutations August 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

This came out great – you are freaking hysterical!! I LOVE the story of this piece!! Thanks so much for linking up to Saturday Social this week! I hope to see you next week as well!!




B.Strave August 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Thanks Jenn! Will do, I love a party!

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