Later, I called my mom to brag about my first garbage picking SCORE! (Mostly because I always rag on her about doing this.)
Well, you can tell where this is going by the title of this post, so here she is:
I've been itching to start this project because it kind of has a domino effect in the house. I'm going to paint this up for Ella to replace the very basic Ikea Trofast shelf/bucket system she currently has for her clothes (and some toys). She's getting to the age where she wants to decide what she wears and can put most items on by herself... but she can't reach a lot of her clothes with the set up she has now. Also, once we move the dresser in, her shelving unit will go into Logan's room along with some toys that Ella has grown out of. Every body wins!
So I started by taking the knobs/handles off:
|Yes, the top looked this bad BEFORE any sanding.|
|Here you can see the beautiful inlay work, it's almost a shame to paint over it.|
The next step was doing some repairs. I totally wanted to attack this thing with a paint brush, but I kept telling myself that I wanted to do this right, so it would be awesome for Ella for a long time. Most of the drawers were in really good shape, in fact they slid better then our other dresser.
Some of the drawers "sagged". Which wasn't a big deal at all, but again keeping with the thought of doing this right for Ella, I used my air nail gun to tack it back together. Before putting the nails in, make sure the boards are all where they're supposed to be, most drawer sides have grooves that this bottom piece is supposed to slide into.
|This drawer is upside-down.|
Another one of the drawers was missing it's center rail. This part slides back and forth in a channel in the frame to make sure your drawer moves straight in and out.
|Oh hello, gorgeous retro gas stove buried in my garage. Don't worry, you'll be loved again some day.|
|Note to self: remove brad nail sticking up through drawer.|
|Here you can see how they tried to fix a sagging drawer bottom... If they only knew.|
|NOT through the beautiful wood front! You idiots!|
Also, look at the comparison to the drawer front (top redish) and the dresser's top (bottom grey).
Next I removed some old casters. I think the idea was original to the piece, but once I got them all out it was obvious that they were all different castors, probably replaced over time.
I think this is probably an original, just going by the curve of it:
I decided not to bother fixing this bottom drawer channel. Half of it was still there and the drawer still slid in & out easily and straight. However I might still use the brad nailer to make sure it doesn't shift from side to side.
|Compare it to the one above.|
And lastly (for tonight anyway), I blew it off using my trusty air nozzle from my body shop days (and no not the lotion & soap store). It's great for getting the sanding dust and cobwebs out of all the cracks and corners. Do the insde of the frame as well, it's really dusty in there!
When your project is nice and clean, it's easy to see any deep scratches, dents or pits in the smooth & newly sanded surfaces that you might want to fill. I haven't decided if I'm going for a distressed look or not yet, so I decided to patch up the ones on the top of the dresser, and will do the fronts of the drawers once I sand those. I'm not even going to attmep the detailed edge on the sides, because it's SO banged up it could never be smooth again. Most of it evened out while sanding anyways. When you're looking for pits and scratches to fill, walk around the object, with the surface at eye level. there's a certain angle where the light hits the smooth surface properly and spots that you'll want to fill will be easier to see. I marked the holes with a bit of tape as I found them, so I could keep looking once I found "that angle".
So the next time I work on it I'll sand down the wood filler patches, and work on the drawer fronts! Once it's all sanded and blown off again, I can mask off the inside and spray primer! EXCITING!
For my inspiration and ideas, you can view my Pinterest board here: Ella's Dresser.
For GREAT tips and answers on painting furniture, you should check out Centsational Girl's post here: How To Paint Furniture.
Also, Flea Market Trixie does a really beautiful distressed and textured dresser here (using USED COFFEE GROUNDS!): Aged Textured Dresser.