Monday, August 13, 2012

Mr Johnson's Dresser

Sometimes when you look at a piece of furniture you just have to have some vision. Sometimes it’s obvious that a piece has potential but quite often it’s not.

That was the case with the dresser that Mr. Johnson left in my workshop when Mrs. Johnson sold me their house. Mr. Johnson was a cabinet maker I’m told and half of my garage is a workshop where he did his woodworking. It’s a great space with a ton of potential but really raw at this time… definitely one of the things that sold me the house though.

My oh so raw workshop...someday this will
be a fabulous office (unfortunately today though
it's just storage)
Mrs. Johnson had left a couple of pieces of furniture Mr. Johnson had used for storage and workspaces. One was a really sad looking dresser…you know the type, the kind you pick up at the unfinished wood stores for cheap and stain yourself. This was definitely one of those and had clearly been well used. But I could tell it was still solid and unlike much of the “lower end” furniture sold today it was real wood (inexpensive wood, but real none-the-less). 

Would you see any potential in this mess???

And this is the mess that necessitated some real vision.

It had been sitting in my garage workshop for who knows how long collecting dirt when I was looking for something that would give me a little extra storage in my home office/project room. It’s really a guest bedroom but since I already have one of those I use it for more of a multi-purpose fun room. Unfortunately, the fun runneth over in my multi-purpose room so I needed to do something…fast…and more importantly cheap!

I immediately though of the sad dresser from my outside workshop…I clearly needed some vision…. 

Oh the dirt...and I'm really not sure why Mr J decided it
was a great idea to screw (yes it was screwed) this sad
bookcase to the sad dresser...
So on a very hot weekend I put the grubbiest of my work clothes on and pulled it out and took the hose to it, soaped it and scrubbed each and every last corner to within an inch of its life. 

Then spent a few evenings priming and painting…I decided I wanted to paint it the color of lemonade. A yellow dresser I saw and blogged about last summer (click here to see lemon dresser) from Nobleboro Antique Exchange had stuck in my head and I have driven myself crazy for the last year trying to figure out how I could incorporate something similar into my house. Problem now solved, this is the perfect time/place to do it! 

I don't always prime my projects but am so glad I did this
time - it made all the difference.
Since my sad dresser had been sitting in my garage for so long I thought it was probably a good idea to paint the inside of the drawers – just to seal the wood. I had purchased about 7 cans of grey high gloss spray paint for a project I was working on last year but had changed my mind and didn’t end up using it. With grey & yellow being everywhere in the fashion mags this spring I just knew it was the perfect color combo for my little dresser. 

Finished drawer.  The spray paint did the trick, clean, crisp
and no musty smell!
I also had some glass knobs that I had picked up on clearance a while ago for the built-in in my living room that didn’t quite work out on that piece so those would be perfect to give the dresser a little pizzazz. The end product came out amazing…especially considering I only ended up spending a little over $16 in paint (Benjamin Moore Early Dawn)….the rest reusing supplies I had on hand and a dresser I inherited with my mortgage. Vision definitely realized.

Finished project full of all kinds of fun!
I made the inspiration board several years
ago from a discount frame I picked up at
Ballard Designs Backroom
Now I'm just wondering...stencil or not?  Maybe a crisp white graphic fleur around the knobs?  Oh the possibilities...

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