Playing Dress Up

There are times I feel a little overwhelmed at the amount of house project ideas I have rolling around in my head.

Such is the case these days, and I decided that it was time to take action! Today’s project is one that didn’t cost much, didn’t require many supplies, or require that I move the participating furniture from its home in order to work on it.

This is the story of a dresser that just needed a little dressing up.

I never took a straight shot of the “before” (I’m still reminding myself to do that) but if you look really closely at the right side of the picture, you can kinda see how this guy looked when we first moved in.

The quick fix: I slapped some leftover black paint on him and spray painted the handles with leftover paint from my lamp project (posts to follow someday on those projects) so he would tie in with the rest of the room’s furniture.

The problem: It was rather sloppily refinished . I learned that it’s not a good idea to paint outside when it’s chilly (because paint has difficulty curing), and I jumped the gun on actually using the dresser (i.e. before it was completely cured). Therefore, it developed some not-so-pretty chip marks on the top. See?

The solution: I got this great idea (I won’t say from where 🙂 ) to cover an ugly tabletop with wrapping paper, newspaper, etc. I thought our dresser would be an especially good candidate because the top is recessed just a hair from the edging. My plan was to decoupage some scrapbook paper to the dresser top and change out the knobs.

Wham. Bam. Easy. (No, really! This actually was pretty easy.)

I went to Hobby Lobby (love that place) and bought 5 sheets of paper (that consisted of a variety of 3 kinds of paper). At $0.60 a pop, we’re only talking 3 bucks. Cheap project, people. I already had homemade Mod Podge (mixture of 50/50 glue and water shaken well). The only other thing I had to buy, then, were some new knobs. Mind you, there was nothing really wrong with the old ones, but I was going for a nicer look than spray painted wood. At 2 bucks each (since they were 50% off), they cost me $16. That’s a grand total of $20 (and some odd change), including tax, for this whole project.

My vision included tearing and overlapping the pieces of paper (since it wasn’t going to be one solid print anyway). The most difficult part proved to be planning how I wanted everything to layer.

Anyway, I got to work, using a small foam brush to apply the decoupage to the back of the paper and securing it to the dresser top. Once all the pieces covered the entire surface, I went back with about 4 coats of decoupage (allowing time for each coat to dry) to create a protected surface.

Here’s what the finished product looked like:

I’m really happy with it! I’m still deciding if I should also give it a coat of poly-crylic or something, but I’ve made coasters with scrapbook paper and decoupage that have been water-proofed enough, so we’ll see.

Interestingly, I thought I was going to have a lot of problems with air bubbles (since I had quite a few with each coat of decoupage), but they pretty much all took care of themselves!

Don’t the knobs go nicely with it? I think it helps to give it a more antique vibe.

After 24 hours or so of drying with a fan, everything’s back in its place.

…and the updated room shot.

That’s a one day project with a small cost!

One down, only 127 to go. 🙂



Filed under DIY projects, home improvements

2 responses to “Playing Dress Up

  1. I do love the new look on the top! I did not know about the 50/50 glue water for the mod podge! elmers glue, right?

    • Yep! Actually, I used off brand and it’s worked great. I’ve been some other recipes that also involve a little flour or something that would probably be a little better, but I’ve got no complaints 🙂

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