Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dresser Painting Tutorial

I know I'm super behind on this, but I did promise a tutorial on how we painted our trash-to-treasure dressers. It was super easy and fairly inexpensive and I definitely will be doing this when we need to replace or update furniture in the future!

One of the dressers we used was entirely real wood and one had a laminate surface so I can vouch that the steps we used will work in both cases.

The first thing we did was sand the furniture. The primer that we purchased didn't require this step, but Jon was still nervous so he spent an hour or so a day over the course of several days manually sanding everything down a bit to give it a rougher surface. Again, the primer we bought is made specially so you don't have to sand, so I wouldn't feel guilty about skipping this tedious step :-)

Next, we had decided to replace the cabinet pulls which called for some moving around/replacing of holes for the pulls to be installed. For example, you can see on this dresser that 6 out of the 7 drawers had pulls that required two holes per pull.

Side note that this weird flooring is not ours, this is the picture the previous owners had on Craigslist :-)

The ones that we were switching to only required one hole, so Jon had to take off all the hardware and then fill the holes that were already in the dresser. He just used a simple wood filler that he got for a few bucks at Home Depot.

Elmer's Stainable Wood Filler
For the new holes, Jon drilled in from the outside and through the front of the drawer. When he went to test the new drawer pulls, however, the wood was too thick for the new screws to reach all the way through the front of the drawer. The screws were a metric screw so they couldn't just be replaced, either (I don't know what this means, Jon is just telling me word for word what to write for this part!) To fix this problem, Jon drilled in from the inside of the drawer using a bit that was as thick as the head of the screw so that the screw could sink into the drawer and reach all the way through. The result of this was that the screw fit through the drawer, the handles fit nicely, and when you open the drawer, you don't see the screws sticking though. I forgot to take pictures of this step since I wasn't too involved at this point...whoops!

Finally! Time to paint! We used Zinsser Cover-Stain Oil Base Primer Sealer in white which worked fabulously.

A one gallon container was enough for three coats on each dresser with plenty leftover.

To apply the paint, I recommend using the best brushes and rollers you can find. Home Depot had a "Good", "Better", "Professional Quality: Best" version of each of the brushes and rollers they sold. We sprung for the "Best" version and it really does make a huge difference. Unfortunately, the primer is SUPER thick and oil-based so cleaning them off would have been next to impossible so these expensive brushes did become one-time-use expensive brushes.

We made the mistake at first of trying to use a brush on most of the surfaces but that left very obvious brush strokes in the paint, even after it dried and after several coats. By the third coat, we had switched over to using a tiny roller for everything from the flat surfaces to almost every little crevice we could get it into. If you want to be able to see the grain through the paint a bit, a brush may be your best option, but we really wanted a nice, clean, even white surface.

As I said, we ended up doing three coats on everything since we ended up using the primer as our paint, as well, and didn't do another color after the primer (with the exception of the drawers). If you are planning on doing another color on top of the primer, you probably would be ok with one or two coats, though I'd recommend two especially on the laminate surface to make sure that you have a good surface for the paint to go on top of.

We did end up painting the drawers on the five drawer dresser in an ombre pink fashion that I absolutely adore. We grabbed a paint card from Home Depot that had the progression of pink that we liked and then purchased a tester jar (I think around $2 each?) of each color. For the lightest shade of pink, they weren't able to mix up as a tester because it was so light that they wouldn't be able to get the right hue injected into that small of a batch.

Our plan was to take the lightest color we were able to get and mix a little white with it for the fifth shade. However, once we got to painting, the lightest shade that they were able to make us showed up so light that it was natural to leave the top drawer white and have it progress from there. It actually ended up being a blessing in disguise as it now fits with the rest of the white dresser better.

We started with white on the top drawer and then painted two coats of each color on the individual drawers, working our way down from lightest to darkest. Super easy, super cheap, and such a great effect!

The final painting step was to put a top coat on the dressers to seal them and give them a glossier surface since we had only used primer and a flat tester of paint up until this point. After researching a bunch of different top coat methods and brands, we ended up using Minwax Water Based Polcyrlic that you could just paint on similar to the primer.

We did two coats of the top coat using the best quality rollers again.

Last up was to install the uber cheap acrylic drawer pulls that we had purchased off of Ebay...

...and voila! Two brand spanking new, professional looking dressers for under $150! Can't beat that!

Dresser #1 Before:

Dresser #2 After!:

Dresser #2 Before:

Dresser # 2 After!:

Week 27: Nursery is *Close to* Done!

The big accomplishment over this past week/weekend was painting and putting together the nursery! With help from the in-laws, we not only got the entire nursery painted (the goal for the week), but we also got the crib assembled, the dressers moved back in, some closet organizers made, the initial clothes organized (well...I sorted them by size; I haven't organized them in the dressers yet), and everything hung on the walls! Right now all we are missing is sheets for the crib, the quilt to be finished, the lining for the toy baskets to be finished, the arrival of a couple of Jellycat stuffed animals that I ordered, and I'm toying around with the idea of finding one more wall hanging for a currently bare spot on the wall. I'm absolutely in LOVE with the nursery though and I don't think I could possibly be happier with how it all turned out!

I've had a few requests for pictures, but I'm holding out until the nursery is 100% finished. The kitchen did get finished, though so here are a couple pictures of that.



The orange shows up much brighter in these pictures then it actually's more of a burnt orange then the tangerine color that's showing up.

The boys also got the really ugly, eyesore trees in front of our house cut down that I've been complaining about since we moved in.

The trees were ugly from the day we moved in, but they got worse after this winter's heavy snow. Now they do this lovely tipping thing...


Not so cute

Get it out of here boys!

Yay! Much better! Makes the house look so much bigger!

And to wet your taste buds until the nursery reveal, here's a little sneak peak...

Hopefully everything else will come together over the next few weeks and I can post a ton of pictures of every inch of the room.

How far along? 27 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 13 lbs up...I gained a whopping 2 lbs this week which is the biggest jump I've had so far!
Maternity clothes? Yup! I ordered a nursing bra this week to use as a regular bra for the rest of my pregnancy since my last bra that fits me well broke last week and I can't justify spending a ton of money on a new bra that may not even fit once I slim back down a bit.
Sleep? Some days are better than others. I was sick with a bad cold this week (yay for being sick when you can't take anything to make you feel better!) which both helped and hurt in the sleep department. It helped since it wiped me out so much that I was able to fall asleep pretty quickly, but hurt in the fact I kept waking up with a cough and a plugged up face every couple of hours :-(
Stretch marks? Nothing yet, but my belly button keeps getting closer and closer to what I'm hoping isn't the inevitable pop!
Best moment this week: So much nursery goodness!
Miss Anything? Benadryl and Sudafed
Movement: She's started a new phase where she no longer just kicks but likes to push along my entire stomach so it's just a big wave of movement from one end to the other. This has gotten so powerful that Jon was able to see it from the other end of the couch one night! It's kind of cool, but it also feels really weird and I kind of wish I could just go back to the cute little kicks! On the other hand, I suppose it's a sign that she's getting closer and closer to being ready to bust out of there, so I'll deal with the crazy movement if it means she's on her way soon!
Food Cravings: Coldstone cheesecake ice cream, pepperoni popper pizza from Dimaggios, and lasagna
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender: Girl!
Pregnancy Symptoms: Back pain, restless legs, and cramping. I also had a little constipation (TMI?) this week which I don't think I've ever had before in my life!
Wedding rings on or offOn
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! This week is super stressful (Sound of Music auditions Wednesday and Thursday with callbacks Friday, court date Thursday morning, and my annual review at work on Friday) so I'll be even happier when it's over!
Looking forward to: This week being over, finally being in the third trimester, our first labor class this Saturday, and a joint baby shower at work next Wednesday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 26: Birthday Week and Double Digits

This week we had two big milestones....I turned 25 and Baby Legg's arrival countdown dropped into the double digits (96 days from today)! As exciting as this is, panic time has now begun and we're heading full force into quickly finishing up baby's room so that we (*I*) can stop stressing! Jon is working this week on trying to install an outlet on the small wall in baby's room that doesn't have an outlet (cross your fingers that he doesn't blow himself up!) and painting begins (and hopefully finishes) this weekend. I bought some supplies this past weekend to make closet dividers and some cute baskets for under the crib to store toys, and the paper lanterns I ordered to function as a pseudo mobile should be here sometime this week.

Other big happenings that are keeping us busy: Sound of Music auditions for TRCT (a theater company we're both on the board for) start next week and I just found out that I will be co-choreographing, plus our big court date to sue big-mean-old-apartment-company is next Thursday so I've been religiously practicing my big speech for the judge. All of this stress along with backaches and restless legs have made for a severe lack of sleep!

How far along? 26 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 11 lbs up, so pretty close to being right on track! I did have quite a few people that I saw this weekend comment on the fact that our due date "must be coming up soon now!" which kind of made me feel like a cow since I still have 3 months to go!
Maternity clothes? Belly band, leggings, dresses, maternity pants, and combos of my pre-pregnancy and maternity shirts that stretch over my belly. I also officially broke the last bra I have that fits so I guess I'll be going shopping for a new one of those, as well...
Sleep? Pretty sparse this week
Stretch marks? Still none, but my belly button is becoming dangerously flat. I'm praying that that is as far as it goes and that it doesn't pop out! Gross!
Best moment this week: Seeing friends of ours get engaged! So fun! Congrats Megan and Kyle! Click here to see the video!
Miss Anything? Being able to sit in a wooden chair for more than 5 minutes without wanting to cry in pain.
Movement: Consistently crazy!
Food Cravings: Deviled eggs and avocados
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender: Girl
Pregnancy Symptoms: Back pain, restless legs, and some cramping (feels strangely similar to menstrual cramps) that may or may not be Braxton Hicks
Wedding rings on or offOn
Happy or Moody most of the time: Stressed out, but very happy!
Looking forward to: Finally getting baby's room and the kitchen painted this weekend! Yay!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week 25: Happy Mother's Day!

How far along? 25 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Officially 10lbs up! If I gain a pound a week for the rest of pregnancy I can still hit the minimum amount I'm supposed to gain.
Maternity clothes? I'm pretty much in full on maternity clothes nowadays with the exception of dresses (not zip-ups!), some cotton shirts that still stretch over my belly, and pants that I can still work with partnered with the belly band. I have one pair of jeans that are still holding out....they are super low rise so I can still manage to button them up under my belly since I'm carrying so high. I'm trying not to feel too badly about how big my belly is already because, since I'm so short, Baby Girl doesn't have a whole lot of other place to go but out!
Sleep? It never feels like I have enough! I sleep through the night pretty good, but I'm super tired this week.
Stretch marks? Nothing yet!
Best moment this week: We (and by we, I really mean Jon's mom) finished the curtains for Baby's room this week so we are done with replacing all the curtains in the house AND we're pretty much done with everything in Baby's room that we can be until after painting is done. We're hoping to paint the last weekend in May so hopefully we can start assembling everything and hanging stuff on the walls early in June.
Miss Anything? Being able to sit through a movie and not be in total pain during/afterward. We went and saw Iron Man this Saturday and I thought I was going to have to leave at one point, my back was cramping up so bad!
Movement: Tons! My sisters finally got a good feel of her violent kicks on Mother's Day after some sugary French toast and dessert pizza....she loves sweets!
Food Cravings: We had some S'mores with Reese's Peanut Butter cups at a friend's bonfire on Friday and I will never eat S'mores the same way again. I've been craving them like crazy ever since!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender: Girl
Pregnancy Symptoms: I've been getting really bad growing pains up on my right side under my ribs. I think they're growing pains anyway....they hurt enough they could be Braxton Hicks but I'm praying that those aren't starting already or it will be a loooooong 15 weeks!
Wedding rings on or offOn
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy :-D
Looking forward to: Painting Baby's room and my birthday on Sunday!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week 24: Registery? Check!

Yay for keeping busy! Dressers are completely done and they look fantastic,mostly thanks to my dear husband! I did help with some painting, but I mostly supported his efforts from the comfort of my lawn chair...

This one was our Craigslist find that we will be attaching the changing pad on top of so that it can double as a changing station:



And this one is the 5-drawer dresser we got for FREE from friends:



Hopefully later this week I'll get around to posting a tutorial on what we (*he*) did for anyone that's interested.

Now that the dressers are done I'm getting really anxious to get the room painted so we can get everything hung/setup in the nursery. It's looking right now like the tiny room may become a bit overcrowded, but I'm hoping we'll figure out a layout that works. Unfortunately our weekends are pretty booked up until the end of May though, so I'm going to have to continue to be (*not so*) patient.

We also got all of our registering done this weekend which was both fun and a pain in the butt at the same time. I don't know why I thought baby registering would be so much more fun then wedding registering (which we kind of hated), especially when we are complete morons when it comes to knowing what babies ACTUALLY need vs. what everyone TELLS you that they need. We did go in much more organized this time which made it quite a bit easier. I put my OCD traits to use and put together this ultimate baby registering sheet (CLICK HERE to view our registry excel sheet guide) that listed everything we wanted/needed, the brand of most things I had decided on after months of research, which stores carried which items (TS= Target in store, BS= Babies 'R Us in store, TO= Target online, BO- Babies 'R Us online), how many of each item to register for, as well as columns to check off where we registered for each item and the price. I know I sound like a lunatic, but it was really helpful in preventing us from getting totally overwhelmed in the store. We did end up changing some stuff, so don't use this excel sheet to go look for purchases, but I thought I'd share if it was helpful to someone else beginning their registry.

Anyways, the final, Target, and Babies 'r Us registries are complete and I'm very relieved!

How far along? 24 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: My scale was a little wonky again this week (one minute it said I was down a pound and the next it said I was up) so I'll keep it at 9 lbs gained for now. We have our doctor's appointment on Friday where I can better confirm where I'm at.
Maternity clothes? I'm rocking my new maternity capris from the Gap today as well as a maternity tank top my mom got me for an early birthday present.
Sleep? Varies from day to day. I'll have nights where I do fine and I think it's getting better, and then I'll have a night like last night where I toss and turn most of the night.
Stretch marks? None that I've found
Best moment this week: FINISHING our registry.
Miss Anything? Moscoto and sushi and Subway
Movement: Crazy as ever! My sisters were over Saturday night and wanted to feel her move though, so of course she was the quietest she's ever been and barely moved at all for them. Sunday night after some Cold Stone ice cream though I thought she was going to come bursting out of my belly she was wiggling and punching so hard!
Food Cravings: Cold Stone ice cream, guacamole, Peanut Butter Patties, and PB&Js
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Gender: Girl!
Pregnancy Symptoms: Back pain, some crazy hard round ligament pain up under my ribs, and a little emotional as usual...
Wedding rings on or offOn
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy :-D
Looking forward to: Finishing the baby room!