Cleaning the back storage room lead me to a project I've been meaning to get to for awhile, which is repainting an old chest of drawers I've been using as a junk station. My finished project:
|Re-purposed maple Colonial chest of drawers.|
The chest was nothing special--your typical cheap maple Colonial chest of drawers that nearly every kid beat up on at one time or another. I think I had one just like it in my bedroom growing up and had painted it about four different times over the years depending on my mood and color scheme. I wanted to pull this one out of the storage room and actually use it for something other than junk, but I had to get the ugly off it first. I forgot to take BEFORE pictures, but it looked very similar to this one I found online:
|Not my chest but one very similar|
The first step was to sand the whole thing down. I waited for a nice day then dragged it outside and gave the sides and top a light sanding just to rough up the old finish so they would take the paint. The wood on the drawers was more interesting, so I sanded them down to bare wood in preparation for staining.
Next came color. I had an idea of what I was looking for, so I ran to Home Depot to pick up a couple of those little Behr paint/primer samples. I love those--perfect for little projects like this. The color I picked out was Intense Teal. It kind of looks like this (as close as I could get it in Photoshop):
I had some leftover turquoise paint/primer from another project that I used to prime the wood since I didn't know how well that deep teal color would cover. I had decided I would use chalk paint for the finished project, even though I wouldn't be distressing the paint. Those Behr sample pots hold about a cup of paint, so I mixed 2 tbsp calcium carbonate and 1 tbsp water into it to create enough chalk paint for two coats.
After the paint had cured, I used some brown shoe polish mixed with Howard Feed-N-Wax to protect and give the piece the look of age. Like I said, I didn't want to distress it since I wanted that color contrast with the stained wood drawers, but I still wanted it to look old.
The drawers looked good after sanding, but were still too pristine for my taste, so I started beating them up. I used a heavy old chain and clobbered the wood, getting out some frustrations while creating dents and bashes that would darken when I stained it. When I was satisfied with that, I went to work with the stain.
I ended up using four coats of different colors of stains I had on hand. The first was Golden Oak, which took it back to the color it was. Not happy with that, I hit it with Bombay Mahogany. That turned out too red, so I added Dark Walnut, then layered on some English Chestnut. I then waxed them with a combination of brown shoe polish and Howard Feed-N-Wax. I like the way they turned out.
|Drawer detail. Notice the distressing from my chain work?|
The drawer pulls were that factory antique brass that makes me want to scream whenever I see it, so I went to work with the sandpaper on them. Once I had all the old varnish off and had them scratched up pretty well, I threw them in a large Ziploc bag with some vinegar and salt and let them soak for a couple of hours. Then I spread them on an old baking sheet and put them in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. That burnished them up like old pitted copper. When I pulled them out of the oven, I tossed them back in the vinegar-salt bath for a few minutes, then spread them out to air dry.
I dabbed a little turquoise paint here and there on them to mimic verdigris. I'm kind of on the fence about how that turned out. I sprayed them with a clear varnish to protect the finish because the distressing tends to rub off if you handle them a lot.
I had thought about painting the sides of the drawers with the teal, but then I found this wrapping paper I had bought for a project several years ago. It was an exact match for the paint. Yay! I papered the sides of the drawers with that and considered doing the same on the inside, but since I use the chest for tools and heavy craft supplies, I figured I'd just leave them natural for now. If I change my mind later, I still have two rolls of the paper.
|paper on drawer sides|
All in all I like the way it came out. It's not a museum piece, nor even anything I would put on the market, but it dresses up an old eyesore and gives my family room a punch of color.