After being inspired by this photo for months, we finally set aside some time and refinished our old wooden chest of drawers and I couldn't be happier with the result!
So here she is before her makeover. This chest has been in my family for over 25 years (and someone else's family before that - my parents bought it at a consignment shop in the 80s!) It's been used as a dresser in many different bedrooms, and now we're using it in the living room for storage and as a record stand. It's a pretty piece, and it wasn't so bad before, but in our living room with the wooden floors and the adjacent brown leather couch it was just too much wood and too much brown. I also thought the space needed some shine, and I wanted to swap out the dark antique-style hardware for something a little more fresh and shiny. I knew I liked the look of bold color with brass hardware because I had seen it here on Little Green Notebook, and here on Hommemaker (with tutorial included).
I loosely followed the steps in the Hommemaker tutorial, above. (I skipped sanding since we were doing the whole job indoors, in our living room, while our toddler slept, I'm pregnant and not as nimble as I used to be, and I was assured by the nice lady at Lowes that sanding was unnecessary if I used primer. She was wrong. And while the finish is fine, it's less than the perfect, glossy lacquer I had imagined. I wish I had followed Orlando's instructions and just done a little sanding! Lesson learned for next time.) So, here's what we did:
First, we removed all the old hardware, and I wiped the whole chest down with a damp cloth to remove dust and anything else that might be on the surface. Next we painted the whole unit with a latex primer. We used a foam roller for the large flat surfaces and a brush for the more detailed work. Then we applied two coats of a high-gloss latex paint, allowing the paint to dry fully for 24 hours between coats. I let everything dry for three days before we put it back together and put on the new hardware (we used these and these).
And that's it! Not bad at all, considering the way this has changed our living room. It's so much brighter and fresher now. I feel like it updated the whole space. And now that I know how easy it is, I'm eyeing several other wooden pieces around the house that could use some color....