Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dresser & Side Table Makeover: Nautical Stripes

I like to consider this project one of my learning experiences. I explain the whole thing, but unfortunately it's resulted in a lot-o-text. If you make it through all of this, I will mentally send you one heck of a high-five!
I gave this dresser, along with a small side table in my son's room, a distressed nautical stripe facelift one afternoon when I was feeling inspired to decorate. I went down to the basement, gathered some supplies, and went right to it. While it turned out pretty good for being on such a whim, I definitely could've done a better job on it.

Yet again, this is another older project that I'm blogging well after I had any idea I would write about them. Sadly, I don't have even a single before or during pic of this project...such a shame. I have learned my lesson since then and now take more than enough pictures of my projects. 

This is the dresser that went to the mirror I used in the vanity table project. You can see the tutorial for the vanity pictured below, here.
 Hard to believe that mirror went with this dresser!


Here's what I did...

1) First, I removed all the hardware, gave them a wash in Dawn dish soap and warm water, removed the drawers, and gave everything a quick sanding with a fine grit sanding bar. After that, I wiped everything down thoroughly to make sure the surface was clean, and allowed it to dry completely.

2) I did not use primer, but I should have for this piece. I have noticed the paint did not adhere well in a couple spots, which has required a touch up. If you would like to avoid that, learn from my mistake and prime. When in doubt, prime it.

3) After the primer is completely dry, you can begin painting. If you choose not to use spray paint, make sure to use a good brush to avoid brush strokes. I hand painted this piece, and that is another thing I've learned since then...I would've spray painted this sucker if I was going to paint it today.

Here's the product I used:

Rust-Oleum Painters' Touch Ultra Cover premium latex paint in black and in white.

The weird thing about furniture is that sometimes it needs primed, other times it doesn't. I simply sanded and applied this exact paint pictured above on the media console pictured below (see the tutorial here) and it has held up fine!

The nautical striped dresser has also held up well for the most part, but there are 2 areas that seemed to not adhere well. Perhaps I just didn't sand those areas well enough? That could be the issue.

The other odd thing is that it adhered fine to the side table, and I didn't even sand that piece! That's another thing I certainly wouldn't recommend, unless you have a similar mindset as I do; I'll explain my train of thought...


The side table was left behind by the previous owner of our first house. At that time, the table was hunter and light green. I painted blue over the hunter green when I was expecting my first. That makes this the third paint job this table has had, without stripping it beforehand.

The reason why I didn't prep it at all prior to painting was simply because...it just wasn't worth it to me. You can see brush strokes on the top in some areas from all the paint, and when I sanded the edges to give it a distressed look, blue paint showed underneath, which I think gave it some extra character.

One day, when this table isn't in the room of a 7 year old boy, sitting near a drum set, perhaps then I will strip it down to the wood and give it a top-notch finish; until then, I'd say this haphazard paint job will do just fine :)

Ok, back to the steps...
4) All of the black areas of the dresser and side table took 2 coats, the white drawer fronts took 3. If you notice some brush strokes, drips, or other paint errors, you can lightly sand between coats (once completely dried), wipe the dust off, and apply the next coat.

5) Optional: After the paint was completely dried, I took the sanding bar to the edges lightly, to give a slightly distressed look (my go-to finish!). I wiped the piece down again to remove any dust from sanding.

6) Last, I put the hardware back on the drawers and put them in the dresser.

Again, I apologize for not having any pictures of before or during this project, believe me, I am kicking myself for that as well as my priming error. I really love how this dresser turned out, despite the small set-backs. I'm also happy with the little side table considering the little work I put into it.

Hopefully you can benefit from knowing my mistakes and create a piece that will not need any touch-ups!

Until next time...create away!

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