Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Power of Paint

Whenever Country goes out of town, I usually get really inspired and do something dramatic around the house.  It's fun for me to take on some projects and then surprise him when he gets home.

So, I've had these pine dressers from IKEA, circa 1997 or so.  For years I've thought I should just take the plunge and paint them to update them a bit.  Then one day while browsing through Hobby Lobby, I was stopped in my tracks by this awesome storage type unit that had each drawer painted a different neutral color and then distressed.  I loved the piece, but had no use for it and well, the quality left something to be desired.  But, inspiration striked and I thought my set would look great with a paint treatment.

Here's the before of the taller dresser:

So, here's the how-to.  Since I was alone, I dragged each piece of furniture into the living room and onto a tarp.  A few months ago, I learned my lesson the hard way that the key to painting IKEA furniture, no matter what type of wood it is made of, is to prime it with oil-based primer first.  Yes, this stuff stinks to high heaven, but it works.

Then I rummaged around through my paint collection  cans and found a bunch of neutral colors.  I am in the habit of picking up the "OOPS" cans and samples of paint from Home Depot, so I had everything I needed already.  I painted each drawer a different color and then on both pieces, painted the top and sides in greige.

I didn't take pictures of the next step since I didn't have a free hand, but I just got out the palm sander and went to town distressing.  Then, I took a little glaze and added some black paint and brushed it on.  With paper towels and rags, I wiped it off to give it that aged look.  Here's the little piece:

And the larger dresser:

Since I had all of the furniture out of the room except the bed, I decided to paint the bedroom a fresh new color.  I was a little tired of the brown and blue.  No before pic on that one--I'm too lazy to scan one in.  But here's the after--the color is Ryegrass from Behr.  I also picked up some new bedding.  Actually, just new sheets.  I found the Waverly coverlet for $5 and the greenish duvet cover, which Tripp is laying on, for $2 at Salvation Army!!

And then, because it wasn't quite enough to just paint the furniture and bedroom, I added another project to the list.  The staircase.

Let's talk about the staircase for a minute.  This is what it looked like when I bought the house:

I'm not a big fan of carpet on stairs.  I'm not a big fan of carpet in general.  So, away it went.  The railing did nothing for me as well.  Bye bye.

And so it sat like this for years.  As in, six years.  There was also this pine paneled wall:

First I stained the treads over the course of the weekend.  Then I used the oil-based primer to prime the risers and the pine wall and then painted it all in a soft cream color.  Here's the after:

Big difference, huh?  Ah, the power of paint.  And a weekend.


  1. Lovin what you did to the dressers so creative! I am now your newest follower would love it if you come to visit me and follow if you so desire.Btw I found you on before and after!

  2. I love the colors on the dressers! And the white staircase is fab :)

  3. You did a great job. Now a fine piece of vintage furniture!

  4. I'm in love with the colors you picked out on the dressers! And those stairs look incredible! Welcome to the 21st century, stairs!

  5. Love the stairs. The dressers are certainly a "style" but they were just a bit too dressed for me. But hey, it's your home! I'm glad you do what you love in it. That's the way it should be. Congrats on doing your own thing!

  6. I love it...I also find myself painting everything in site once I get going!

  7. Love the work you did on both the stairs and the dressers. Great! I'm your newest follower....glad you took the time to come over to my blog and ask me your question. Hope I helped!

  8. fabulous blog - love your makeovers!

  9. WOW! What a difference on those stairs & I love your dresser re-do. Excited to be your newest follower!