Friday, March 21, 2014

BRING OUT THE GRAY!!!

When I say this post title in my head I read it as if I were Eric Idle from Monty Python Search for the Holy Grail calling for everyone to bring out their dead.  The yowling cat is there in my head and everything...maybe I should keep that part to myself.

I have already written about refinishing two end tables (here), and one coffee table (here) for the family room.  We also had a dresser that we used as an entertainment center in the family room.  I had Craigslisted this bad boy 3 years ago for $60.  It was solid wood, and had a good finish still on it.  So I left it be.  Which turned out to be a good thing as we moved, and the color scheme of the room this made it into changed greatly.  That and my teething child chewed on the front, ruining its pristine finish.  So if she had done that with a refinished piece.  I may have killed her, and I am actually fond of the child.  So this blog will show how THIS



came from this.


Sorry for the picture missing two drawers, but I had already moved them to a different room.

This piece had wonderful bones.  It had a lot of things going for it, and a different person might well have left it as it was.  I, however, am not a huge fan of a completely stained furniture pieces.  I simply adore a paint, and stain combo.  Also I'm not so in love with any stain that has any red in it, and all the other furniture in the room was rocking the gray.  So it was in major need of a gray finish too.  It was looking intensely like a piece of junk furniture now in a room where it was once the nicest looking piece.  

Speed wise this piece literally took the least amount of time at two days from start to finish.  That however came at the price of less pictures.  So right after I put the baby down for a nap, and the other four were eating I hauled this sucker outside and hit it with the sander.  The finish as I said before was actually in good condition so it took a bit more time than the other pieces.  I only sanded the very top because, like I mentioned, my darling three year old had decided back when she was teething to nibble on the front of the piece around the edge.


Do you see it?  Isn't she a doll?  She is a really tall kid.  Its okay because it was fixable, or more like I was able to disguise it.  So after sanding the top I did my current fad of Rustoelum Driftwood followed by Minwax's Dark Walnut.  When you are midway through refinishing a piece of furniture that already has a different color pallet happening, it is hard not to panic when the first step makes it look super dumb.  So in short my washed out dark brown stain was looking super stupid alongside all that red cherry like stain.  So I needed to get cracking on the rest of it...for my peace of mind.

First though, life intruded back into my peaceful interlude of refinishing things into beauty.  So the refinish took back seat to life once more.  The sanding and staining process took maybe 45 minutes total.  So when I was done with that it was time to get back to school work.  Remember I'm homeschooling in the midst of doing these.  With the exception of the barstools (here) because I didn't have the luxury to take my time on these.  They needed to be done quickly because we use them tons daily.

So after making a super yummy dinner because thats how I roll.  I sat the kiddos down for dinner, and then I sat down to put the first coat of paint on the dresser.  To date this is the biggest thing I've ever done.  This is what it looked like after two coats.



I gave it two coats of the Krylon Classic Gray that I had turned into chalk paint.  I used a foam brush for all the staining and painting.  It gives a really nice smooth finish.  It still looked crazy stupid at this time because I hadn't yet done anything with that half chewed trim section that was still looking crazy awkward sporting its cherry color on my mostly gray piece of awesomeness.

My next step was giving this an wash of glaze.  I needed it to look similar to the other pieces already in the room.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this stage.  I would also recommend that if you could bring a piece of the furniture you are trying to match into the room where you are refinishing the new one.  So that you can see if you need a lighter or heavier hand with the glaze.  I didn't think of that, and I think my finished product could have used just a smidge more glazing.  Then I hit the awkward cherry trim section with black paint, and then suddenly it all tied together beautifully.


Then I let it dry for at few hours before giving it several good coats of Minwax Polycrylic which is a water based sealer.  I also used a foam brush for this.  It leaves a streak free coat on the surface.  It will tell you to absolutely not to use this, and to use an expensive paint brush.  I'm here to tell you that no matter how awesome you are with that brush, your finish will look streaky and every last brush mark will be VERY visible.  Believe me the foam brush is worth it.  It does tend to want to soak up the Polycrylic, but so long as you don't try to squeeze the excess out of the brush you will be fine.  When you press to hard with the foam brush it bubbles, and causes problems too.

The only real hiccup I had in the redo was the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze can of metallic spray paint I've used on all the other handles decided to die on me.  It had been acting up on all the redos, but for some reason it decided to completely kick the bucket when I was halfway through this one.  So I used Rustoleum Hammered Bronze metallic spray paint.  Huge let down people.  It came out looking more gray than the awesome intensely dark color that I've come to expect from oil rubbed bronze.  So that will get a redo at a later date.

This thing was ready to move back into the family room.  As I was moving it back into the family room.  I scraped some of the black finish off.  So after touching that up.  It was good as new.  I'm in love with my new gray living room set.  It is similar in color, but still eclectic looking as all the pieces are very different.



What a beauty.  It turned out even better than I envisioned, and Se├▒or Hotness was even happy because if you look closely you will notice a complete lack of chevrons.  I'll have to update with another picture when I get the handles the color I ultimately want them.  I hope you enjoy following along as I stumble through these refinishing projects.  



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