dil·i·gence:careful and persistent work or effort

Proverbs 13: 4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Señor Ombre

Class is still in session, and my sister is still holding down the blog-fort.  And, look: here she is with another project that has me drooling all over my keyboard.  Take it away, Amy!!

I'm back again, this time with my latest YHL-inspired project!  (Remember the others?  The Custom State Art, the Fun Geometric Art, and the Venn Diagram, which was additionally inspired by Our Humble Abode?)  Well, this time the project involved more than an X-acto knife, Mod-Podge, some canvases, and an hour of my time.  I took inspiration from Idea #230 of YHL's book, "Paint a Gradient."  
This was one of the items from the book I had mentally put in the "must do" category, and I already had the perfect victim, er, piece of furniture, sitting in my basement.  The dresser my husband brought into our marriage was something his family had inherited at some point from some relative (I asked my mother-in-law, but she wasn't sure when or from whom).  I loved the dresser, and especially the hardware, but it had seen better days.  
 Structurally, it was in great shape, though.  I decided a makeover was definitely in order.
The first task was deciding on color.  I set out for Home Depot (which, incidentally, is a half-hour away and I took three of my kids with me!) to consider colors and grab some paint chips.  I immediately gravitated toward the greys -- I love the dresser in the book and I have a habit of imitating what I like since I'm fairly sure I don't really have any natural design or decorating talent of my own.  But my daughter Naomi, whose favorite color these days is turquoise, convinced me to take home some of the turquoise/teal paint chips.  Long story short, once I got home, I settled on four shades of teal, all from the same Behr paint chip.  (Shallow Sea, Tropical Tide, Lagoon, and Mosac Tile, by the way.)  I went back to Home Depot and got a quart of the darkest color in satin, and Behr tester pots of the lighter three shades.  
Something I learned:  the tester pots only come in a flat finish, so if you want a wipeable finish, you'll need to put a clear coat of something over top.  I also picked up a quart of grey-tinted Glidden Gripper water-based primer.  Love the stuff.  I'll get to that part later.
I started by taking the drawers out, removing the hardware, and giving everything a light sanding and wipe-down.  Then I used a foam roller to apply one coat of the Gripper primer to the fronts of the four drawers and the top, front and sides of the dresser.  
It went on great, covered well, and provided a nice undercoat for the paint.  By the way, this stuff is advertised to stick to almost anything -- Tile?  Check.  Wallpaper?  Check.  Plastic and wood laminates?  Check.  Even glass, according to the person at the paint counter.  I can tell you that I did drip some on my tile floor (apparently my cereal-box dropcloth wasn't sufficient) and I had a pretty hard time scraping it off a few days later.  So I'm pretty confident that it won't chip or peel easily from the dresser, even with five kids opening and closing the drawers on a regular basis.

Then, I rolled a different color of teal paint onto each of the drawer fronts, and I also rolled the darkest color onto the rest of the dresser.  

I think I used three coats of paint.  Unfortunately, I only had one foam roller, so for the first coat, I had to wash out the roller in between painting each of the drawer fronts.  It then occurred to me that I should buy more rollers and store them in a sandwich bag in between coats.  Honestly, it took me more time to wash out the roller than it did to paint each drawer front!  I had also picked up a can of Krylon ORB spray paint to freshen up the hardware.  A few thin and even coats did the trick.

The girl at the paint counter at Home Depot had recommended purchasing a quart of untinted Behr Deep Base Self-Priming Interior Satin Enamel to use for the top coat.  She showed me that the paint looks milky-white while it's wet, but said that it dries clear.  I ended up buying it and using it on the four drawer fronts, and wasn't happy with the results.  She cautioned me against making my coats too thick, but said I could do as many coats as I wanted, as long as they were thin.  So I rolled on two super thin coats and should've only used one.  It may not be clear from the pictures, but there's a milky haze on the drawers.  It was more apparent in the darker colors, so I repainted the bottom drawer with the dark teal paint to get rid of the haze.  (Since it was a satin finish anyway, it didn't really need a top coat for wipeability's sake.)  And thankfully, it's in our guest room, which is in our basement, which is dark, so the haze isn't too obvious.

Once everything had a couple of days to completely dry and harden up, I reattached the hardware, put the drawers back in, and moved the dresser to its new home, (which happens to be the basement wall adjacent to the wall that used to be its old home).  The bottom two drawers hold the kids' DVDs, and the top two remain empty for guests.


Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out.  We've been using it for several weeks now and it still looks flawless, so that's a good sign!  I have several more projects on the agenda (can you say Board and Batten a la YHL?), so if I have the opportunity, maybe I'll be back!

Okay, by show of hands, who loves this dresser makeover?!  **wildly waves hand**

It think it was a great way to give the old, tired piece a new lease on life, and I think Naomi deserves a big hug for convincing my sister to choose these fresh, happy colors.  Don't you just love it all?!  Oh, and I, personally, am super excited to see Amy and Jim's board and batten project!  I've been wanting to do this treatment to my hallway, so hopefully they're learning all the tricks that they can pass on to me once I get back on the DIY horse!




  1. Your dresser looks great! So happy that you listened to your daughter and chose a color (well, series of colors) that were just outside of your comfort zone. The hint of blue among the sea of gray looks lovely. It is unexpected, but at the same time, it works seamlessly.

    I attempted the ombre` (or gradient) dresser, too. Although, I used one color and added white in precisely measured increments. This works well if you only want to purchase (or only have) one color. You can find that 'recipe' on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing this project. I really love the results!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Amy! Shades of teal blue are my new in-color (my bridesmaids are wearing it at my upcoming wedding) so I especially like the colors that you chose for the gradient. :-)