Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DIY: Dresser & Tables


When I first found out I was going to be moving into my own apartment so that I could be closer to my nursing program, I was ecstatic. I've never lived by myself, and, after two years being back in my parents' home, I think the time is right to move on and reclaim my independence. However, I was immediately overwhelmed with how much "stuff" it takes to furnish an apartment and how nice having roommates was if only for the fact that the cost of everything was split.

In case you didn't know, I'm crazy cheap (or frugal, for all you PC freaks.). I want the biggest bang for my buck and my favorite words are "sale," "clearance," and "free." Which is why I love my mother and her pack-rat ways. You see, I get my thriftiness from her, and while I used to always give her crap for how much junk she saved, all that junk is truly saving me a bundle of money. I'll brag about all the stuff I didn't have to buy when I move in and show off my new apartment, but for now, I'm just going to mention a couple things.

My parents have saved an insane amount of furniture for my brother and me. When we re-did rooms in the house, 90% of the time, the furniture went upstairs, to be nestled away in the attic. Like the dresser my brother and I had when we were babies.

Before: gag me. In amazing shape, but I hate the wood grain look, the hardware, etc. Gross.

It was a perfectly fine piece of furniture, just not my taste. I hated the wood grain, the brass hardware, & the style of the hardware. I'm not a fan of the lines of it either, but since I'm not a magician, and even I know my limitations, so I fixed what I could. I might be a princess, but I'm definitely not afraid to get my hands dirty, so I decided refinishing furniture was something I could figure out. I spent several hours (in 97* heat) sanding, stripping, priming, painting, and touching up the dresser, then added some contemporary brush nickel hardware. I'm really happy with the outcome. Is it the most beautiful piece in the world? No. But it looks better than it did and will serve its purpose, so I have zero complaints.

After: in velvet brown with brush nickel hardware

Then I found this old magazine table in the basement. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a before picture, but it was a nasty dark wood from the 70s that was better fit for a bachelors pad... if said bachelor wore a polyester suit and had zero eye for design. Hideous. I spray painted it in a high-gloss black and will use it as a side table in my "office." Perfect.

Finally, a couple months ago, I went to a party at a family friends house and she asked if I needed any furniture. I mentioned I really needed a nightstand or smaller table that can be used as one. She had an end table she wanted to get rid of, so I, of course, took it (Thanks, Mrs. McLaughlin!). Again, a fine table, but it had some wear and tear, and I didn't like the wood stain, so now it matches the dresser and will look good in my blue & brown bedroom. Plus, my neighbor told me it looks like stuff her daughter bought at Ikea. Except mine is real, solid wood, and already came assembled. In the words of Charlie Sheen, "Winning."

Before: fine, but not my taste.

And after, with the magazine table behind it that I repainted.

The best part? All three pieces of furniture cost me under $75 for materials and supplies. Plus, I get the satisfaction of knowing that I actually am capable of being a little DIY-er.


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6 comments:

Zazzy Episodes said...

How fun! Look at how much you did on such a small budget. Way to be creative and thrifty.

Big Fat Gini said...

Great job, Miss DIY-er!

Have you been to Better After? Lots of awesome ideas for furniture and decor!

Jess said...

Awesome job!!!!

Helene said...

Wow, very nice! I'm totally impressed!! I love brushed nickel hardware!

purplume said...

Impressive. Part of the joy is hearing how satisfied you sound. You are making your new place your own.

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