Look What I Did!

Dresser 2I just painted this hutch thingy! Boy do I love Before and Afters. Here’s the before:

Dresser 4It belonged to my grandparents, and after both of them had passed away, I received a few of their wonderful pieces of furniture. This one had been in my garage for a while, because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. But I had some left over paint from another project (I’ll show you that project someday soon), so I dragged this out, and got it started!

Dresser 5It had one of these fantastic drop-down lids, and became a desk. I really like it this way, but I would never use it as a desk, and I didn’t want to keep it closed at all times, so I decided to remove the lid and storage shelf (which was broken, see above pic). I kept them, in case I decide to add them back someday.

Dresser6I would have felt pretty bad about painting this if it were in really good condition, but the varnish/lacquer/whateverthiswouldbe needed to be updated anyway. And I don’t like large chunks of brown in my house, so I had to change the color.

Dresser 1Ahh chevron. I might have to change the pattern someday when chevron becomes just so “last season” that I can’t even stand to look at it anymore. But for the moment, I really like chevron (trends are trends for a reason, no?…usually). I ended up kind of marking out a grid onto the desk with a pencil and ruler, and then laying the tape down to fit into the grid (to ensure that my stripes weren’t off-kilter or poorly proportioned). Don’t know about you, but I can never get painter’s tape to work properly for me. So after pulling it up, I went back in with a tiny brush and fixed up a bunch of spots.

The white outlines on the drawers were a pain in the neck!! I couldn’t use tape or a ruler or anything since they’re not straight (I was outlining ridges that were already on the drawers), so I just had to freehand it. Which took forEVER. And if you look at them closely in person, you can definitely tell it’s hand-done. But it’s good enough for me.

Dresser 3Final Thoughts!!

This was my first time painting furniture (I know! What a newbie!!), so it was really fun to figure this stuff out. I haaaaate painting (like painting walls), so I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to this, but it was soo easy and quick!

Just how easy? Here are my steps:

1. Remove hardware, clean item (I just used a wet paper towel and then dried with a cloth).

2. Paint it! I used just some gray paint with primer in it from Home Depot (it was actually exterior paint, because it was from a previous project). I did about two coats. It probably took me about a half an hour (aside from the chevron and outlining on the drawers…that’s a whole other story).

No, I did no sanding. I know! The surface wasn’t super slick or anything, so I didn’t feel it was necessary (and I’m lazy), and it seems to have worked out just fine. Now I’m looking around my house at the million other things that I can paint. PAINT ALL THE THINGS!!!

My Baby Backyard

Backyard Before #2Who doesn’t love a good Before and After? Well this is more of a Before and During. The above photo is of my backyard as it was when I bought the house. Last year, my dad and I (mostly my dad) started to make improvements to it. In the photo below, the deck that you see used to be surrounded by sliding glass doors on the now open sides. The people before me must have gotten a deal on glass doors, since it didn’t really make much sense to have them on all sides (two on the side we’re facing, and one on the side facing the house next to mine). And they were poorly sealed, so they always looked foggy or dirty. They were convenient in the winter, since it insulated the deck and house from the cold and snow, but I never used the deck in the summer because it wasn’t pleasant to sit between dirty, hot glass walls. So my dad and I demo’d them, and thus began the redo.

Backyard Before #1

My dad rearranged the brick tiles and re-did the path, so now the patio is bordered and cleaner, and the path is prettier. My mom also got me a cute gingham curtain and a flower box for my garage window. Eventually, bright blue morning glories will be crawling all over that trellis.

Backyard During 1

My mom also bought me these lovely bamboo curtain things for my deck.Backyard During 2

Also in the above photo you can see my baby trees. Treelets. (This post is called Baby Backyard because everything I have right now is in baby status.) My parents bought and planted them for me as a graduation present (and because they are wonderful people). The tree in the foreground is a Chestnut Crab Apple Tree. They produce crab apples that are about the size of a golf ball and they’re really sweet and nice for snacking. The tree in the background  is a Northstar Cherry Tree. They also produce nice, sweet, edible (pitless!) fruit. I love cherries, and Minnesota isn’t the best environment for them, but I just learned of this variety. It was created by the U of M and evidently thrives in colder climates. Excited for these two to start producing!

I love lilacs, so I have a few of those too:

Lilac BushLilacs

And here are my first tulip blooms:

TulipsI also have a raspberry bush, a hydrangea, cat mint, and forsythia. The yard isn’t complete yet, so I’ll update again with developments!