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DIY shabby chic refinished dresser

by Juliemara

I worked really hard to plan and organize the girls first birthday party.

20121023-214939.jpgThe planning started in my head when they were about three months old and really reved up after I got home from celebrating my best friends bridal shower a little more than a month ago. I started by creating a Pinterest board with ideas I liked. At night after the babies went to bed I worked on small craft projects that would add to the over all of the party.



20121023-215741.jpg But my big project that I had no idea how long it would take got started only two weeks before the big day. The shabby chic chest of drawers that was used for the desert buffet.

I purchased the dresser just after we moved into our current home, the plan was to refinish it and convert it into a bathroom vanity for either our master suite or the guest suite downstairs. But I wasn’t in any condition back then to be refinishing furniture and I wasn’t about to let anyone else touch my $75 Craig’s list treasure.

20121023-211525.jpgSo in the basement it sat and collected dust while it awaited its new fate.

Fast forward a year and half, I found this inspiration. And knew that the dresser would be the perfect fixture for a shabby chic/vintage birthday party.

It wasn’t the best Craigslist find ever. $75 was kind of a lot to pay for this piece. It had several layers of paint on it and no drawer pulls,

20121023-211540.jpg Some of the front panels of the drawers were separated from the edges and a few of the drawers don’t close completely.

20121023-211553.jpgAll the rails need to be replaced. And now I am thinking to myself, why did I buy this piece?

This is why! It was begging for a new life as a pretty little thing that would hold lots of other pretty things!

Getting it to look like it does now was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

First I sanded the surfaces. I used an electric sander with 80 grit paper on all the flat areas

And an 80 grit sanding block, which is more like a sanding sponge, on the curved and detailed parts. When I was finish sanding I decided to use the gas powered blower to get all the dust out of the garage. Don’t do this, it just made a bigger mess. The dust just blew around the garage and the fumes got really thick and even went inside the house. Letting the sanding dust settle then sweeping the next day would have been much more effective. Although using a blower is a lot of fun.

The next step was to paint it. I chose To use spray paint because it is quick and easy. And since it may get repainted another color one day there was no reason to spend a lot of time on a heavy paint. I chose Rustoleum Satin heirloom white.

20121023-211924.jpgi used a total of four and a half cans for the dresser and all the drawers, inside and out.

I got this handy little attachment as well, it’s a comfort grip esiecially for spray painting.

20121023-211859.jpg It attaches easily to the spray can and makes dispensing the paint like pulling a trigger rather than pressing a button.

20121023-211912.jpgNo more cramped fingers, no more paint stained fingers. For a project like this its well worth it’s $9.50 price tag.




20121023-212021.jpgI waited a full day for the paint to dry really well then used the same 80 grit sanding sponge to sand the corners and edges to give it the old shabby worn look. Because of the many layers of color that were already on this piece, this little effect worked better than I even imagined. I found these pretty glass drawer pulls online for just over $5 each, it was the absolute least expensive I could find fancy drawer pulls. I’m really happy with the pink.


20121023-212105.jpgthere were already holes in the drawers but they weren’t spaced correctly for the drawer pulls that I got so I had to fill the old holes and drill new ones. I did this even before I sanded the piece using Elmer’s wood filler.

20121023-212527.jpgBut as you can see my wood filling skills could use some improvement, luckily the imperfectness just adds to the shabbiness of the look!

20121023-212323.jpgIn order to drill the holes in the exact right place I needed to mark where the holes would go. These pulls made it relatively easy to do because the bolt that attaches them goes all the way through. I just needed a pen or pencil that would fit all the way into the hole. My solution- an over extended piece of lead in a mechanical pencil.

20121023-212215.jpgI just had to be careful, but it worked perfectly.

20121023-212224.jpgdrilling the 12 holes and attaching the 6 pulls was finished in about 20 minutes.




Over all I am really happy with how the piece turned out.



20121024-091825.jpg it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I originally thought it would be.

I learned a lot from the process and now I have the confidence to tackle another piece, maybe one that will have a little more permanence in our home.
My advice is if you are intersted in refinishing furniture find the least expensive piece on Craig’s list that will give you the look you want and “practice” them there is no stress about wasting lots of money when something doesn’t turn out as planned.

I have a bunch of chairs stashed away that I have collected over the past few years, yes, I have a chair addiction. I hope to repaint, refinish and reupholster them in the months to come.

Ill keep you posted!

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Birthday Party Pics!

by Juliemara

We celebrated the girls 1st birthday with a big party at our home yesterday with lot of family and friends. I worked really hard to create a beautiful scene for the party and my husband worked really hard to creat a beautiful and tasty food spread.   Everything was great and I am really happy with how it turned out. The girls had a great time and our new deck proved to be the ultimate party place, save for a few black and yellow striped friends that we could have done without it was a great afternoon.




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A do-it-ourselves bookshelf project

by Juliemara

We have stuff, and lots of it. In our old place we had two three foot wide bookshelves built into the wall in our dinning room, in this new house we have no built in shelves, there isn’t even a linen closet. We have to be creative on how to create easy to access storage. Sure the giant basement is great but we think it’s about time to unpack those boxes of books that have been there for a year.

I’d like to introduce you to Kate, the woman behind Censational Girl Blog and all her DIY home improvement goodness. She also wanted a beautiful place to showcase her books and trinkets, but she didn’t want to pay thousands of dollars for custom built ins. What a coincidence! Neither do we!20120726-100628.jpg
Instead she used billy bookcases from ikea, jazzed them up with some fancy trim and walla, what looks like professional built inns are actually easy to assemble MDF bookshelves with some painted trim glued on, check out her complete how to tutorial here.
And here is our progress
Our big blank empty wall.
Filled with billy bookcases.
Ok it’s not much progress but we have been a little busy, we’ll get to it eventually.
20120725-222652.jpgNext step is to get rid of the toe moulding and elevate the bookcases a bit so the bottom shelf height matches the moulding.20120725-222707.jpgWish us luck!

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