Distressed and HAPPY: Flowers and Crafts

Flowers and Crafts

Have you seen the old chest of drawers that’s standing inside my flower shop, a little to the left of the front door?

You know how awesome it looks? All old and wooden and a little distressed with nicks and gouges and stuff like that?

Well, it’s yours truly that gets all the credit. Yep. I am totally going to toot my own horn on this one!!

So, I actually had that chest of drawers in my daughter’s room at home. She moved out and I decided to re-do that room.

I was looking at the chest and realized two things about it. 1) It was actually solid wood (not a whiff of press-board or veneer anywhere), and 2) someone somewhere along the way had painted over that fabulous wood with several coats of white paint.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to strip that white paint off, take it down to the original wood, and then stain the dresser. Make it look something like it originally looked. And then bring it over to my slower shop and use it in some mindbendingly clever way.

Well, you know how some projects take on a life of their own and morph into something much bigger than you intended?

Yeah. That’s what happened with The Dresser Refinishing Project.

I got some spray-on stripping stuff at Home Depot. The directions said to spray on a coat, let it sit for 15 minutes, scrape it off, and go on to the next section. Tough spots might need a second application, it said.

Two CANS of the stripper later, and I was still not done! The directions should have said, “Sections that have several coats to remove will resemble the aftermath of a nuclear bomb for several applications before the first glimmer of hope appears that the product will actually work. Keep on keeping on! In three weeks and after many many applications, you will begin to see the original wood.”

I am not one to give up easily. I’ll be honest and say that that dresser sat in my garage for a full month before I finally got it done. Which meant that I couldn’t park my car in there since I had all the drawers standing on their sides on the garage floor, as well as the dresser itself.

The stripper didn’t get all the paint off. It got most of the paint off. But that wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t stain over a surface that was freckeld with white paint.

So then I had to get rough-grit sandpaper, followed by fine-grade sandpaper, and do the whole bursitis-inducing sanding routine.

It was finally all prepped. Paint all gone, surfaces ready to receive stain. And then the rest was easy.

I put on two coats of stain.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I distressed it before staining it. I took a hammer and chisel and just put in a bunch of gouges and holes. And then stained it. The stain pooled in the dents and gouges and was darker there than the rest of the surfaces.

It came out looking A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Check it out next time you’re in the shop!

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