Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blowing' in the wind... (little chest of drawers)

Daughter B (dd#2) asked for a chest of drawers for her birthday. She has a very cute, but very small apartment and needed more storage... but didn't have room for a big piece of furniture. After looking online and stores for a couple of weeks and not finding anything the right size... I stumbled upon this little chest on Craigslist.


 It wasn't beautiful, but it was as close to the size B said she needed as I could find, and it's uniqueness appealed to me. It had been made out of an old RCA TV cabinet. The blonde wood gave away it's age (appr. 1952) but the yellow painted drawer fronts were not a good look...  (It's hard to tell from the picture, but the drawer fronts were painted a buttercup yellow.) I thought it was cool that it still had the old RCA papers stuck to the inside...


 ...but the yellow drawer fronts had to go. It was hard to pin B down in terms of what she wanted me to do with the drawer fronts... Another color of paint would be easy, but what color? Or I thought it might be fun to modge-podge a poster or map onto the front of the drawers. I tried to get B to tell me what she wanted... but she didn't. So I talked to daughter E (dd#1) who had a wonderful idea to turn the drawer fronts into a bit of "art". She even sent me a picture she found online of a wind-blown tree painting that she thought would look cool... Since I was out of ideas, and B was impossible to pin down, I decided to go with E's idea and hope B liked it. The first thing I had to do was figure out how big my design needed to be, and draw it out on some big paper. I kept the design simple, and based it on the picture that E had sent me. I made some changes, but mostly stayed pretty true to the original picture. (This shows the drawing I did after I'd started cutting it into pieces to start transferring it to the drawer fronts.)


 Then I gave the drawers a quick sanding and painted on the base color... kind of a creamy white. Next I cut my drawing into thirds (one third for each drawer front) and using the side of a pencil I colored thickly on the back of the design. Then I flipped the drawing back over, taped it carefully onto the corresponding drawer front and traced heavily around my lines. The graphite from the pencil on the back neatly transferred my design onto the front of the drawer. Step 1 plenty of graphite...


 Taped in place...

 Design transferred!

 Then it was just a matter of painting the design on. I bought a little sample pot of a dark chocolatey brown paint at Home Depot (I already had the white base coat color) and had more than enough for this project.


 When I was done transferring and painting all three drawer fronts I checked one last time to make sure everything lined up. Where the lines of the painting didn't line up perfectly, I touched them up to match so it looked as seamless as possible from one drawer to the next. I painted the top edge of each drawer then too... again, to make the design look seamless as you look at it from the front.


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 I'm not sure if you can tell in these pictures, but I dry-brushed the "ground" underneath the tree, trying to give it a little depth and texture, I painted the tree thickly... kind of glopped it on.. again, to it give it a little texture. I finished up with a couple of coats of polyurethane, and replaced the knobs and it was done! (Oops, I just realized I snapped this picture before putting the new knobs on... I just used fairly small, dark (ORB) metal knobs.)


 I'm really happy with how it turned out, but it's probably not a project I'll do again any time soon. It was a LOT of work... although totally worth it to make something unique for B.


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