Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Upcycling: Bedroom Furniture

When Justin and I first got married, we used a bedroom set we inherited from my family. It was in decent shape, but the bed frame was for a full-size mattress, so we wanted to upgrade to a bigger bed. We bought a bedroom set at Value City Furniture because it was affordable (it came with a bed frame with four built-in drawers, two large nightstands, and a large dresser with a mirror), but we were never in love with the dark-colored wood. Since I forgot to take "before" photos of the furniture, I found some photos that I took of our room when we first moved to Ohio about four years ago:

You can see how dark the furniture was. (It's not a terrible color, Justin and I just prefer lighter, brighter colors). It made the room seem smaller, and we always talked about re-finishing all of the bedroom furniture, but we knew how big of an undertaking it would be, so we kept putting it off.

We have been in an upcycling mood this summer (so far, we've painted a bathroom shelf, a table, a large media cabinet - you can see a post on that here, and a record cabinet), so we just decided to tackle this project and re-do our entire bedroom set. We like to do things on a budget, and purchasing new furniture just seemed pointless since the furniture we have is in great condition, we just didn't like the color. So, we made a trip to the store to pick out paint and get some supplies.

We decided to do the nightstands and the bed frame in a grey color called "online" and the dresser in an orange-ish color called "armagnac." Both of these colors were from Sherwin-Williams' Urban Outlook collection at Lowe's.

This project was definitely a big undertaking as each piece had to be taken apart (the drawers, the back, etc.), taken outside, sanded down using several different grit sandpapers, dusted and wiped down with microfiber cloths, and then taken back inside for painting. I had several drop cloths laid out in my office area where I would take the sanded furniture and paint it. Since this was such a big project, we did it in three phases - first the nightstands, then the bed frame, then the dresser.

One of the nightstands, ready to be sanded.
As you can see, our bed frame is not your average bed frame. It has a huge headboard and side pieces that hold four built-in drawers. We bought this particular set because of the extra storage under the bed.

Justin outside sanding the bed frame. We live on the top floor of a duplex, and our front porch served as the perfect place to do all of the sanding.
Getting ready to sand the dresser. Look at all the sawdust on the floor!

We underestimated how many drawers we had! While painting, we could hardly walk through the office to the bathroom/bedroom area because there were so many drawers on the floor.
Justin did all of the sanding, I dusted/cleaned all of the items before we brought them back inside, I painted everything, and then Justin and I added a layer of clear coat (we used Miniwax brand water based Polycrylic protective finish) to everything to protect it from scratches and scrapes. We decided we didn't like the basic silver knobs that were originally on the drawers, so we did some research and found some black, vintage-looking knobs from Hobby Lobby on a 50% off sale. We have so many drawers/drawer pulls that we had to buy 32 knobs to replace the old ones!

So, without further ado, here is our freshly upcycled bedroom furniture. It was SO much work (the whole project took about three weeks), but we love how it came out. Our bedroom feels so much bigger and fresher now, and the new color is definitely a better fit for our style.

These knobs are so much cuter than the original, generic knobs!

I used this old burlap coffee sack to put the TV on.
I love the color of the dresser next to my vintage yellow chair (which I found at a thrift shop in Michigan for $15 about five years ago).
This upcycling project probably cost us around $100 for all of the paint, supplies, and knobs (and it definitely took lots of time and effort), but it was a fun project for Justin and I to do together and it certainly cost way less than purchasing a new bedroom set with a vintage feel. I can't imagine how much it would have cost us to purchase a hand-painted bedroom set like this from a shop, or how much someone would have charged to do the sanding and painting for us. We love getting creative and bringing new life to used items, and we love our "new" bedroom furniture!

Next on the list this summer: finding parts for some antiques we have to get them in working condition. Stay tuned for updates!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Upcycling: 60s Style Media Cabinet & Desktop

Justin and I love thrift-shopping, and we typically always try to find things second-hand before buying new. Within the past couple years, we upcycled a dining room table and chairs (the table was found at Goodwill and the chairs were left by a previous tenant in our garage) and a TV cabinet (an old piece of furniture we found at Goodwill and turned into a media cabinet). You can find the post about upcycling the dining set here and the post about the TV stand here

Over Easter weekend this year, Justin and I were at a Salvation Army and found a gorgeous 60s style media cabinet for $10!!! Someone had purchased it a couple weeks prior, but never came to pick it up, so the store gave it to us for 50% off. We managed to (barely) fit it in our car, brought it home, and stored it in the basement until the weather got a little nicer and we could take it outside to sand it. While it was a beautiful cabinet, the exterior was faded and scratched, so we decided to sand it down and repaint it to match a record cabinet I purchased at an antique store a couple years ago. 

This is my record cabinet. I bought it already painted this color, but I thought it would be fun to match the new cabinet with this one since they are so similar in style. 

This is the $10 thrifted cabinet! It has sliding doors (with finger pulls) that go on the front, but we took them off to sand. 

Did I mention I love our backyard? It's given us space for lots of fun projects. 

After it was sanded, we brought it inside to paint.

We took the back and doors off to paint, then added a layer of clear coat before reassembling everything.

Lowe's sells those cool vintage finger pulls (that I painted black). Who would have thought? This is the finished product!

I love how it turned out! We currently have a built-in cabinet in our house where we keep movies and games, but this will serve as a storage space for those items when we move. (Which will hopefully be soon - I'm on the job market this year!)

The other project we took on this week was painting a tabletop for my desk. The legs and tabletop are from IKEA (and they are purchased separately). I previously purchased the white Linnmon tabletop, but it felt cheap and was already chipping paint within the first few months of having it on my art desk. Justin and I went back to IKEA last weekend and looked at other tabletops, and I loved the wood one shown below (called the Gerton tabletop). Unfortunately, it didn't match the other woods in the room where my desk is, so Justin suggested doing a vintage, old-barn-wood-style paint job on the wood tabletop. We looked into getting chalk paint, but it was so expensive, so I tried to create the effect myself with some basic white paint. See the finished product below!

I love the way this desk came together! I work here a lot, so I like how durable the new tabletop looks and feels. (This also has a clear coat on it for protection). Our next project is sanding and repainting our bedroom furniture!