Every once In a blue moon I get the DIY(Do It Yourself) itch. It's not very often that I get bit by the DIY bug...I would much rather purchase an item or find someone else to do the work for me, since I'm impatient and want the project finished within a day (am I the only one?).
With this particular project I couldn't wait to get started...the only roadblock to getting started was picking a paint color. I knew I wanted a Kelly green...then I wanted a light blue...then 3 months pass and I'm back in the Kelly green camp. Now the problem of figuring out which Kelly green...fast forward 2 months and I finally have the perfect paint in hand!
With paint in hand it was time to start the most daunting DIY project of my life. One can of high gloss paint and one piece of perfect furniture I've waited years to own (Henry Link Bali Hai dresser & hutch I snagged off of Varagesale for an absolute steal) and one perfectionist who has never painted a piece of furniture in her life.
Both apprehensive and hopeful about the project I knew I had to just dive in or it would never get done. I dragged the furniture to the garage with some help and wiped it down 2-3 times to make sure all the dirt was removed. Then came the laborsome task of sanding…I sanded until my arms couldn’t sand anymore and called it a day for day 1. With day 2 came more sanding…add a coat of primer…sand…add another coat of primer…sand. Day 3 I pulled out the paint bucket and freaked out because the perfectionist in me knew if I was going mess up it would be on the final coat of paint. So I did what any perfectionist would do and called someone (my grandfather in-law, Alfred) with a paint sprayer…because a paint sprayer is more likely to paint the piece of furniture evenly and leave fewer brush strokes glaring at me. Lucky for me Alfred not only offered to let me use the sprayer he offered to paint the furniture for me…I didn’t say no. On day 4 with some help the furniture was loaded onto a trailer and driven across town to Alfred’s. I could barely contain my excitement that I was getting closer to being finished (after all it’s taken 3 days longer than my 1 day DIY quota…my patience was running thin).
I learned that I wasn’t the only impatient person on the job. Alfred, wasting no time, popped off the lid of the paint can and started spraying within 10 minutes after the furniture arrived. Within 2 hours the hutch, dresser, and all the dresser drawers had been sprayed with the first coat and left to dry for the rest of the day. I went back over the next morning to help with the second coat and by the time I arrived at 9am the furniture was already dressed in its second coat in front of the fans drying.
After 2 more sleeps and vivid dreams of the perfect Kelly green piece of furniture it was time to go pick it up. With trailer padded to high heaven to prevent scratching the furniture was loaded on and headed home! EEEEKKK!
Once home the furniture was slowly moved from the trailer to the living room…slowly because I’m not sure I could handle anything happening to my precious at this point. First came the dresser…followed by the hutch. The drawers still needed their freshly polished hardware installed so I quickly took over the task while my husband moved the dresser and hutch into place. With blistered hands from sanding I screwed the hardware into the drawers despite the pain….nothing was going to stop me from finishing the project at this point. 30 minutes later the drawers were something to behold with their new brassy hardware….my hands on the other hand (no pun intended) were not. As I pushed the last drawer into place I felt an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment…I didn’t do the whole project by myself as I had intended to, but I did something I had never done and I didn’t give up after my 1 day DIY quota. My hands lived in lotioned gloves for the next couple of weeks, but I would do it again….in a year or two…in a heartbeat.
My Bali Hai hutch is by far my favorite piece of furniture I own, not because it had been on my furniture wish list since I was a child, but because I painstakingly made it my own. It’s a constant reminder that I am capable of refinishing furniture if I so please (which most of the time I don’t). It lives in my living room as a little confidence booster (which we can all use from time to time).
I tell you all of this to say if you fall in love with a piece of furniture that needs new life….it is worth the work. You end up with a personalized piece of furniture and a feeling of accomplishment every time you look at it.
Bali Hai Hutch & Dresser - $100 on Varagesale
Paint & painting supplies - $100
Grand Total = $200 & worth every Penny!
Paint Color - Benjamin Moore Seaweed in High Gloss
Blessings - Kate V.