For months, we'd been on the lookout for a proper dresser for Sarah. Her wardrobe is now substantial enough to warrant full-size shelves, and the piddly little corner dresser was no longer cutting it. We scoured our options, looking for a dresser that:
- Had classic/antique lines, to fit in with the charm of The Manor. It didn't have to be 1900's proper, but we wanted something old-ish looking.
- Was easily accessible for a 4 year old. We needed something with drawers she could reach (no standing on a step-stool, please) and drawers that easily opened and shut.
- Made of solid wood, with good construction. We didn't want it falling apart after a few years.
- Was under $200, since -- come on -- she's 4 years old.
After much searching on Craigslist and through antique stores, we scored a great find. It was a little knocked up, but had great bones. I also loved the curved front.
Unfortunately, in my haste to get started, I didn't get a great "before" photo. Instead, you get the "in progress" photo below.
This was my first experiment with painting furniture, and it was moderately successful. There are a billion furniture-painting tutorials on the web, so I'll spare you the blow-by-blow process. Suffice it to say that there was a lot of cursing, a lot of extra coats of paint, and ultimately, the purchase of my very first power tool -- an electric sander.
I gave the existing hardware a quick coat of spray paint in a coppery-bronze color, along with countless coats of primer and soft pink//peach paint. The results was a very delightful dresser, fit for a very happy 4-year old.
A Month Later...
I've had a firsthand chance to see how the realities of a painted dresser stand up to the fantasy. Here's what I've found:
- There are already marks on the top of the dresser -- some crayon, a few scuffs from legos dragged across the top. Overall, it's stood up pretty well, and I think that it would look pretty close to perfect if I cared enough to spend five minutes with a magic eraser. (But I don't.)
- The drawers are such a tight fit on this model that multiple coats of paint were too much in some places. A few chips have appeared, and the bottom left drawer is REALLY hard to open and close. (We put the "too big clothes" there, so we don't need to open it very often anyways.)
Overall, I'm really happy with the result -- it looks a bit shabby chic-er than I wanted (I would never choose to have scuffs and chips) but it does the job.
A few years from now, I may take another crack at painting it -- I learned so much from this experience that I'm sure a second go-round would result in significantly improved results. Maybe when I have confidence that crayon marks won't appear every other week..