Tropicana Cabana Dresser Before and After

Another dresser makeover. It’s becoming a regular thing! I love giving an old dresser a new life with a bit of paint and new hardware. I’ve been using the same paint colours because I’m on a tight budget and there’s really no point in buying new paint until I’ve used up what I’ve already got. So I did the same colour combination as a recent makeover I did to this dresser. The paint colours are Tropicana Cabana and Snowfall White from Benjamin Moore.

Unfortunately I don’t have decent before photos, because I was too excited to start on the project that I didn’t think to snap a few photos. So all I’ve got is the original photo from the craigslist ad and a phone photo of the legs and drawer front. The dresser was badly stained, really uneven with many scratches and chips. The drawer pulls were handmade from wood and in need of replacing.

I filled all the chips and holes from the drawer pulls and sanded everything down. It took 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint to cover the dark stain, don’t you think it looks so much happier now?

dresser-tropical-cabana1

 

dresser before

dresser-tropical-cabana2
dresser makeover

Dresser Before and After

So i’ve started a hobby. It began with a few projects for our apartment, but I’ve now decided to look for furniture that has potential and give it an update, hopefully on a regular basis.

This latest find was only $10! Trust me, it was very much so worth $10, it was in horrible shape with a very broken drawer a ton of scratches and chips. I had to seriously sand it, repair the missing corner on one drawer front and follow it up with a primer before the top coat. I had paint I wanted to use up, so I went with an all white enamel for the finish, of course I immediate regretted it because it showed all the imperfections and it took about 6 coats of paint to cover the almost black brown finish. In the end, I decided that it was the nature of the piece since it is probably older than I am. So the imperfections were inevitable since I’m no pro.

I quickly got over things and put the focus on the hardware. The existing hardware wasn’t worth saving as it was literally falling apart. I couldn’t do new drawer pulls because the holes didn’t line up with current drawer pull measurements (vintage is different to modern times apparently), so I filled one of the holes and went with knobs instead, since I wasn’t willing to drill knew holes.

After filling the holes and sanding and filling them again and sanding again, the stupid holes were still slightly visible once the paint went on. I think it had something to do with the brand of wood filler I was using and the fact that it was kind of dried up. A few coats of paint kind of camouflaged it, but in certain light it was obviously visible. Anyway….I had some crystal knobs in storage for a moment like this. Initially I wanted something understated and modern, because glamour isn’t really my style, but I wanted to be different and had to remember it wasn’t for me, I was going to sell it after. Plus the whole point was to make a profit, so I didn’t want to spend money on knobs. So it was decided, I’d go with something super sparkly to distract from all of the small imperfections I could still see. Check it out below.

dresser-before

dresser-after

dresser-before-after

Dresser update

A while ago I posted about a dresser I found that was in need of a lot of love. I realized I forgot to post an update showing how I’ve decorated it. I bought these fun prints at Ikea to fit in some existing frames that were in storage. I can’t let go of this paper orchid Andrew made me when we first started dating, the paper has faded a lot, but our love hasn’t (haha sorry couldn’t resist) so it will stay there until it falls apart. I’ve had the metal scooter for a long while, it just happens to match very nicely.

vintage dresser makeover

vintage dresser makeover

 

Loft Stairs Before and After

So it’s August 2nd and it’s shocking to think that this time last year we got the keys to our place and began our renovations. We’re so happy with the apartment that i’ve totally forgotten to keep my blog updated with renovation photos. That and every time I think to take “after” photos, it’s too dark. The stuff i’m about to share with you is even a bit out dated, since then we’ve put up art on the walls and de-cluttered a ton.

Anyway, this may be a year late, but hey…better late than never I suppose.

The stairs in our apartment are solid wood and have so much potential that was hidden under a nasty red varnish. Why on earth they decided to hide the natural wood behind the ugly stain really boggles my mind, but there’s a lot about this place that made me wonder what the previous owners were thinking.

Check out the ugly red stain, which of course it much “redder” in person. Oh and don’t even get me started on the purple and burgundy paint. (which was later covered up with dark brown and white)

stairs-before

We removed all the stairs at the start of the renovation, we didn’t want to damage the wood during construction. It worked out fine, since there’s metal bars under them to step on. We numbered each stair and stored them in the closet until we were ready to refinish them.

When it came time to start, we bought a heavy paint and varnish remover that comes in a gel format. It’s extremely toxic and burns like crazy if you get it on your skin, but it works so well. You need a scraper, paper towel and a heavy duty drop cloth. Using this stripper was pretty much the only option, because we wanted to limit the amount of saw dust we created (at this point we had already moved in).  Andrew has tough hands, so he took on the stair project and scraped off as much varnish as possible.

Once that phase was done, we built a plastic tent over the window so Andrew could use an electric sander and avoid getting saw dust EVERYWHERE. We thought it was a genius idea, we strategically taped off a corner in the apartment including the window for ventilation. Andrew even used a sander that had a built in bag to collect the dust. But guess what? The sawdust was so freggin’ fine that it managed to escape the tent! For days after, actually more like weeks, it rained down sawdust on everything. No matter how much I wiped things, it was still there the next day! I guess it prevented it from being much much worse, but it wasn’t perfect and we really had no other option. Check out the process photos below.

stairs-process

After all the sanding was done and the nice light natural wood was revealed, we couldn’t wait to bolt them back onto the stair frame. Except there was one major problem, the numbers we wrote on the steps came off and we had lost track of what went where! So much for being really organized! So it began, our game of trial and error, lining up the existing screw holes because they were all screwed in differently by the previous owners. We were just glad there weren’t that many stairs. (Although i’m pretty sure Andrew wasn’t thinking that while he was sanding the never ending pile of wood). After some swearing and dropping many screws, they were on and they were beautiful. There’s nothing like natural wood sealed with a clear bees wax. The hallway feels so much brighter now.

stairs-after-diy

Nightstand Before and After

It’s hard to believe but we’ve been living in our new place for almost a year. We’re really settled in and happy, but i’m always looking for small new projects to work on around the place. I love updating old furniture, it’s just so satisfying to give something a new life. But don’t get me wrong, I love buying something new too. I’ve had my eye on a set of nightstands from West Elm, but they’re just way out of our budget and not really a priority purchase right now (we need to get a new mattress and probably a new fridge soon).

The nightstands at West Elm are stunning, mid-century style with a modern twist. They come in wood and white, I really love the wood, but our hardwood floors in the bedroom wouldn’t go with it, so i’d have to go with the white. But like I said, we can’t afford them, so this is very much so a wish-list item.

nightstand-west-elm

 

I’ve had my eye on craigslist, watching like a hawk, hunting for a matching pair of mid-century style nightstands, but unfortunately in this city, it’s almost impossible to find a deal, it seems like all mid-century furniture has gone up in price in the last year. Last week, I came across a little gem for $20!! Although, it’s not true mid-century, and it was only (a) one nightstand (haha), but something told me I just had to buy it. Check out the before and after below:

nightstand-before-after
The plan is to keep our eye open for a similar style nightstand, paint it in the same way, that way the look will be cohesive. It’s not about being matchy-matchy or spending big bucks, it’s about character and style. So now I just have to cross my fingers and hope I find our lonely nightstand a friend.

 

 

Front Door Makeover

In my building everyone has different door designs, colours, numbers, knobs etc. Our door was in bad shape and in need of some serious TLC. It was painted with a nasty silver acrylic, it had a brushy texture and it was very chipped and scuffed up. To top it off the previous owners were very obsessed with security. They had several locks and barriers around the door. While I do like security, I don’t like how ugly it can be. Unfortunately we couldn’t replace the door, because in an ideal world we’d just have one nice looking knob and lock. But it wasn’t in the budget to replace several knobs and locks, those things are expensive!

So we just decided to update the superficial parts of the door, using paint we already had sitting around from our interior. We spent all the money on the numbers, splurging on a custom modern style, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to buy generic ones from the big box store.

As you can see I was a bit too excited to start on the project, so I don’t have many before photos. We ripped off the old numbers as soon as the new ones arrived and then realized we should have snapped a photo. We washed the door and scraped off any loose paint. The new numbers came with a grid to align them just right, so all we had to do was drill holes where it was marked.

frontdoor

We purchased our modern numbers from Bradford Hardware in Vancouver. Although they were fairly expensive, we think it really adds style to the door. Personally I think the cost of the numbers should be based on weight, because I certainly don’t think the 1 should be the same cost as the 4. Anyway, i’ll stop my rant before it gets out of control.

My “after” photos really don’t do the door justice, the lighting in the hallway is very dark and it was taken with my cell phone, but you get the idea. I just really wanted to blog about it while I got the chance.

The paint colour is Benjamin Moore Night Horizon in a matte finish. If we had extra budget, we would have bought a semi-gloss paint for the door, just because we’ve noticed it gets very dirty very quick when you rub up against it.

frontdoor2

Here’s the 2 places i’d recommend buying numbers from if you feel like doing a mini makeover on your apartment door or house numbers.

frontdoor3

Vintage Trunk Before and After

Another weekend brings another project.

This weekend we found a 50’s style trunk. It really needed some love, specifically on the front, there were some deep scratches, but the top was in great shape. We decided we liked the colour of the “wood” so we left the top as is and kept the legs and the detail around the middle. The rest needed to be brightened up to make it a little more modern.

This piece is pretty unique, the top lifts up like a trunk, and the bottom is a functioning drawer. The cupboards and smaller drawers are fake.