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Hi friends! How many of you reading this just went back to work yesterday after the Holidays? I went back after a 12 day break, and it was a killer! It will take a good week to get back into the swing of things for me. Today, I am excited to show you a project that I actually completed almost two months ago, but put off sharing about until the Holidays were over. I have had this old dresser since 1992, and had been wanting to give it a makeover for years, and I finally got around to it! The results of this makeover were completely unexpected, and nothing I would or could have ever planned for, but I love it! I'll share how I stripped the paint off of this dresser using my awesome HomeRight Digital Heat Gun.
Before we get started though, take a gander at how this little dresser looked before the miraculous transformation! This dresser was blue when it first came into my life, and I painted it this hunter green back in 1992. For years, it was in my closet, and no one ever saw it, so I didn't care that I hated the color. But now I am using it in our family room as a gift wrapping station, and it was way past due for a makeover.
This project was my first time using my brand new HomeRight Digital Heat Gun, have you ever used one? I had used one to make an acrylic iPad stand at the Haven Conference I attended over the summer, and had a great time trying it out! So I was delighted when HomeRight sent me one to use at home. I started reading about different things I could do with it, and when I found out that it could be used to strip paint, this dresser immediately came to mind. I was planning to use chemicals to strip the paint off of it, but now I had a chemical-free way to do it! This heat gun is sort of like a hair dryer, except it gets way hotter ( so don't try blow drying your hair with it).
I started out by reading the owner's manual, so I knew how to operate it for sure. The heat gun also comes with a handy scraper that can be used when stripping paint. So I didn't need any other supplies. After I had read the manual, I was ready to get started and the drawer I started on was actually the third one down in the pictures. You just blast the heat gun straight onto the wood, until you notice the paint bubbling up, and then you scrape it off with the scraper that is included. I worked my way around the drawer in about 6 inch sections, and it worked well for me. As I started scraping off the top layers of paint, I was left with this bird egg blue color. I decided I kind of liked the finish, so I stopped scraping it off - you can see on that drawer where I did begin to strip it all the way down, but I changed my mind.
I worked my way from one drawer to another, and as I stripped each drawer, something mysterious started happening. The bottom layer of paint on each drawer was a different color! I am completely baffled as to why. but I decided to stay the course and leave it until I saw how the body of the dresser turned out. The paint stripped super easily off of each drawer, but when I got to the body of the dresser, I ran into some problems. the paint would not bubble up, no matter how high I turned up the temperature on the heat gun. I continued to use the heat gun, and was able to scrape the paint off that way, but it was much harder, and it took more physical strength. Also, when I did scrape, it took me straight down into the bare wood. And there was a thick layer of black sticky-ish stuff underneath the paint, almost like tar. I have no clue what it might have been, do you? You can see some close ups in the next few pictures. Just to be clear, I don't think this was any fault of the heat gun. I think it had something to do with whatever this dresser had been painted with.
After I got the paint stripped, there was a kind of black residue all over the dresser, so I sanded it down with my palm sander, and even after a good sanding, you can still see remnants of black. So, I decided to put the drawers back into the dresser and see what I thought. I decided that I really liked the way it looked this way! And it was nice and smooth from the sanding. So I put the knobs that were already on it back on, and left it as is. I'm not sure if I will eventually replace the knobs or not. But one thing is for sure, I liked the brass knobs a whole lot better on the dresser now than I did when it was green. The knobs are gold and kind of modern looking, and I like how they mix with the rustic looking finish on the dresser now.
I gave a sneak peek at this finished dresser when I revealed my gift wrapping station, which by the way, was awesome when it was time to wrap all of the Christmas gifts! I am so happy that I now have all of my gift wrapping supplies in one spot, and it made wrapping much more enjoyable for us all this year.
When you look at all of the shades of blue and cream on the drawers, and then the raw looking wood of the body of the dresser, it is easy to understand why the end result was so unexpected to me. I wish this dresser could talk, because I definitely think it has a great story to tell!
When it was time to put the dresser back together, I decided to arrange the drawers from light to dark to give kind of an ombre affect. You can see in the second drawer down that there is a chip out of the top left corner of the drawer. I had originally planned to try to repair it before I painted it, but after I saw all of this glorious chippy paint, I decided the chip fit in perfectly, and was just another part of the story of this dresser.
I should have taken a close up of the top of the dresser before I put stuff on it, but I don't have one. So this is the closest I could get to showing you the top of the dresser. It looks much like the sides.
I lined just the bottom of each drawer with this black and cream floral contact paper that I found at the Dollar Store. I liked this pretty floral pattern with the rustic shabby chic dresser!
I love my heat gun, and I can't wait to find some more projects to do with it! First up, my cousin and her family just moved into a new house and they have a beautiful old banister that has several layers of white paint on it that need stripped off. So I am going to take it over there and use it on her banister. I'll be sure to share the before and after with you!
I would love to know what you think of this dresser makeover. Do you like the chippy paint look that this dresser now has? Would you strip it all the way down and paint it, or leave it as is? I would love for you to tell me your thoughts in the comments. Now, lets' talk about the giveaway! Would you like a chance to win a HomeRight digital Heat Gun? Just click below and follow the directions for your chance to win. You must be a US resident and over 18 to register, and the contest will be open for the next week, so you can come back and register every day if you would like. Have a great week!
Do you have champagne taste and a tiny budget like me? Love fashion, DIY, crafting, all things vintage and thrifty? Stick with me, I've got you covered!
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