Mad Like Alyce

Refinished Lace Print Dresser

dresser-angle

A few years ago, I had painted my childhood dresser white and updated the drawer pulls to make it better fit my new room scheme. Unfortunately, at that time, I knew nothing about painting furniture and had dived right in, painting directly over the existing gloss coat. This worked… for awhile. Fast forward 5 years later, and the paint on all of the drawers was yellowing in an awful way.

dresser

Ignore the mess, I was packing! (That’s just my lame excuse)

To further the point that I don’t always learn from my mistakes the first time, two years ago, I painted a tall chest of drawers white to match the dresser. Although I did read the instructions on the paint, I had not taken the humidity as a factor, and again, decided to skip priming. From this, I learned that the moisture in the wood will cause the paint to bubble. So after sanding off the bubbled paint, I had a half painted white dresser chest.

chest-of-drawers

First, we must strip

So after two years of living with a slightly yellowed dresser and a half sanded chest of drawers, it was time to correct earlier mishaps. First things first, I had to strip the paint. This time, however, I actually learned my lesson and did my research. I found an article called “A tale of two strippers” on Centsational Girl’s blog which is safe for work, and worth the read. In this article, she compares Klean-strip and Citristrip, with the latter as the clear winner. If you are going to be stripping your furniture, I HIGHLY recommend this product, it worked like a dream.

You will need:

Prepping the furniture

  • Citristrip
  • Small paint brush (go with cheap, as you will throw it after)
  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Face mask
  • Putty knife
  • Old rags
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Trash bags
  • Handheld orbital sander

Priming & Painting

  • Latex based primer
  • Latex based paint (base color)
  • Aerosol spray paint (lace color)
  • Lace, enough to cover your furniture
  • Brushes/Rollers
  • Paint tray

This all sounds like a lot, but it’s totally worth it. Stripping furniture is a messy job, there is no way around it. These tools make the process sooooo much easier!

Safety first. While Citristrip is marketed as being far healthier to breathe, and certainly smells better, I still used full protective gear with gloves, safety glasses and a face mask. I had the added fun of trying to see through fogged up glasses, since I did most of my work in the late April evenings in SD… it got a little chilly.

IMG_1395

1. Depending on the furniture you are refinishing, remove as much as you can to give yourself the best access to clean it later: remove drawers, hardware, anything you can safely remove and reattach later.

2. Liberally coat with Citristrip and get a good layer on all surfaces you want to remove paint.

apply-citristrip

3. This tip from 2littlesuperheros is seriously a game changer! Cut up plastic trash bags and cover all surfaces you applied the Citristrip to, making sure it is stuck down to the wet Citristrip. Follow the instruction on your bottle of Citristrip to be safe, but I painted my furniture in the evening and it was perfect by the time I got to it the next day, although it certainly doesn’t take that long.

trash-bags

4. When you peel off the trash bags, you will be delighted to see that the paint is already coming off! Use a putty knife to scrape the paint off, and relish in how it easily slides off, like slicing a soft cheese!

scrape
5. Dampen a rag with mineral spirits to get any lingering paint off of the wood.

6. Use the orbital sander and get down to the original wood, then lightly wipe off the surface of your furniture with a barely damp rag to remove any debris from the sander.

7. Fill any scrapes, defects, or unwanted holes in with wood putty. I tried my best to diminish the appearance of a chipped edge on one of the drawers. Allow putty to dry according to instructions on product, then sand area to get a a smooth finish.

chip

 

Selecting your paint and pattern

When choosing your colors, make sure to select the color of the lace in an aerosol spray paint. The base coat can be regular paint, and gloss or matte is up to you! I also wanted to make the paint job as smooth as possible, so I sprung for higher quality rollers.

You’re Ready to Paint!

I mean prime. You are now ready to prime. Again, fool me twice…

prime

Since you shouldn’t paint at below 50 degrees, I played a bit of weather roulette to get these completed. I had started this in an unseasonably warm March weekend (in the 80’s, so rare for March in SD!). Since I had to space out the work to allow my back time to rest as well as complete other projects, I didn’t get it completed in that weekend, and had fun watching the temps over the next two weeks and rushing home after work to take advantage of 51 degrees! Cheating? Maybe, but I wanted to give it my best shot.

Painting

I used a latex based white primer and gave it a nice, even coat and let completely dry. Depending on how well the primer covers your furniture, its better to opt for a second primer coat if necessary.

1. To get a really glossy finish for the base coat, gently sand over the primer with a fine grit sandpaper. I applied barely any pressure, just enough to smooth out the brush strokes without removing any of the primer coat. Dampen a paper towel so there is no excess moisture, just damp enough to remove the powdered primer off of the furniture, and wipe off for a clean surface to paint your base coat.

2. Then, paint your base coat! I used a gloss paint in a light stormy grey.

paint

(Tip: At this stage, also paint your base coat on a spare piece of wood. Give it the same number of coats as you gave your furniture. This way, you can do a test with the lace before actually spray painting your furniture.)

3. Once dried, take your lace and cover the surface you wish to paint. I recommend using a large enough piece to cover the entire surface you are painting in one go. Once you have moved the lace, it will be difficult (or next to impossible) to align your pattern again, so keep this in mind when purchasing your lace.

lace

I’m not a huge fan of floral lace, so I opted for more of a Fleur de lis pattern instead. It was more pricy, but I knew I wouldn’t need a lot, since I was only doing the drawers and could reuse the same piece on each drawer.

4. Cover your furniture with the lace, and make sure that the lace will not blow away while you paint. Securing lightly to the unpainted surface with scotch tape might help.

5. In slow, even strokes, spray the paint evenly over the lace on the entire piece (or portion) in one go. Then immediately after you are finished, gently lift the lace straight up off of your furniture to prevent any smearing. Let  dry according to instructions on your spray paint.

spray-paint

6. If re-using the same piece of lace for multiple applications, let dry for roughly 10-20 minutes so that it is dry when you place it on the next piece you are painting.

7. Finally, it us up to you if you would like to add a clear sealant or top coat. I went without, but it is your choice! I usually opt for an aerosol top coat, as it is so much easier to apply and still have a nice finish.

Reassemble!

Once the paint has completely dried, you can now re-assemble your drawers and reattach any hardware you removed. I opted to replace the cheap white and chrome knobs for clear glass knobs and handles. The glass knobs were purchased at Menards, and the handles from Hobby Lobby.

(Tip: if shopping at Hobby Lobby, make sure to wait for their sale week! Most of their merchandise goes on 50% off sale ever other or every third week. If it is full price when you find what you want, wait a week and check back. If they don’t have enough of the item you want, you can order more, pay in the store, and have it shipped to your house!)

Enjoy!

There is nothing quite as satisfying as making something fresh and new with your own two hands, and I loved that I used the same design to make 3 unrelated pieces of furniture into one cohesive matching bedroom set!  Full bedroom reveal coming soon…

dresser-detail

Allow yourself time to relax and enjoy the process as well. I will admit, it took me a total of a month to actually complete this process for the dresser, the chest of drawers and my nightstand, and it technically isn’t 100% done. I played a bit of weather roulette, had to take time for my back so I wouldn’t exhaust myself too much (leaning over furniture with a sander is NOT ergonomic!), and I also had to factor in my new job duties, vacation to Cancun, and the move!

I still do not have the lace pattern on the chest of drawers, although I had intentionally waited to make sure I wanted that one in the bedroom after I moved. I will likely not finish it until the move to the next apartment. No point of hauling it outside twice!

Finally, glass knobs are kind of pricy! I had a few other bills to settle before I could commit to the knobs, and used the dresser for about 6 weeks before finally making my purchases. Now that I have them, I am in love with this dresser!

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

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  • One last look at this (insightful? Revealing?) makeup! I actually really loved the eyes by themselves, and they took a good 2 hours themselves. A good challenge in trying to make a flat art of round objects translated on a curved surface! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #eyes #makeupartist #inspiredbyart
Inspire by art by @xsullo
  • Eye see you! I also understand I’m not funny, it’s ok. 😂
This was actually a fun challenge, eyes are really complex and took nearly 2 hours to get them where I was happy. Of all of this, I’m really proud of the detail I was able to get in the irises of each eye, and my blocked eyebrow almost completely disappeared! This actually looks amazing compared to the first time I blocked them out. Yay for progress! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #horrormakeup #horrorart 
Inspired by art from @xsullo
  • I love finding inspiration in new places, and when @bearded_horror shared artwork by @xsullo a week or so ago, I knew I had to give it a try as a makeup! Seriously, such amazing art. I hope I did it justice! Check out their profile to see even more incredible works and compare to the original.
  • After this photoshoot im not sure how to go back to my plain black background... I mean if there isn’t ominous fog in the background, does it really even count?!?! #fogmachine #clownmakeup #scareactress #hauntlife #evietheclown
  • This is my level of excitement right now! The love I have gotten for Evie over the past few days have been amazing, thank you all so much! #clown #clownmakeup #clowns #hauntlife #scareactress
  • That’s not a Wiley grin, that’s me clamping my teeth together so I stopped chattering. This spring was BRUTAL in SD, and it was in the 30s when we shot this in an unheated parking garage. #clowningaround #clownmakeup #scareactor #scareactress #hauntlife
  • Evie is probably my favorite full-costume character I’ve created to date. It’s so fun to think a practice look I made for haunt last year will be a fully fledged character come haunt season next year! Also, I NEED these light bars @jibclimmer used in this shoot. If anyone has a few hundred dollars to donate to the cause just let me know. 😉 #clown #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #hauntlife #makeupartist
  • If only @grave_digger_the_clown would learn to share, Evie wouldn’t have to steal his shovel! #justclowningaround #clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife photography credit goes to the incredibly talented @jibclimmer
  • Hey guys! It’s been a hell of last few months, but trust me, I’ve been busy! I’d like to introduce my newest character, Evie the Clown! Thanks so much to @jibclimmer for these incredible photos... more to come very shortly. #clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife

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