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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  • How appropriate that I dressed up as Sally at the haunted house last night, because I was featured as Sally on @liquidcosplay in the same day... Halloween no less! I love love love this costume, and it’s the one that got me started in cosplay and makeup. #halloween #cosplay

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If you've got it, haunt it. Here's @madlikealyce as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. 🎃 Visit her page for more great cosplay!
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  • You would think that I would have done makeup on all of my family at this point, but sadly that is not the case, however, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do my brother's makeup after the haunt had opened Saturday night! He managed to pull together an incredible maroon clown outfit, and I am really pleased how the makeup looks! I personally like the messier clowns, and it worked well to have brighter pink-ish hues toned down by smudges of black and watering down the paint overall. 
#clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife #hauntedhouse #halloween
  • My first ever zombie for Halloween was a shotgun bride, and although it was a real bridal gown with real shotgun damage, I just used 3 or 4 latex bullet wounds. It was fun, and a great introduction to using prosthetics, but it wasn't really accurate to what I would have had for damage with an actual shotgun wound. So years later, I made up for it by re-creating a more realistic wound of where the shoulder and partial face would have been torn up by the blast. Personally, this is my favorite zombie creation to date! #zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiebride #shotgunbride #zombiecrawl #woundmakeup
  • Ready for my closeup!!! Getting ready for Sioux Falls Zombie Crawl tomorrow!!! #zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiecrawl
  • OK you guys, this is where I love the internet. I created this zombie 2 years ago and had (kind of) forgotten about it until just this week when someone re-created it... and she is on the other side of the globe! Seriously, it made my my entire day/week/month, and reminds me why I love doing this. <3 <3 <3
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  • Its GO TIME PEOPLE! T-Minus 7 days to HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEN. Im running on fumes and caffeine, but it is 100% worth it. I love working at the haunted house, and am beyond thrilled about this coming weekend. I still have 2 costumes to finish and 2 zombies to do, plus some donut deliveries (a great fundraiser... friends scared of clowns? Send them donuts a-la-clowns). One more look at this first clown because I was obsessed with this wig from Rockstar wigs... I WILL find a way to use it again in the near future. #hauntlife #hauntedhouse #clowns #halloween2018
  • I had a request to recreate a clown mask as a makeup so it wouldn’t be as hot to wear in the house (swipe to see said mask), and it was quite the learning experience. I made this about a month ago when I was still trying to use the cream paints that the haunt had, though I’ve since decided to buy more of my own water paint to use on my actors. The base here was the basic white clown grease paint, and while I loved the coverage, it felt awful to wear, and it was incredibly difficult to add fine details with cream paint or shadows. So my first and last grease paint clown! 🤡 I still think it’s important to share our failures as well as the successes... this is still far better than what I might have created even just a year ago! #clowns #hauntedhouse #halloween
  • Hey Guys! I've been quiet on Insta so far this October, but its because IM SO BUSY and i'm pretty much in Halloween Heaven. Between finishing my first commissioned costume (its super simple, but I completed foam armor for the first time!!!) and doing makeup at the haunted house, i've hardly had time for sleep... and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
This is one of my first clown practice runs. I tried doing 30 minutes or less, and initially I wasn't planning on posting. Having a few days of the crazed makeup chaos that is getting ready for house open under my belt, I have a new appreciation for what details you can and simply cannot complete in such a short time period, and kind of like the grunge this clown pulled off. Not everything you will create is perfect, but thats how we all learn! #clowns #hauntedhouse #halloweenmakeup #halloween2018
  • I think this barrel look could make a great clown character.... am I going over to the dark side and starting to like clowns?!?! Only time will tell, and there are still 20 days until Halloween! #nightmarebeforechristmas #halloweentown #lockshockandbarrel

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