Monday, 12 November 2012

First steps to reclaiming my living room

When we moved back into the house we put our old living room furniture down in the basement along with the couch from the sunroom. This left us with no furniture for the living room. If you recall, it's been functioning as my workspace and looked like this

I can't stand it anymore!

It actually doesn't look quite as bad as that now. The old white shelves are gone, the chair is refinished and ensconced down in the basement bathroom, the picture is hung by the basement stairs, and the hall closet doors are in place. We're tripping over the ladder in the front hall now, but hopefully I'll manage to finish painting out there this week and then we can put that away, too. Along with all those cans of paint.

So the last big hurdle to reclaiming my living room is this dresser that I got from a neighbour who was throwing it out.

 It's solid wood inside and out. It's in pretty rough shape, but there's nothing wrong with it that a little elbow grease can't fix.

It has beautiful details on the bottom of the front and the legs.

This weekend I put in a couple of hours sanding it down. Since I planned to paint it, I didn't have to get through all the stain, but it needed a fair amount of elbow grease to remove all of the flaky finish. After I finished sanding I gave it a coat of primer. I always use Para SuperStick because it's heavy duty and works for oil to latex conversion. For some insane reason, when we moved into the house we painted through with all oil-based paint.

It's amazing how even a coat of white primer is enough to bring out the detail on the bottom of the dresser that was overlooked when it was a dingy wood finish.

Then it was on to a coat of paint. At Christmas time last year I redid Cal's room, and painted his current dresser (which this one will replace) and desk bright red. I love how cheery it makes his room look, so I decided to paint this the same colour.

 Two more coats to go, and then the dresser can be moved up into Cal's room. I repainted the pulls on his old dresser like the ones found in this Etsy shop, so I'll swap those for the ones that used to be on this dresser. I have a bit of work to do on them as they got banged around when we had all the furniture stacked in his room this summer.

I can hardly wait to get this dresser done, and my living room cleared of all the construction debris. We planned to order new furniture right away, but we've been so busy with work, house, and kids that we haven't had a chance to shop. And since both of us are submitting grants in March, it's unlikely that we'll have much time before then. So the old furniture will be brought up from the basement and we'll live with it a little longer. It's sure going to beat what I've been living with for the past two months!

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