A Mid-Century Modern Re-Do {May DIY Challenge}

I have great luck.  Really.  I win all kinds of raffles.  I put "win the lottery" on my 2012 list of New Years Resolutions, and I really meant it.  There's no reason I shouldn't win.  It's only a matter of time. 
So, it should come as no surprise that I happened to mention to my friend, Erin, that I really wanted a mid-century modern dresser on the same day that she had seen one, discarded, in someone's trash on the curb for pick-up.  And, that she had seen it in the early afternoon, but it was still there when I showed up in the middle of the night, after having convinced my mom and step-dad {Bob} to meet me with their SUV.  We were MFEO, obviously.  Here is what we saw:

I loved it!  Small, clean, with great lines, and no handles to worry about replacing.  The back left leg was somehow broken and had been tragically re-attached with duct tape.  We looked it over and decided it would be worth trying to fix. 

My mom is super-creative and good with furniture re-dos, so (after the dresser sat in my garage for a couple of months, waiting for a DIY challenge to kick me into gear) I enlisted her help & we went to Home Depot to pick up some supplies.  I think I spent about $45 total.  I got:

Spray Primer, 2 cans (this isn't the exact one, but I couldn't find a pic of it online... Same brand, though); 2X1 wood cut by a trusty Home Depot employee into pre-measured length to attach to the bottom of the dresser and screw the legs into; Rust-Oleum High Gloss Dark Gray spray paint, 5 cans (LOVE!); fine sanding sponges with handle.
Here, you can see the legs, correctly attached.  The pics are a little out of order here, since we actually completed the leg fix after the sanding, priming, and painting.  Sanding was pretty easy, since the finish had been worn down over time.  The primer was a serious issue, though.  I will never use spray primer again.  I followed the directions exactly, but when I came back after giving it an hour to dry, it was almost like that spray snow people put in their windows at Christmas.  I could literally blow on the dresser, and white dust would go flying.  Dumb me, I was like, 'well, I did it right, maybe it's okay?' and I painted over it... ONLY AFTER brushing off the top and sides willy-nilly with my hand.  Hey, I never said I was a perfect painter!  You live, you learn.  Luckily, the front and drawers ended up looking okay once painted {I guess the primer was a thinner layer on them??} but, I had to re-sand and re-paint the sides.  I didn't worry about the top, which looks like I spray-painted over sand with streaks where my hand had brushed some off, the exact opposite of the super-gloss I was going for, because I ordered a mirror to fit it exactly and I will be gluing it to the top when I pick it up on Friday!  {I will post the finished pic then!}  YAY for mirrors on furniture!!

HERE you can see what I mean by paint over sand.  TERRIBLE!

Here you can see on the top row: the broken leg that we had unscrewed {and UN-TAPED}; the bottom of the dresser with both left legs removed; the wood we bought to replace the bad wood {turns out, the leg was okay, but the wood plank, which had been replaced once before, had splintered, because it was too hard} which we drilled holes in with the old wood as a pattern; the way the wood & legs are supposed to be
on the second row: The wood had metal pieces that were used to screw the legs into {which mom & Bob had previously fitted, thank goodness!}, but the metal didn't lay flush on the wood, so mom had the great idea to drill out the wood on the dresser a bit so that we could inlay the metal bits, making the piece of wood we were attaching lay correctly; attaching the new wood, with the metal screw-in pieces on the inside

We drilled holes in the back of the top three drawers and then sawed little rectangles out, putting the saw in the holes to start the cuts {for the cables of my dvr, dvd player, and modem to thread through}.  The wood was so hard, sawing was not easy, until a kind neighbor lent us a jigsaw.  Mom was so relieved {since she was doing most of the sawing}!  She used the jigsaw to cut matching holes in the back of the dresser, for the cables, as well.  The jigsaw sped up the process about 500%, so I would definitely recommend power tools, when possible!  I was busy attaching the legs to our new, sturdy wood plank, and spray-painting the legs and bottom edge, while the dresser was still on its side {it was easy to see the places I had neglected before, when I painted it right-side-up}.

You can see the cable-holes we made, and the bottom right pic is an example of my television components in a drawer {it's sideways, just in case you're confused}!  The fit snugly, but they fit!

Here is a peek at the gloss, which I love!  You can practically see my reflection in it!  {Please excuse the cables... I am kind of at a loss about how to tuck them away.  The dresser is so shallow, there isn't much room to hide them.  Plus, my little speakers are under there.  I'm going to have to work out some better solutions!}

Here is a more broad shot.  Again with the cables!  :(

Here is the pic my sis, Georgia, shot.  Pretty cool!  Very retro!

Click here for the final result {with mirror}!

Hope you like my re-do!  What have you DIY-ed lately?


Isabel at: May 25, 2012 at 8:03 PM said...

Yaaay! You did it! It looks fab and awesome in your space! Girl power!

Kerry at: May 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM said...

LOVING the glossy gray! It looks great in your place! Can't wait to see it with the mirror!

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with the spray primer. I used a paint/primer in one spray and it worked really well. Maybe that'll be better for next time?

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