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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's say you have three dressers - different shapes, different finishes, different styles. They were all Freecycle finds, and are not anything like high-quality solid wood. They are fairly battered, scratched, etc - besides not matching. So basically we've got this beat up mish-mash of furniture that we need for pragmatic clothes-holding purposes and can't afford to replace with pieces that look good at this point.<br><br>
So, I assume that craftier, wiser mamas would roll up their sleeves and come up with a creative solution to find a way to do a fairly easy cosmetic fix. I don't care if it's painting or wallpaper scraps or ANYTHING short of gluing bologna to it. I know that if I can get them to match and put the same kind of drawer pulls on them, it would make a HUGE difference.<br><br>
However, the biggest barrier, besides money to buy whatever we'd need to do the job, is the actual scope of the task. I don't want to have to drag them outside and go to town with a power sander. I honestly don't want to sand much at all. If I can avoid it entirely, so much the better. I dont' require this stuff to be fit for resale -- just not an awful eyesore bringing down my whole bedroom.<br><br>
I know I'm saying, "How can I do this totally wrong for a quick, cheap fix?" But hopefully someone will have an idea along that vein!!<br><br>
ETA: I don't really have a yard suitable to use for a project involving furniture, no garage, etc. It limits the options.
 

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I'd spray paint them and add knobs that match each other. We did a dresser in two tone once and it looked really nice when we were done. We did the main part of the dresser in a sand color and then did the drawer fronts in a cute blue color. We used it in our bedroom for about five years... not bad for a dresser that was in pieces when we got it free from a garage sale!
 

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There are multi surface primers which you paint on instead of sanding. I wouldn't use them on something which will get heavy use (like my kitchen table disaster!) but I think it would be OK for draws. Certainly a lot less mess than sanding them.<br><br>
I wouldn't do spray paint as I find it very expensive and messy.<br><br>
Maybe think about sewing some mats for the top, or even gluing on a piece of fabric. You could even get fancy and add a matching bit of fabric behind the handles.<br><br>
OK I think I;m getting carried away now but I'm sitting here next to our freecycle draws and getting ideas <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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What are the dressers made from? If they're MDF with that plastic coating normal paint would scratch right off. You have to buy a paint specific for it that is supposed to adhere better.<br><br>
If they're plain old wood or wood laminate paint them with regular old paint. I would paint them all the same colour like white, smoky grey, black or chocolate brown (depends on the look you're going for)... something neutral.<br><br>
Another cheap, easy option would be to use mactac to cover them but I don't think it would look as nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for ideas!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HeatherAtHome</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14685151"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What are the dressers made from? If they're MDF with that plastic coating normal paint would scratch right off. You have to buy a paint specific for it that is supposed to adhere better.<br><br>
If they're plain old wood or wood laminate paint them with regular old paint. I would paint them all the same colour like white, smoky grey, black or chocolate brown (depends on the look you're going for)... something neutral.<br><br>
Another cheap, easy option would be to use mactac to cover them but I don't think it would look as nice.</div>
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I think they're plain old wood or laminate - one definitely has insides of wood with a fake-wood layer exterior. I know because it's peeled off part of it LOL. In that case, would it be best to just peel off all that (is that laminate? or is it MDF?) and work with the plain pine looking stuff underneath?<br><br>
The other two don't have that same exterior layer. I'm not really sure how to know the difference. If it's the MDF type, can I lightly scuff the exterior to make regular paint stick, or would I definitely need a different type of paint?
 

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I would go with spray paint - primer then finish coat. (I am kind of impatient)<br><br>
If I really liked the furniture, "real paint" primer then top coat.<br><br>
Spray paint may work on hardware also, to make it more uniform.
 

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I'm looking at doing this to a cheap bookcase that I was going to give away. I looked at prices and I will be needing to save up for a new one for awhile, so I'm going to hold on to this one for awhile longer. I'm planning to re-finish it using beadboard wallpaper (if it isn't too expensive) since we're decorating this one room in a cottage look.<br><br>
I got the idea here when I was googling for decorating ideas --<br><a href="http://southernhospitalityblog.com/beadboard-wallpaper-project/" target="_blank">http://southernhospitalityblog.com/b...paper-project/</a>
 

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My kids have two hand-me-down dressers that are completely different in style and size. All I did was paint them the same color. One was real wood, pretty beat up. I lightly sanded the surfaces, pulled the drawers out, and painted the thing with low-voc latex right in the middle of the room! (It was winter time, and too cold to paint outside - the kids got to sleep downstairs for a couple of nights). The other dresser was the paperboardy stuff with a vinyl-ish wood grain. I peeled the parts off that were coming off already and then scuffed everything up and painted it, too. It has lasted for 3 years now. The kids' bedding is a camo print, so I picked a mossy green that was somewhere in the middle of the colors and viola! Good Luck!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>krolissa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14703802"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My kids have two hand-me-down dressers that are completely different in style and size. All I did was paint them the same color. One was real wood, pretty beat up. I lightly sanded the surfaces, pulled the drawers out, and painted the thing with low-voc latex right in the middle of the room! (It was winter time, and too cold to paint outside - the kids got to sleep downstairs for a couple of nights). The other dresser was the paperboardy stuff with a vinyl-ish wood grain. I peeled the parts off that were coming off already and then scuffed everything up and painted it, too. It has lasted for 3 years now. The kids' bedding is a camo print, so I picked a mossy green that was somewhere in the middle of the colors and viola! Good Luck!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br>
The above works well enough for certain materials.<br><br>
I've even painted MDF with a laminate coating. I scuffed up the surface, primed it with two thin coats, then painted it with 1-2 coats of decent paint (white works with one coat, but other colors look ten times better with two coats). The laminate surfaces require two coats of primer in order to get the paint to stick well and I painted one coat in one direction (up-down, let's say) and the second coat in the opposite direction (side-to-side, let's say) for complete coverage. Primer is key for it to look nice.<br><br>
Painting inside requires more ventilation and airflow or you run the risk of making yourself and others in the house ill. Open windows, turn on fans, close the door and vents to the room you are painting in to minimize the fumes traveling throughout the house. Low or no VOC paint can help, too, but it is more expensive. Peruse the clearance paints for the "mistakes" (color-wise) and score the best quality paint you can find.<br><br>
Hardware is rather pricey, but really does tie things together. I was gifted an old vanity that is in the wood tone I wanted, but had HIDEOUS hardware from a very different period than the other pieces in our room. I yanked those things off as soon as the piece was in the bedroom. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> It looked good in the room without the hardware, so I went off to find new hardware. Walmart and discount stores have the best prices, but be sure to measure the distance between the holes for pulls and measure the thickness of the drawer front for single handle knobs. I brought the old ones with me, which also works. They are NOT standard! I am still searching for better pulls on another piece of furniture in our room.
 

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I would go for shappy chic. You don't have to prime, you don't have to worry about multiple layers of paint so that nothing comes through, etc. Of course you do have to like that style. If there is a substancially uneven surface that can't be ignored by paint alone, then I'd get some inexpensive fabric and liquid starch to "wallpaper" it. Or if you have extremely thick paper of some kind, you could decoupage. You should be able to all of that on the cheap, just get coordinating paint and fabric/paper if need be, and brushes of course. You can get fabric for a buck or so a yard, and even cheaper at a lot of thrift shops. You'd also be suprised how far you can stretch a gallon of paint, and make sure to check the oops section first.
 
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