If you have been following our blog, you probably read the post about me creating my son a Fire Truck Room.
I have slowly been redoing furniture to be a part of his room, such as the Toy Box
and the book shelf.
The next furniture project was to repaint this old dresser of mine. Here is what the dresser looked like before:
First, when you decide to paint a dresser, you want to start out with removing all knobs and drawers. I tried to remove the top one, but it was stuck. Hubby couldn’t even get it to come out without breaking it, so we gave up on it.
Using a foam roller, I applied the cover stain to the dresser. I was very impressed with the way it blocked out the previous laminate color.
And painted the drawers with the Fire Engine Red paint.
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I have said this a few times before on this blog, but I have decided to reveal my grand plans to make my little toddler a fire truck theme room and I thought I would share a few of my ideas with you!
First I should explain why a fire truck room– It probably all started almost nine years ago when I met my husband. Not that I was planning out our child’s room, but I saw a picture on his desk of him and his Dad in front of a fire truck. His Dad, my son’s Farfar, was a volunteer firefighter for a number of years. The picture has traveled with us through many moves and has always been on display. I think because his Dad chose such an important job of saving people, it sent a good message to his family and greatly impacted my husband’s life– as he too chose to go into a profession of saving people. The room is somewhat a tribute to my father-in-law’s former work and my husband’s memory of it. We have several items from Farfar’s days as a fire fighter that will be displayed in the room including his hat, coat, and captains sign that use to hang in the back of their vehicle.
Second, it’s just too dang cute! What’s not to love about a little boy in his fire truck room! Plus the resources for ideas for this room are endless. I am obviously not the first person to choose this theme!
Third, at some point my son will probably outgrow fire trucks. He will probably beg and say ‘that he is not a baby anymore’ and wants a more ‘manly’ room. At this point I hope to suggest to him a room entirely dedicated to my husband’s alma mater University of Nebraska. The red and white furniture can then be reused without an investment in new items.
The grand idea to start the room was to build this awesome fire truck loft I saw on Anawhite.com. Though, I decided this won’t work for us quite yet. My son is barely 17 months, and a loft bed with a small kid seems like a bad idea to me. Also, we plan on building a new house in a few years and I have a feeling this thing won’t disassemble and move very easily. So this awesome little project will have to wait until my son is older and we have our new house.
Next, I looked online at these cute little fire truck toddler beds. At a price of $150 and up, I decided just to use the current toddler bed I own until my son outgrows it.
This is our current toddler bed below as it was set up in the nursery in our old house. However, I have painted it white to match the red and white them.
Ideally, as bedding goes, I would have LOVED to purchase this set from Pottery Barn. However, Pottery Barn discontinued it and the ones on ebay are used and $300. No thank you!
I have sketched-up my outline for the fire station that will be on the wall. I probably will have to adjust the width of my art, but for now this is the plan:
And of course I have blogged about all the items I have already finished for this room already, such as the the bookshelf (Garage Sale Redo: The Bookshelf) and
Next on the list is to finish the dresser in his room. This is the dresser before and my grand plans for the after are going to be so cute! (I know the dresser doesn’t look so bad, but up close it’s pretty beat up.)
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A few weeks ago, I wrote about my garage sale toy box transformation. I am on a quest to turn my son’s room into a firetruck theme room eventually, so I have been finding random furniture and painting them red and white to match the theme.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Organizing The Garage for the Fall. It’s the perfect time of year to do it. As I said before, I can’t imagine spending the winter hunting for that screw driver or drill bit in below zero weather in the mess of a place we had, so I decided to organize it…well as much as I could.
However, the reality is we have a working garage. We use it almost each and every day. We both do some woodworking, I do lots of painting, and really we always have a bunch of household DIY projects we are working on. The white paint in the garage would last about 2 seconds. Also, we have 5 acres of land, so we have a garden tractor, a large sprayer, and a bunch of other lawn equipment. As I would LOVE to say that the above pics are my garage, it’s not and never will be. Also, we don’t plan on staying in this house very long, so we probably won’t be investing in an epoxy floor (however in the new place we will!)
I bought some heavy duty hooks and this peg board also acts as a coat & hat rack.
I picked up this storage shelf at a garage sale. I am using it as a shoe bench though. It is heavy duty enough to hold the weight of a person sitting on it to take off their shoes.
Moving over to the left, I purchased a metal toolbox I from K-Mart that was clearance down to just $99.
If you have a lot of nails in boxes, just leave them in there. Having the easy to read labels view-able makes it fast to pick out the right screw or nail you need.
Below the nails and screws is the stroller station.
As I said before, I tried to put as many things off the ground as possible to make sweeping easier.
This is a project that I have had finished for a while but I have be procrastinating on writing it up. Why you might ask???? Well, this is BY FAR was the worst project I have ever taken on!
About 2 years ago, we was at this church garage sale and my husband and I came upon this rocking chair. It was old but sturdy…they don’t make them like this anymore. My 6’3″ husband fit in it nicely and I thought, “What a great chair to buy for a future nursery someday.” At a price of $20 we couldn’t resist. This chair sat in our garage until I was about 6 months pregnant and decided I better get working on refinishing it for the nursery.
I have refinished quite a few things in my life. I grew up with a Mom who stained all the wood in all the houses we lived in (five houses in total) and refinished quite a few little tables, desks, and other objects along the way. I know refinishing, but when it came to this chair I almost gave up on it. Just a note to all you people out there, when you are starting a refinishing project…think about entire layout of the object you are working with. This chair might have only cost my $20 to purchase, but I ended up spended over $120 on refinishing supplies.
This refinishing project was so horrible because:
A) The dowels
B) The original finish
To refinish most wooden furniture you take the following steps:
1. Sand down the original finish. Start from the smaller numbers and move to the highest number on sand paper.
2. Rub down with steel wool (smoother finish)
3. Stain (2 coats are the best)
4. Polyurethane to protect
This chair was very beat up so I needed smooth out the wood and sand down the chair to the wood grain. I started out with a 60 grit sandpaper and worked my way up.
As I started sanding this chair, I noticed how tough it was to sand off the old finish. After working on it for a few hours I realized what was wrong…the original finish was covered in shellac! Well I am assuming that is what it was, either that or about 20 layers of polyurethane. Anyways, sanding it was tough! It used up so much sand paper.
Then the real reason why I hated doing this chair…the dowels. There was no tool on earth that fit into those tiny spaces of the decorations on the dowels. I first tried to buy a stain stripper. I tried two brands and nothing would remove the finish on the dowels. Sanding was the only option. Luckily, I found this sander at Lowe’s for $40 and it could get into the tiny space somewhat, but the paper ran out so quickly I had to keep buying more packs of sandpaper. The packs cost about $10 a pack and I think I had to purchase four of them.
Even though I had the fancy sander above, I spent at least 40 hours sanding this chair. You can ask all of my neighbors. They would walk by and make comments like “still working on that chair I see” or “when is that chair going to be done”. This chair had me crying at least twice (or maybe it was pregnancy hormones.) I wanted so badly for it to be finished the the STUPID dowels took so long! On top of that, the problem still remained that I couldn’t find anything to get into the little cracks on the dowels and original finish was just sticking out. After one tearful evening, about two weeks before my inducement date, I gave up. Who cares if about the original stain I can’t seem to get off this thing…I was planning on staining it dark anyway. Here is the chair when I finally gave up sanding.
Next was the staining part. I wanted to match the light cherry wood in our nursery, so I mixed up some red mahogany and golden oak and I came up with a color that was almost the right shade. I needed just a little more red in it to match the nursery furniture.
My Mom knew how much I was fretting about finishing this chair before the baby’s arrival, so she suggested I purchase this awesome product she had found. Varathane makes this stain and polyurethane in one. It was a lifesaver. I purchased the cherry color and it added just the right amount of red to the wood and applied the polyurethane at the same time. I used two cans, which at $10 a can it’s not cheap stuff, but it was worth the time it saved me. It took a few days to apply each coat, but it worked out great overall. As you can see the finished product turned out beautifully!
The moral of this story about the rocking chair is to “Think clearly about a refinishing project before you start it.” This project ended up costing me more then just going out and buying a new rocking chair. It was $20 for the chair, $40 for a new sander, $40 in sandpaper (if not more) and $20 for the stain. That means I spent over $120 on this chair and that’s not including the hours I spent working on this project. Granted this chair should last for years to come and looks great but the pain it caused me was not worth it.
By the way, did I mention my son hates this chair? I wanted it finished for his feedings and he hates eating out of this chair. I don’t understand it, but maybe the next child will appreciate all my hard work more 🙂