Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A New Hope (Chest)

(That's a Star Wars reference)

I've been thinking about doing some small updates to our bedroom since I was on crutches last fall (being couch bound for 6 weeks helped me come up with all sorts of ideas).  Some of these plans are happening, although very very slowly.  Case in point: our bedroom.  I've been walking 7 months and this project has not gotten very far.  Some good reasons (we are legit busy sometimes) and some bad ones (we are legit lazy sometimes).

Maybe also because we clash on the one big thing I would LOVE to do in our room which is paint the wood trim.  The rest of our house has white trim.  When we've installed trim (bathroom and stairs) we've done white.  But, for some reason, our bedroom has orange-ish stained trim.  I think it's hideous and I've been campaigning to paint it white.  Matt likes it. (......................)

My arguments:
1) Painting it white wouldn't take away from the fact that it's wood trim.  It would still be wood!
2) White trim would match the rest of our house and give better flow.
3) White trim would be so much easier to match wall paint color.
4) It's not going to hurt resale value because buyers wouldn't know that we are the ones that painted it (unless they stumble across this blog) AND they might even prefer it white (like me, and plenty of other people). 
5) It would just look about 1000 times better.

PLUS we could do board and batten in our room (like here or here) which would really go with the cottage-y style of our Cape Cod house. (I was close to winning Matt over with that point.)

Alas, I don't think I'm ever going to get to paint the wood trim and will have to live with orange-y trim and orange-y stained bedroom furniture until we move.

Matt did let me paint one wood piece though and that was my hope chest (he's so generous...seeing as it's mine (that's sarcasm)).  Matt got this for me shortly after we got engaged, almost 10 years ago.  Before we bought our house it held things for this house.  Then it was keepsakes from our wedding.  Then it was clothes and things for a future baby.  Now it's our winter down comforter, blanket, heated mattress pad.  Really exciting stuff.

We were never crazy about the style but I'm 99% sure it came from an auction for super cheap so you get what you pay for.  In my quest to lightened up our room I decided to paint it white and make a cushion for the top.  I had never remade furniture before, only painting the odd bookshelf Matt made.  It was overwhelming to start but turned out to be pretty easy, just time consuming. 

We started my emptying it out and moving it outside for the dirty dirty work.  I removed the handles and got to work.

First step was filling in the design and handle holes with a putty.  I put it on extra thick because I didn't want to repeat the process.  The wheat design was on the front, back, and top while both sides had handle holes to fill (that was super quick). 

We let it dry outside on a sunny day for at least 6 hours after the last coat but it still felt wet to the touch so it moved to the garage for a few days to fully dry before sanding it.  That was actually the hardest part, sanding.  I used an electric sander but it still took about 2 hours and I had sore arms the next day!  In hindsight I shouldn't have put it on so thick but at least I know I had good coverage!  I sanded down all the surfaces I could get the sander to during this step. 

Once the sanding was done we moved it to the basement for painting.  It took me many naptimes and evenings to get all the sides primed and painted.  The bottom of the lid and chest only got one coat each of primer and paint.  Everywhere else got at least two primer coats and two paint coats.  Coats could take up to an hour and then dry time.  It was a long process.

We let it fully cure for a few days in the basement before Matt & Luke reassembled it (we had taken the lid off for painting) and Matt & I moved it upstairs.   I was excited to see it back in it's home and get the pile of it's contents off our closet floor. 

Then, as is typical for our projects, it took awhile to actually finish.  I had bought the fabric in January and foam in April.  We were at mid-May.  After almost two weeks of putting it off, in about on hour we knocked out the cushion.  Following the same basic steps as we did here, Matt cut a piece of plywood to size, I traced the board on the foam to get the exact same dimensions, and cut the foam with a utility knife.  Then we laid down the fabric, cushion, and board and stapled the crap out of it, pulling the fabric taut as we went.  It's far from perfect but for the time spent and cost involved, it's pretty good. 

The cushion really helped finish off the bench and added some more (non orange) color to the room. 

The blur of a two year old in movement
You can tell from the pictures that my sanding job wasn't perfect but even Matt said for the size of the design I was filling in, I did a good job.  

Our bedroom set came with Matt when he moved into our house (he had more a dowry than I did) and while it's been fine, we both have ideas for something new when we move.  (I realize that's the second time I've mentioned moving in this post, something we have no intention of doing anytime soon!)  But since this one is in good shape and we intend to keep it for either a guest room or kids, we are stuck with it for the time being since we have no place to store it if it were replaced. 

All the updates I've made lately though (signs, pillow covers/cases, bench update) have been done with the intention of moving them, as is, to our next house (which WILL NOT feature orange trim and furniture).

The bench project is one of my most time consuming solo projects yet (around 10 hours) but I'm so glad I did it, and that it's done.  It helps lighten up the room which has been the whole reason for these projects.  It ties in with our bed pillows, and just looks more modern.  I have more big bedroom project left (painting the lower half of the room) and plenty of small decor things I am working on, but crossing the bench off my to-do list was a big one. Amazing what a little money and work can do.

No comments: