Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Chest of Drawers

This furniture makeover was essentially the equivalent of buying a rat-infested sewer and building a million-dollar house in it, complete with outdoor swimming pool.

I picked up the chest of drawers at the Scout Auction for $2 a couple of years ago, and it was expensive at the price. I then spent $45 on way more paint than I actually needed and another $15 on material.

I did four coats of white undercoat, trying to cover up the old green and purple paint – yes, green and purple on the same piece of furniture – when it finally occurred to me that I was about to paint it brown, so it didn’t actually need to be perfectly white before I started the top coats. (Where were you when I needed you, Captain Obvious?)

Because I hate wrapping corners, I was planning to cover only the face of the drawers with material. This was an insanely bad idea, because it meant I was going to have to somehow cut a straight line along all four edges without the material fraying, all to save cutting a few corners. Luckily, I always cut material ridiculously too big so I was able to change plans when I realised I was stupid.

Never cut the corners before you start gluing, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up with random squares missing from the front and sides where your cuts didn’t actually come anywhere near aligning with the corners. When you do glue, put the Mod Podge only on the front of the drawer so it doesn’t get on the material you’re about to cut the corners out of., since scissors and glue hate each other with the intensity of Batman and the Joker. I painted the glue and smoothed the material in sections, since it dries quickly. I suggest you don’t attempt to sit and chat to Zoe while gluing, at least not if you want your material on the right way up.
The corners I cut out in half-squares, which mostly worked fine, but if you cut on the wrong angle you get little slivers of drawer showing through. I feel like there’s an industry-approved way of doing this that the internet is conspiring to hide from me.

Mum, I would know how to do this properly if you hadn’t spoilt me by covering all my high school books for me.

To reattach the drawer handles, just feel the fabric until you find the hole and punch the screw through it from the top, then remove: it doesn’t matter if the material frays a little, since it’ll be covered by the handle anyway. (Yes, I also hide my junk under my bed and sweep dust under rugs.) For the love of all things holy, do not put the drawers back in before you try to move it back to its home, unless you’re training for the Olympic weightlifting team.

 The handles, which I had to peel daisy stickers off, are incredibly crappy, but since I’ve already spent far too much on this project, I give the same excuse I always give when something’s clearly dodgy – “it’s post-modernist”.

When Lawrence came over a couple of days later, he squinted at it and said “Oh, did I lend you my paint?” He has four litres of exactly the same colour.

That was a dark day in our household.

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