Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Got the Bug - DIY

I have a problem...I got a bug. Not a real issue per say....a problem in form of an object.

Enter Exhibit A: Chest.

Lets not judge on its current state...after all, this is what this post is ALL about! {A little History: This chest was handmade by my Grandfather, on my Mom's side - the only one I ever knew. I would never part with it for a million years - it was the only item I carted from place to place in college - other than your standard boxes/trash bags of clothes and used twin mattress! Nothing but the best for this sleeping-college beauty!}

Any who this perfect, and well made piece of furniture has lived with me since forever, expect for the few years it was 'loaned' to my baby bro. And as you can see it still lives in his childhood-decorated-bedroom glory, white and adorned with pastel sailboats.  (I can honestly remember painting in the yard with my Mom years ago!) So from the time Exhibit A came to live with me again it has looked like a 3 year old boy's room.

Well coincidentally sailboats, as a decor item/theme, went out about 1998 (probably about the time we painted this!) And now we land at our current fork-in the road. (Geeze I am long winded to day! apologies my loves!)

Ok, the point. I want to refinish this beauty.

A- I do not have a garage or a secured place I can easily leave this - for the duration. I live in a high rise condo, in the middle of the city.
B- Color: I think I want to stain a dark chocolaty brown, but then I really want to paint it. High Gloss Black or White or Red? Thoughts?
C- Can I ventilate my condo enough, via open doors or window to tackle it soon?
**I have done adequate internet research, but am looking for your advice or thoughts! 

So has anyone refinished any furniture lately??? Is there any possible way to do this solely indoors? (Please note I officially put this off too long this summer and the pending lack of dry days will not permit me to use the balcony. If I try, surely it won't be the necessary amount of time - Mother Nature has been riding with Miss Flow lately and been off the chain! The weatherman is forecasting the worst storm in 70 years today! )

Also, I do not know where it will live in our house, so I guess that would determine a color....right now it is in our bedroom, which I kind of like but it is not set in stone. Exhibit A's current duties are to hold excess  blankets/bedding and our small collection of hats. Our house (aka rental condo) is a mix of neutrals - dark wood, tan couch, the main accent colors are orange, red and whites. Lots of black and white photos, with modern and random vintage pieces mixed in.


Here are some of my inspiration photos! (And if this one goes well, I am on the hunt for a new entry piece, my chic Target shelf needs to find a new home sooner than later if you catch my drift!)





  1. Yikes - I would be reeeeaaallly hesitant to refinish a piece of furniture indoors unless you could have several windows open. If you have some nice weather ahead, I'd take advantage of them to do it. Also, check out the fab fab fab blog Parlour and look at the "My Work" button. She has some refinished pieces that are TRES cool.


    Love her stuff! You might also drop her a line about refinishing - she is sure to have some great tips for you!

    That is a great piece you have and will be totally cool when you're done - how cool that your grandfather made it! Be sure to post pics when you're finished!


  2. i've refinished lots of stuff, but luckily i have a deck so i can leave it outside for awhile. i think you could do it on a really nice day or possibly in the morning when you could leave windows open and leave it to dry all day while you're at work?! good luck, Taylor!

  3. What a fun project! I can't say I have any experience with something like this, but I'm hoping you could get enough ventilation in your condo to make this happen! Good luck!!

  4. @Anna Jane - We have a balcony, but I am afraid the nice weather that turns to rain suddenly might ruin it (Like last Sunday...Sunny, fired up grill then rain 10 mins later!)

  5. We refinished the dresser for Sadie's nursery, but we had the garage. I wouldn't recommend trying it indoors, especially since you'll want to prime it which could get super messy. Not to mention the high you will get from the fumes.

  6. I love the idea of refinishing it! I don't have much experience though with stuff like this. I'm sure it's doable though! Cant wait to see the finished result!

    Thanks for the email, your stuff is on it's way!

  7. that is a super sweet sentimental story!!!

    I love the look of the third chest

  8. I don't know squat about refinishing furniture, but I do know this: you've got a keeper there!! Love that chest and it will be great. I think Anna's advice sounds good - make sure you put thick sheets on the floor beneath it.

    And ps-I feel so bad about your job :( I told my friend I was going to run by and kick his boss in the nuts. A run by booting!! AHAHAHA


  9. Great piece of furniture! And it's much more special with the family history behind it.

    I'd shy away from refinishing it indoors, but maybe if you at least open the balcony doors for some air flow, you won't asphyxiate yourself! Can't wait to see the "after" photo!

  10. Do you have a friend or family member who lives in the burbs? We "rented" out a spot in our garage for a friend who was refinishing her baby crib to use for her soon to arrive daughter. She paid us in beer and they come over on the weekends. It was fun!

  11. Time to re-purpose this for the monkey !


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