Married a little more than a month and I’m having wedding planning blues.  Planning the wedding was so time consuming and when I realized I’d have this little thing called “free time” after the wedding I was desperate to find things to do after the wedding was over.  While doing all the wedding decorations, planning etc I realized I was truly passionate about creating beautiful things.  Pinterest did not help 🙂  I found all kinds of projects that I HAD to make.  So I started talking to the hubs about all the things I wanted to do and got him on board with a house-lift.

One of the many things we got as a wedding gift was a dresser.  We had no need for a 6-foot 8 drawer dresser but we did have a need for some shelving in our living room.  So the first project began.  Please meet Alabaster:

Do you agree that she needed a facelift?  Well we, gutted her.  Removed the top 4 drawers and made them into 2 big shelves.  Then painted her an orangeish color and stenciled the back panel and ended up with this:

Supplies we used:

Here is a step-by-step tutorial of what we did:

First:  We removed all the drawers.  We removed the drawer hardware from the top 4 drawers.  Then removed the beams from the drawers we were going to be removing but left the be front and back supports from the two drawers that were going to become shelves.  Then using the Wood Filler filled in any holes.

Second: We layered on three coats of primer.  We were going from a VERY dark brown to a very light color.  I suggest reading the directions on whatever type of primer you decide to use but we only had to wait about an hour between coats but it was also really hot that day so it dried pretty quickly.  We left it over night to completely dry.  **Note… paint the INSIDE first!  It is so much harder to paint the inside if the outside is wet. **

Third:  Once the primer was totally dry we started painting on our orange!  This is when we started getting really excited!  Our living room (currently) has predominately black furniture so it was very exciting to have this BURST of color!  We did 3 coats of Orange Sherbet  and waited about an hour or two between coats.

Fourth:  While that was drying, I started stenciling the back panel.  This was my first ever attempt at stenciling but by the end I really started to get the hang of it.  I ended up buying a stencil adhesive which really did not work like I expected it to but I guess it helped keep the stencil stuck to the board a bit more.  I had previously purchased a “stencil roller” and stencil brushes.  The stencil roller did not really work like I thought it would.  Maybe it was because it was first attempt but the paint bleed under the stencil and turned out way to heavy.  After a very disappointing round I watched a few videos on YouTube and read some articles and here’s what I did:

How to stencil

  • Use a stencil adhesive.  (read the directions)  I sprayed it on and shook the stencil for about a minute to let it adhere
  • Take your time to line up the stencil on the board and then slowly press it down and then roll over it with your hand to make sure every nook and cranny is totally stuck to the board.
  • Get some paint on your stencil brush and then wipe most of it off on a paper towel.  The best stencil work will be done when there is very little paint on your actual brush.
  • Paint from the outside in.  Go slowly in a sweeping motion.  It becomes very repetitive.  Be sure not to paint from the inside out, that’s how paint gets under the stencil.
  • If you desire a darker color, using a foam brush repaint using the same outside in motion.
  • Personally, I liked to (slowly) remove my stencil to make sure to clean up any paint that got under the stencil.
  • Let it completely dry before moving on to another section.

Stenciling really took the better part of an entire day but I was very happy with the end result, so it was justified time in my mind 🙂

Fifth: Seal it!  We used a sealer that required 3 coats and a couple hours between each coat to dry.

Sixth: Install the shelves, put the handles back on the remaining two drawers and voilà !  DONE!

We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!  Alabaster really took a week or two to finish, just because we did not devote consistent time to her but she’s perfect and we created her!  So much prettier in paint!!