June 3, 2014

Rusty Metal Dresser Makeover

I love a good waterfall dresser. You can see one that I did for my son here. I found this one at the curbside store….
 and then figured out why it was on the curb...
 The drawers would not fit back in no matter how I configured them. 
Only the top one fit so I decided to rip out the drawer supports in hopes of putting some large baskets inside. I am usually very lucky with finding baskets at TJ's/Marshalls/Home Goods. Not this time. I would spot a great "set of baskets" only to realize that they were those nesting baskets. So once I admitted defeat I added a shelf and was done with the whole project. 

Did I tell you I had started painting it blue (during my "blue period" of here and here) and then it sat in the garage because I wasn't feelin' it? That happens a lot to me. Some people can churn out piece after piece effortlessly. Me? I seem to agonize over each one. Not sure why. (I'm sure it has something to do with something that happened in my childhood.)

 When I saw a very cool piece industrial style buffet on Dot & Bo, I knew that this was the direction I was supposed to take this piece. I added some large upholstery tacks to the sides and the drawer to make it look like rivets and then went to town layering the paint.  I will just tell you here that I hated it at a few stages. 
Like throw it out hate. 
But then I remembered my mantra:
"It's only paint, you can always paint over it!"
So I kept painting over it until I loved the effect.
Want to see some fake rusty goodness?

So some how-to's since I didn't take any during photos:
Add your rivets before paining, mine are 5/8 round found at Jo-Anns. I just eyeballed placement by adding at each end and then the middle. Then add to the middle of those rivets and then the middle of those rivets. Same on the drawer.
1. You need three colors of paint: Chocolate, Burnt Sienna, and a metallic (I used gold but I think I would go copper next time)
2. Base coat in Chocolate
3. Heavily dab on metallic in places so it has some dimension to it. Let dry. Dry brush some metallic in other places.
4. Heavily add Burnt Sienna (BEST rust color out there) on the rivets and in other places. Dry brush like the metallic. Let dry.
This is where I hated it but all that layering so far worked to my advantage when I decided to thin out my Chocolate and my Burnt Sienna and go over the whole thing again willy nilly. I just would dip my brush in the Chocolate and go over places and then dip the same brush in the Burnt Sienna and do the same. I sanded off over the raised metallic spots and finished by splattering the Chocolate and the Burnt Sienna over the piece so it looked like splotches of rust. 
Then I thought it was Fan-Freakin'-Tastic!
I got these handles at Hobby Lobby and they were turquoise to start out. But remember, look at the shape and not the color and you will have more choices when it comes to knobs. I just painted these the same way, moved the holes over a bit, and sealed with poly. Bam! Funny that these were probably the exact rustiness I needed under the turquoise paint!

This pic gives the best idea of how many layers this wood has on it to make it look like metal. This actually didn't really take me that long to paint. It was the process of figuring out the "how" that took so long.

I had to show the willy nilly line of my rivets. 

Creativity sometimes strikes like lightening and sometimes takes a second to sink in. Those who don't think they are creative usually are, but they don't think they are because they aren't the lightening bolts. Everyone is creative, you just might be a sink in kind of creative person. 

Be patient and enjoy the process and you might just open up a can of fan-freakin'-tasticness on your bad self!

Love you all!

Always being renewed,

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  1. I love it! I love how you are using it in your home too.

  2. oh my gosh, kim!!! i adore this! i need to try it!

  3. Love it! I have been staring at The Man's old waterfall dresser, trying to make it into something fabulous for our oldest. And of course, half the drawers have cardboard bottoms covered in glued-on tissue paper (thanks MIL), all of the drawer glides are either bent (metal) or disconnected (wood) at one end. Nothing lines up, and, well, the veneer is starting to peel. I think you may have inspired me to give this a try! At least it's not like I'm taking away a vital piece of furniture for a month...9-year old boys tend not to put clothes away.

    1. Rip it out! You won't look back and i bet your little man will love it. I hope you share it so I can enjoy it as well!

  4. I have never commented on your blog before, but I really like the furniture makeovers you achieve. This one is very cool. I love it!

    1. Thank you Sian for commenting and for stopping by but most of all for letting me be a part of your day.

  5. okay seriously. you are SO FREAKING TALENTED.

    1. Kacia- Your crazy! and I love you for thinking I am talented. Humbled.

  6. LOVE this! I'm a sucker for anything industrial. I'm totally going to look at waterfall pieces differently now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. It seems to me you can churn out projects!!! You must do your agonizing quickly because you have something amazing and fresh every week. I am usually not a fan of waterfall, but you made the whole thing look way better than even if the drawers could have fit back in! It looks like a really cool old metal trunk or something. Anyhow, I love it!! I am going to share on my FB page tonight. Have to spread the love at the party, but this needs a big shout out!


  9. Kim, KUDOS! I love the rivets, and I had to read in detail to make sure it was not rusty metal. Love it - even better without the drawers. Now, what are your plans for the drawers? I'm sure it's good...

    1. you are gonna kill me! In a fit of cleaning, I threw them out and then thought of about 15 different ways I could have used them. I even went back to the dumpster hoping it hadn't been picked up, but alas, I was too late!


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