17 June 2013

Step Down Nursery - Refurbished Dresser

Step Down Sunday Obviously the arrival of a new baby requires a lot of new purchases, but I wanted to use our low-carbon commitment to create a new challenge - a Step Down Nursery. So I'm trying to buy second-hand and make things myself when I can.

You may remember we bought this 1940s dresser for the nursery a few months ago. The cold spring meant we were slow to start, but in the end the early bank holiday in May was the first opportunity where we had warm weather and spare time.
The dresser is mostly solid wood, but the top and sides are made from a type of plywood. The first problem we noticed was that the top of the dresser wasn't well supported in the middle, turning it into a drum. Luckily this was easily solved by adding a wooden support across the middle.

We wanted to keep some of the dresser's natural wood finish, but the varnish showed signs of water damage at the bottom of each side. We eventually decided to go with a combination of paint and varnish for our project. First Mr Goldfish used varnish remover to strip down the surface.
We're lucky that our house has an odd conservatory added to the side. It's a bit of an awkward shape, so it's mostly used for storage, but it's perfect for refurbishing projects like this.

We decided to paint the dresser frame white and re-varnish the top and drawer fronts. As the other item in our nursery are a lighter wood, Mr Goldfish decided to try a beech varnish. Then we replaced the original handles with some white ceramic knobs. The fluted knobs add a lovely contrast to the straight lines of the dresser. So six weeks later our dresser looks like this!
The final touch was the drawer interiors. Unfortunately the bottom drawer had some black stains which didn't sand out easily, so we decided to paint the insides. Generally it's not recommended, as you can get a build up of paint fumes inside the dresser - so we made sure to choose a low-voc paint. We opted for a nice brown that matches the new fabric for our glider chair.
And check out the carpet! I couldn't bare to keep the horrible granny carpet that had been in the room, so we found a nice beige off-cut to replace it. Artex free and with a sensible carpet, this is now my favourite room in the house!

One project down - several yet to go!