Ikea Hemnes dresser hack! (& a Pinterest challenge project)

Do you remember a month ago when I transformed these black-brown Hemnes nightstands from this:



To this?





Well, this weekend it was finally time for the dresser to face the same fate. It worked out great being a holiday weekend, because I had two days to complete the project and one day for the poly to cure (I only waited a few hours with the nightstands and it did not get along well with the bottoms of the freshly spray painted lamp bases).

So here's what I was working with:





Not a bad looking dresser at all, but way too dark for the room (especially against all the dark wood floors!)

Step #1: Remove the drawers




It might have been a good idea to also bring the dresser into the garage, but I was home alone all weekend and my tiny self was not about to make this happen. I was barely able to take the mirror down by myself.


Step 2: Prep the drawers for paint.



This included the long and tedious process of taping around the perimeter of the dark wood, then retaping paper towels on to be extra safe.

Step 3: Primer everything



I think it looks better already!
I used 4 coats of primer to cover completely. Probably could have gotten away with 3, but I didn't want to take any chances.

Step 4: Apply paint

I did not take pics of this step. Just visualize a white dresser and drawers... much like the primered version. I used 2-3 coats to fully cover.

Step 5: Lightly sand.

I also chose not to take pics of this because you can't really see the detail. I had used a foam roller to apply all of the paint and wasn't entirely happy with the subtle orange-peel texture. I used 220 grit and my electric sander to do the job. This is the first time I've sanded after painting and I think it is the secret to a smooth finish.

Step 6: Distress.



This is always the most exciting part... probably because it's instant results (unlike primer/painting/poly-ing). I just grabbed a square of rough sandpaper and went to work along all the edges and corners.

Step 7: Apply first coat of poly.

Again, no pictures because it's hard to really see. I used Minwax's water-based Polycrylic (same as on the nightstands, it's pretty good stuff).

Step 8: Lightly sand again.

The instructions on the poly say to sand in between coats (which I skipped on the nightstands out of laziness), but this time I did as instructed, but just to the top of the dresser to make sure the finish was as smooth as possible.

Step 9: Apply coat #2 of poly, sand more, and apply last coat of poly.

Ok, so I combined a few steps here but this was getting too long .... so finally,

Step 10: Reattach hardware (I love the knobs the dresser came with, so I kept em)




And here is what my 3 (well, technically 2) days of hard work got me...















What do you think? Better than the black? I feel like a weight has been lifted in the room... it's so much brighter and happier now (or maybe I just am)... either way, well worth it! I think I'll sleep better tonight :)


Moving along... I'm officially hopping on this bandwagon:



This particular pin and caught my eye a while back and I thought it was pretty genius:




Anyway, a little while ago I was strolling through the aisles of Target and noticed this vase on the clearance rack:



Not exactly my style.... but check out this price:



Um.... I don't care how fug this thing is if I'm saving $35. Nicely done, Target.

So I took it home and sat it in the corner, knowing I'd figure out some way to jazz it up. Then I remembered that pinterest project and I did a small happy dance.

Since I was already going to go through the process, I found a couple other items I could use for my project. Like a random aqua vase I've had since highschool and a bottle of wine I polished off the night before.


Sure, these will work.

Next I came up with a plan for the pattern. I didn't trust myself to freehand this, so I made a different look for each and traced some guides with paper and tape:




Actually, I lied. I freehanded this one. Mad skills.

After my templates were drawn, I headed to Michaels to pick up some puffy paint and matte spraypaint ($7 after a 50% off coupon). I came home with the goods and carefully applied the paint... one dot at a time.


For anyone trying this at home... make your dots poofier than you anticipate, because the poofs settle and flatten. I had to re-poof the turquoise vase becuse the dots had settled too much.


And here they are, all dotted up and ready for paint!



Here they are in the spray paint chamber, mid-coverage:



and after several coats:



And here they are, all pretty in the light:



I used flat spray paint, but I'm considering grabbing some satin and going over them once or twice because the texture is a bit chalky and weird up close. But from afar, I heart them. Especially for a total investment of around $12. Thank you pinterest!

That is all for this week. I'm still on the months long, never-ending hunt for a craigslist dining table... cross your fingers it happens this week. If not, I'll find something else to tackle... as always :)

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