Saturday, September 3, 2016

Summer Hiatus

I've been absent since June with my daughter's graduation. I can't even say that I did a single project over the summer. Because I didn't. The Builder was completely burnt out on projects by the time our friends and family were done visiting. Plus his work really picked up due to the backlog from the rain. In a perfect world, I would have enjoyed the time off...but my work picked up as well and I was behind on some school work. So it ended up being a busy summer.

But!

I need to get back to things that still need to be done around my house. And so with the beginning of September and fall around the corner (not that that will make one difference here in Houston!) I'm jumping back in. I have a few projects planned:
  • Updating my youngest sons' bedroom
  • Adding media storage in our master bedroom
  • building an upholstered headboard for our bed
Updating my sons' room is more of a chore than it may seem. Last year we had a tube from the a/c leak and cause water spots on his ceiling. He managed to break the cheap faux blinds in his room. He managed to peel the texture off on a spot on his wall. His closet doors fell off the track and broke. His carpet is in desperate need of replacing. I didn't realize it was that bad until my family came out to visit. Suddenly no matter how much we shampooed the carpet, I couldn't get the pet smell out. It was NOT good. There was also nothing I could do once I realized it. So I've spent my summer buying flooring, one box at a time. I thought we would get it done this weekend, but my dogs decided it would be fun to tear down the fence that separates our yard from our neighbors. So The Builder and our boys spent the day tearing down the rotted out fence and installing a new one. 

Since I couldn't do the floors myself, I decided to tackle a project I could do. His dresser.  Years ago, when he was around three, he and his brothers took a sharpie marker to the side of the dresser and drew on it. I kept that side tucked in the corner of the room for a long time, but when we moved to this house, that wasn't an option. So I've been living with it that way for almost 5 years.  Take a look:

Yeah. I wasn't happy. And I know no amount of sanding is really going to get all of that black sharpie out. Or if it does, it will be uneven. But the dresser is solid wood, no cheap particle board. And he hates to hang up his things. He likes everything folded and uses all his drawers. I would eventually love to build him a new one (and have plans saved to my Pinterest board!) but I have other building projects that I want to get done first. This is a solid dresser. It just needed some updating. I finally decided that I wanted to use chalk paint on the body of the dresser, which would cover up ALL those sharpie marks, but I am going to strip and re-stain the drawer fronts. 

Now my youngest is the MOST particular out of my four children. There was no way I was going to choose a paint color without his input because if I got one he didn't like, I would never live it down. Blue is his favorite color, but I didn't want anything that was a bright or pastel blue. I was thinking a navy blue would be a nice color. We headed to Home Depot today to get paint, and while he was all for the blue (actually, he liked his dresser just the way it was and had no interest in painting or updating it!) he ultimately chose a color called Inked, which had a touch of gray to it. I can totally work with that, and it will also be the color we paint the interior of his closet. But that's another post. 

I have to say, the chalk paint was SUPER easy. My wonderful friend, The Magnificent M, shared her chalk paint recipe with me, and it was a dream to use. I've read that most people only need one coat, but I felt that was a bit streaky, and used two. No issues there, it was still super simple and I used less than 2 cups of paint to do the entire dresser. I have plenty left over for the closet. 

And here is body of the dresser all painted:

Forgive the poor lighting. It was late afternoon and I can't open his blinds more than half way. This lighting is the result of an overhead ceiling fan light and even then, I still needed the flash on my phone. 

We both anticipated the color to be a little darker, but in the end, we are both really happy with it. Even better, he told me it looks MUCH better now that it's painted and he's glad I "made" him let me paint it. Maybe there is hope for this boy yet. 

This is as far as I got today. The drawers have stickers all over the front of them. I tried scraping them off, but apparently, sticker glue turns into super glue once it's on wood. I have goo gone... somewhere. And I know it will take it off with no issues. But I need to find it.  Then I have to put the stripper on to take the light coat of varnish off that it currently has, lightly sand, and re-stain the drawers. Oh, and I need to buy new drawer pulls. Apparently, he has only one left. And no clue what happened to the other four. Seriously, looking at his room, you would never guess it had fresh paint, new draperies, and was updated just four years ago. But I digress...

Here's a quick peak at the drawers I pulled out so I could paint today:

That's what's left of the stickers I could not get off. In addition, there is still sticker residue. So the goo gone is a must. 

I'm pretty sure I'm going to paint his room the same perfect greige the rest of the house is painted. I have it on hand so it's and easy update. His desk is going to go into his closet (which he doesn't currently use) and will look something like this:

I found directions for this on The Happy Housie and I love the overall look. My youngest saw it and immediately vetoed the stenciling, the nautical decor, and anything "school" related. I assured him it will accurately reflect his tastes and personality. His closet is much larger, so he's requesting a bookcase in it as well, so I need to figure out how to incorporate that. I may do two Rast drawers, one for each side, for added storage as well. I really like that I can stain them to match the dresser for a coordinated look. This photo is just my jumping off point, his actual design will be 100% tailored to him.

I'm contemplating a new quilt (his preference) and used the SnapIt tool to pull the colors from it:

The Charcoal Blue in the chip color is very similar to the Inked color by Behr. The other colors are great accents for his room and really reflect him. 

Budget wise, this is still low cost. The built in closet desk I'm estimating at about $100 (two Rast dressers, the desktop, hardware, and task lighting). The flooring  is about $150 for the whole room (which we've been buying a little at a time). New blinds will run another $50 or so. We're debating bi-fold doors to replace the sliding closet doors. Well. I wanted barn doors. Which he quickly vetoed. He's not a "farm" type of guy. I found some neat engineered prints I can have done for his room, so about another $40 for artwork. If I buy the quilt in the photo, I'm looking at about $450 for the room altogether. I'd also like to replace the drapes that my cats love to be trapeze artists on with a cornice board valance. I don't have a cost estimate on this, and since the blinds are an immediate necessity, the cornice is something we can do later. 

Cross your fingers I can get the drawers done tomorrow and have a whole project done in one weekend!