27 June 2012

the big ugly reveal

One night about four or five months before Mabes was due to be born Dan and I found ourselves driving down I-5 barreling our way to Olympia.  

We had spent a nice relaxing day wandering around the streets of Seattle, visiting Pike Place Market and just enjoying ourselves.  Then, on the way home just a few exit shy of our exit I suddenly felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.  

We were going to have a baby in a few short months and we didn't own an SUV.  

What kind of parents were we?  Who would actually turn a baby over to someone who drove a Mazda 3?  I immediately started to panic and so Dan did the only reasonable thing that you can do when your wife is carrying your first child and clearly loosing her mind.  He drove 90MPH to get me to a dealership that was just about to close.  

Twenty minutes later we owned an SUV that we could barely afford that took premium gas which we really couldn't afford.  A few months later when Mabes was born at a whopping 5lbs 4oz we realized that an SUV wasn't really all that necessary for child raising.  

Hindsight is 20/20.

Needless to say we paid the price for that unreasonable mistake for several years.  Thankfully, we are completely past it now and I happily drive a smaller much more affordable car.

I tell you that story so that I can tell you this one.  

Everything with this second pregnancy has happened so much quicker it seems.  Where it took until the very end to the hormones to hit me with Mabes I find myself hysterically bawling at Cake Boss this time around.  I was probably around 18 weeks along when I felt Mabes move for the first time, this baby it was 12 weeks.  On and on the list goes.

So it should come as no surprise that my major pregnancy freak out happened about a week after I first saw the positive readout on the pregnancy test with Burrito.  

We were having a baby and he/she doesn't even have a dresser.  What kind of parents bring a child into the world and don't give it proper furniture in which to store their clothes?  

Immediately I began scouring Craigslist.  I wanted something with good bones that I could refinish how I wanted.  I bought a big white dresser in the parking lot of Walmart from a woman.  It was really ornate and would have taken a lot of work to get it back into useable condition.  Plus the owners had been smokers.  I brought it home and after a few days realized that the cigarette smell was permanently ground into the wood and that the dresser didn't really go with the style of anything else in the house.  Thankfully I was able to resell it two days later on Craigslist.  

There would be days when I would let myself relax and wouldn't bother checking to see if anything new had been added to Craigslist that day.  Of course by the next morning panic would set back in and I would be searching half way across the state for a dresser.

Finally one day I came across an old dresser that someone was selling for $60.  I emailed them and asked if they would take $40 and the next thing I knew Dan and I were loading the Big Ugly into the back of his truck and hauling it home.  
Big Ugly #1
According to the previous owners this dresser had been owned by one of their grandmas.  It had actually been purchased in Pennsylvania back in the early 1980s.  Honestly, I'm not sure it had been updated or even dusted since then.  But it was solid wood, had good bones, didn't smell like smoke and was only $40.  
Big Ugly #2
Another plus was that it had five drawers.  Something I really hoped to find.  The top two drawers are hidden behind the paneled doors.  I thought it gave it a little character.  
Big Ugly #3
You can kind of see some of the scratches and markings in this next photo:
Big Ugly #4
Big Ugly #5
Once I had the dresser the new task became figuring out what to do with it.  My original plan had been to sand the entire thing down and restain it.  I've done it before with countless other pieces of furniture.  

Then one day I came across a pin on Pinterest that talked about a paint you could use on furniture that didn't require any sanding or priming beforehand.  So I started looking up any information I could on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I watched videos online and read countless reviews.  

Annie Sloan isn't sold in most stores.  As a matter of fact I think that there might be a half a dozen places in the entire state that sell the paint here.  We happened to be driving through Charlotte on our way to a reunion a few weeks ago and so I had Dan stop at one of the suppliers.  We picked out a red paint and bought a can of wax and were on our way.  

Everything sat in our garage for about another week before one night after dinner I decided that the time had come.  So I painted and painted and painted for two days.  (Well really two evenings, I waited until after dinner to do most of the work both days.)  

When I was finally happy with the way the dresser looked and the paint was dry we moved it into the nursery where it sat for another two weeks.  Until this past Sunday when I finally decided to add the wax and call the project done.

Here she is our bright red Big Ugly:
Big Ugly #6
Big Ugly #7
Dan loves the color and I think it is fun.  I still feel like the dresser is missing something.  Maybe a stencil on the doors??  I'm not really sure.  I have a few ideas floating around in my head.  I'm waiting to find out what Burrito is and then to find some motivation before I actually do anything though.  

A few things to note about the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax:

1.  It is not cheap.  We paid more for the wax and paint than we did for the actual dresser.  

2.  The paint is supposed to last a long time.  One woman had painted six or seven large pieces of furniture with one can of paint.  I probably have about a quarter of the can left.  So either the people are lying to all of us or I did something wrong.  Of course I did paint on about three coats (I didn't want any of the wood showing through) and I have heard that red paint usually does take more.

3.  The wax really does go a long way.  I have almost an entire can left and I put two coats of wax on everything. 

4.  I picked up a soft bristled brush at Lowes for less than $6 instead of the Annie Sloan brush and it worked perfectly fine.  

5.  If you are looking for a good tutorial on the paint and wax, I suggest starting here with Miss Mustard Seed.  

Even though we ended up paying about $50 more than I wanted to on the dresser and the supplies to redo it, I still consider this pregnancy freakout is a win because this dresser doesn't require premium gas.  

Can I get an amen?

1 comment:

  1. Very cute post and I love the dresser, the style and the paint color (not that my vote counts). I almost got that red paint to do my desk in the living room.


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