Monday, May 21, 2012

{Guest Post} | No. 2 Pencil: Turn a Dresser into a Media Center

It's finally official! I closed on my house, so now I am working to move everything and unpack! My next guest post is perfect since I am working on decorating my new home. Melissa from no. 2 pencil (cute name right?!) will be sharing a DIY furniture re-do that I'm definitely going to need to try for my house! 

Hello Embracing Messy friends! Don't you just love that name? I'm Melissa and I share DIY projects and recipes over at no. 2 pencil. Some of my most recent have been Strawberry Lemonade Cake and DIY Vintage Word Art. I am so excited to be guest posting here today, Kelsey has the most adorable projects! 

My dresser turned media center was the first project I blogged about, and I'm thrilled to share it with you today. Here is how I turned a Craigslist dresser into a media center.

I wanted something big to fill the huge niche that housed our TV. For months, I hunted for the right piece. Finally, a vague craigslist ad with no picture yield this for $100. An awesome vintage dresser made with real cherry wood and constructed with dovetail joints. A quality piece! Woohoo!

I really love how the dresser turned out. Here are the steps I took to get a super funky, distressed chippy paint look, if you want to do something similar:

1. Removed all the hardware and sanded the entire piece down. I did this because I wanted the cherry wood to show thorough rather than the funky speckled finish. After sanding, I wiped the entire piece down with baby wipes. Handy little things!

2. Then I grabbed a candle from my stash in the closet and hit all the edges and curves, and picked out some other choice spots where I wanted the paint to look chipped off. The wax resists the paint and at the end of the process, you hit those spots with a mouse sander and viola. Chippy paint!

3. I used Martha Stewart paint from Home Depot in Pencil, in an eggshell finish. (Last time I was there, the paint guy said they would no longer be carrying Martha Stewart paint! Boo!) I used a stiff paint brush, with a tiny bit of paint of the brush to dry brush the entire dresser by hand. It took forever, and about eight coats to get the color I wanted. Forever = two days.

To dry brush, you swipe gently with the grain of the wood and let dry between coats. Keep the coats very very thin to build up layers of color.

4. After I had the coverage I wanted, I let dry for another day. Then went to work with the mouse sander. I hit all the edges and corners, making sure to get every place I had rubbed the candle wax.

5. Another wipe down with baby wipes and it was ready for the next step. Following the directions on the bottle, I used Howard's Feed-N-Wax to protect the dresser and give it a nice finish. Not too shiny, just a gorgeous gleam.

6. We spray painted the hardware with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze and when dry, put everything back together minus the top two drawers. I wanted to use those to hide our TV components. My husband used a drill to make two holes in the back panel of the dresser for the cords, and removed the drawer rails and we were all set! Side note: We saved everything, so it can easily be converted back to a dresser or even used as a buffet.

A few close up pictures of the distressed details...

See how the paint looks flaked and chipped, instead of just sanded off? That's totally the candle wax, baby!

Bonus: We have a ton of storage for our DVD's and remotes!

Here is a sad picture of the space before, complete with cute toddler accent. Notice the DVD's stacked on top, out of said toddler's reach.

And one more time, the after picture!

Total cost for this project was $150. $100 for the dresser, and $50 for paint and supplies. A quart of paint was more than enough. I didn't even use 1/4 of a quart. When you are dry brushing, a little paint goes a long, long way. This piece makes a big impact in our living room, so I'm super happy with the results.

I'd love for you to find me on  PinterestFacebook and Twitter to keep up with new No. 2 Pencil recipes and projects! 

Thanks for letting me share Kelsey!


  1. Yay!!! Kelsey, So glad you closed on your home!!! Very exciting!!!
    Fab job on the dresser Melissa, it looks amazing!

  2. I LOVE it! Everything about it is so pretty! I just love the idea of taking out the drawers for the DVD player and such - so clever!

  3. I love, love, LOVE this, Melissa! The color is perfect! I'm definitely going to try the candle wax trick next time. I'd seen it mentioned before, but I never realized it gave that flaky look to the paint vs sanded. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. This looks great!! Dumb question... how do you apply the wax? Just use it like a great big crayon on the places you want?

  5. Thanks ladies! And thank you Kelsey for letting me share!!!

    @adrianne exactly! I used a taper candle and just went for it!


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