* Yes, the boys had a wonderful hike yesterday. I'll show you when I get pics. *
* And, all of you - my IRL friends, and my bloggy friends - thank you for joining me in friendly imperfection. And for giving me grace. You guys are not the ones that make me crazy. *
It's Saturday morning and yesterday's project awaits.
With the enthusiasm of inexperience, I decided to refinish a dresser. My great-grandma Ruby's dresser.
I didn't take any before pics, but it might look similar to this - if I can get the paint off, except the bottom two drawers have flat fronts.
And, come to think of it, it's missing something - probably a mirror, like this. In fact, this is more like it, but the other picture shows the sides.
Yep. It's probably a lot like that, but somebody took the mirror off, leaving a strip of wood missing across the top along the back, which we'll have to fill in.
Very old. Most likely oak, at least on the outside. Cool old glass knobs and handles.
Like the clear handle, bottom right.
And several coats of Very Ugly Paint - pink, light beige, a startling purple, and - on top - a flat, blue-ish gray. (Why did my grandparents paint everything with flat paint? I'll never know.)
I found the dresser when we moved in, seven years ago. My grandpa had it in the garage, full of tools.
And it's been there, ever since. I even bought stripper, that has also been sitting in the garage for seven years.
Well. Now you know the truth.
I've begun to learn about stripping, and let me just say this. Do not be swayed by the product with the nicer-than-your-average-chemical orangey scent. No. That stripper says you can leave it on for up to 24 hours.
Don't believe it.
Do not put the stripper on after dinner and leave it on all night, like you would leave a pot to soak. Even if the instructions say that will be fine. It won't. That will leave you an incredibly sticky chemical-paint-goo that sticks to everything it touches.
Just go to your local hardware store. We have a great one. I was going to say it's like a big rabbit warren, but no - it's more like pack rat heaven. Sensory overload. You couldn't get a cart through the aisles, which is fine, because I don't think they have any. But they have everything else. If you can find it. Which I can't. But it doesn't matter, because unlike the big chains, they have people who know how to help you. At least three different employees offered me help. Helpful help.
So now I have this Much Better Stripper which actually works. In about a minute. Stellar. Except by then, not only was my thermometer reading 88F - really! - I was so tired of scraping I only finished the drawers. I still need to do the actual dresser. And - surprise! - it must be a stronger chemical than the happy orangey one because in about the time it took me to do each drawer, it began to eat through my surely-non-OSHA-approved flimsy medical rubber gloves, and I only have a couple more in the box.
So I need more energy, more time, and more gloves. Definitely more gloves. Asbestos gloves.
And to make a decision. To paint, or to stain. See, my house is mostly bright colors (celery green, butter yellow, periwinkle blue) and white trim. I like that. So I could repaint the dresser with a creamy, glossy white, and the glass handles would really sparkle. Or I could strip it all the way down and put some kind of a clear finish on it. Because natural wood looks warm and inviting, though I'm no lover of oak. I probably should strip it all the way down, just so I can see how that would look. Even though I may end up painting it anyway. Aarrrrgh. Decisions!
But this project will not take seven more years. I promise.