My New Beau

August 15, 2012 in Bedrooms, Building and Repurposing, Furniture Makeovers, Gettin' Crafty, Living Room

There’s a new man in my life. There. I said it. Wow, that’s such a relief to share with all of you. It’s felt like I’ve been hiding a secret… and why should I?  I consider you friends… I welcome you into my home… I gab girl-talk and ramble on-and-on with endless stories and you are still here for me. You accept me for exactly who I am… so why shouldn’t I tell you about the new man in my life?!

I met my new beau online. It wasn’t love at first site. I had to grow into my feelings. But I think that’s true of so many great relationships. I respected him and all he stood for. It just took a little more time for our relationship to really develop. I gave him a chance because I believed potential was there. And it was!

Each and every day he puts a smile on my face. I love waking up and seeing him there next to me. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

What’s that? You want to see a picture of him?

Well…. let’s start from the beginning.

It was a fateful day… I was browsing online, shoppin’ for hotties. I’ll admit – it wasn’t Match.com or Cupid or eHarmony…  it wasn’t any of those. Promise you won’t judge? It was craigslist. Now before you get completely skeeved out, just hear me out…

So I was scrolling down the page and then… There. He. Was.

Strong.

Rugged.

…but a little rough around the edges.

He’s a man’s man. A little outdoorsy. Up for anything. I figured – why not?

So I emailed… and got a response!  We chatted briefly and arranged a time to meet up.  When the day finally arrived I was so nervous. What if he wasn’t what I expected? What if he didn’t live up to the expectations I’d dreamed up in my head?

Here goes…

It’s now or never:

It’s he dreamy?!

What? You can’t see it?

Well what if I said I turned him from rough and rugged to buff(ed) and fabulous?

Handsome right?!  I love my new beau, Jack.

He’s versatile and just the right size to double as a nightstand by my bed. I sold my bedroom set a couple months ago and couldn’t be more excited to have this new little guy! I love the feel of collected pieces. Jack’s definitely one of a kind… and oh. so. mine.

Seriously though – I loved his chunky construction and simple, simple lines. Jack is built to LAST.  Nothing on him is less than 1.75″ thick. No really. When I said solid and strong, I meant it. I can’t pick him up with all the drawers inside… and I’m no weakling!

So how did he get to looking so fabulous?  Sit back, grab some popcorn, and let me telllll you…

Lots and lots and lots of sanding on Jack’s top. It’s made of two THICK boards that had been coated with a poly/lacquer that just might have lasted another 50 years. Thank goodness for my random orbital sander!

I wanted the top to have that weathered and worn, greyish tone so I went with the good ol’ vinegar & steel wool concoction. I’ve used it on a couple other projects already and so far, so GREAT!  If you’ve never heard of it, you should give it a google… there are a lot of great how-to’s out there. The basic jist – put some steel wool in a jar and fill with vinegar. Let that sit for 24 hours and then brush the solution on the wood. As it dries, it gives wood a weathered look. Easy!


After that, I toyed with the best way to paint the dresser. I just ran out of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint a couple weeks ago and I reallllly didn’t want to mess with deglossing, priming AND painting. I’m lazy. Trust me.

So instead, I did some googling and found several recipes on how to make your own Chalk Paint. There are a bajillion out there so I can’t speak to the best… but I CAN tell you what I used and how it did!

I really didn’t want to go buy paint and/or supplies, so I dug around until I found some recipes that used only items I already had in my house. In the end I went with a mix of:

  • 1/2 cup latex paint
  • 1/4 cup (give or take) baking soda
  • Water as needed to thin a bit

That’s it! No really… it was that easy!

The colors I used were all from previous paint jobs in my house:

Ready to color within the lines?!

  1. I gave the entire dresser two coats of my homemade white chalk paint. This stuff dries quickly so be mindful of your brush strokes!
  2. I taped off the border to prevent any paint from creeping off the drawers and onto the dresser frame
  3. Believe it or now, I eye-balled the Union Jack pattern. No measuring! Using an exacto knife I trimmed the corners/edges as necessary. Then I rubbed and rubbed to be sure the paint couldn’t creep under the tape.
  4. I did my first coat of the light grey/tan…
  5. …followed up by the darker grey/tan… and then repeated steps 4&5 for a second coat.
  6. Pull off the tape while still wet… stand back… squeal in delight… jump up and down a bit… snap a 100 photos and text them to those who are forced to endure your endless photo texts of your dogs and projects.(You know who you are…)  :-)

The homemade chalk paint isn’t as smooth as Annie Sloan’s. It has a bit more grit to it, but it sands easily. For a low cost alternative, I’d say it’s worth a try! I finished up the piece with Annie Sloan clear wax all over, including the top. Buff and done!

I found Jack’s hardware at Home Depot. They’re part of the Martha Stewart line and I L-U-V them.  I looked high and low – Lowes, Target (this is a hidden gem for affordable hardware!) and finally Home Depot. I almost gave up, and I’m so glad I didn’t!  Personally I think these drawer pulls were MADE for Jack.

Okay, time for all the fun photos!

I wanted to give you a couple close-ups of the awesome solid-wood top. I can’t get enough of the grain pattern. The wax also gave the top some extra depth. McLovin’ it.

The sides have these great wooden dowels. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was SOLID! I tried to sand around the dowels just a bit more than usual so you could see the edges. I think they’re a part of Jack’s charm and character.

Want one more look at Jack’s Before and After?

My Beau Jack… oh how I love thee!

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