Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Octopus Chest

Remember this?

It was several years ago when I first posted a picture of this sad chest of drawers. I got it and another (painted to "match") from a mom I used to be acquainted with when my (now 15 year old) son was in second grade. Back then he was attending a privately run school that held an anual auction to help pay for playground equipment. The idea was to do a cool, creative decorative treatment - really make a "statement piece," you know? Never mind that the dresser is cheaply made, poorly painted and, well, more than a little homely to begin with. Then the school folded, we transferred back to public school, the mom did not have anywhere to store the dressers and did not want them back, so I was left with this guy (and his equally homely sister) which we stored in the well-pump house at our former home. When we moved to our current home, we brought the two dressers  - and stored them. Again.  *sigh*

I'm pretty sure I posted back in August of 2014 that I was inspired by the octopus chest that  Stefanie, blogger at Brooklyn Limestone, shared way back in 2012. It took me a long time to commit to a design, and an even longer time to figure out colors, but here is what I finally came up with:


Getting the chest to this point was quite a process! First I started stripping the gunky, poorly applied brown paint off, only to find laminated, faux wood printed paper (the original "finish"). Some of this was in fair enough shape that I could leave it alone, since I was painting the whole piece anyway, but much of it was damaged (probably why the brown paint?) and had to be scraped off, down to the bare (actual) wood underneath.

There were lots of things that needed to be filled, sanded, filled again, sanded again, and then primed before transferring the octopus design, a drawing I free-handed from a coloring book page. Then; 

much agonizing over the colors. 

I finally decided to just use paint I already owned (hey, I bought it because I like the colors, so...) I used Devine Colors paint from Target in Twig (the octopus) and Compass (the background). I found the composite brass and shell knobs (no longer available) on sale from the Anthropologie web site. They have some very cool hardware, it's worth a look-see!

This is only my second attempt at re-finishing a piece of furniture, and my first at painting. I have learned things during and since that will make the next project (a buffet for our dining room nook) go a little smoother, I hope. This project ranged over five years - from inception to completion. It's not flawless, but overall, I'm happy with the results, and that I can move this piece out of storage and put it to use in the house!

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