March 15, 2013

high gloss dresser tutorial

How is that for a cleaver title post? Yawn.


I thought I would share what I did right, messed up on, and learned from on this old dresser.

For those of you who are new (welcome by the way) and those that might not remember, I got this dresser about a year ago. Long story short - $70 at an estate sale. Raise that roof people.

Here is the way he looked when I met him. The excitement of finding him obviously prevented me from taking a straight picture.


After a year of heavy use as a changing table/dresser it was showing a lot of wear, which I thought was odd. It's not like we beat it or anything. This should have been my first clue as to how refinishing would go.


It is as sturdy as can be and a solid piece of furniture but I was over the white. So let the project begin.

Since it was a balmy 30 degrees outside when I started this (and maybe 38 in the garage) I knew I'd have to take this project inside. So I pulled out the always trusty Citristrip. And good news, they now also have this stuff in a spray can. Wish I had known that before I started.


There is zero smell with this stuff. In fact it smells kind of minty fresh. And it is low VOC, so no worries about harming the littles with my projects.


Put on way more than this picture shows. Like double this amount. I put some on, took this picture and then put on more. More is more with this stuff.

They also recommend you use gloves but I didn't (I live on the edge). I got some on my hands and I've lived to tell the tale.


The directions will tell you to wait 30 minutes, but I could tell by looking at it after a half hour it wasn't ready. I waited two full hours, or basically until it looks like this. The longer you wait, the less muscle you need.


Then you scrape. And if you've been patient, it just lifts right off. Like butta.

As you can tell from this picture my suspicions were right - those little bastards just painted right over the varnished wood. See how dark that wood is? That's layers and layers of stain and varnish. No wonder it chipped so easily.


Enter Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser. This is the product if you have ever said "God I hate sanding. Can I pay someone to do this for me?" No need. Just pour this stuff on and rub it in with a corse lint-free cloth. I used an old wash cloth I had from the dollar store. 


You can see that all the varish didn't come off after the first, or second coat. So later, rinse, repeat. I'm going to find the people that painted this thing and shake them. Or make them watch episodes of 1600 Penn. Yes, that would be much worse.


The good news about this product is that you can do another coat as soon as the first one dries, which is usually about 15 minutes or so. And it's stink free too.


Finally it is ready.

Now I had originally planned to go with oil based porch and floor paint, like Jenny has used, to get the high gloss finish I was after. But remember that whole weather issue? I can't paint outside in 30 degree weather and oil based paint in the house with no windows open is a no no.

Luckily after telling my sob story to the smarty pants at Benjamin Moore, he suggested this.


Benjamin Moore Advance. It is a water based alkyd paint so it acts like an oil based paint (self-leveling, high gloss finish, hard laquer like shell) but without killing many brain cells.

Sold.

After talking about my search for the perfect shade of navy paint, I decided to follow Natalie's lead and went with Old Navy by Benjamin Moore.


I used a roller that my new bestie at Benjamin Moore recommended and it worked like a charm. I was a bit nervous after putting on the first coat though as it wasn't as dark as I wanted. But as the hours passed it got darker and darker.

And yes, I did say hours. A full 24 to be exact. That's how long you have to wait in between coats. And I did four coats. That is four days people. Of painting. And then another four days of drying.

Eight days and nights. Just sitting there, waiting for it to develop its hard candy shell. It was my biggest lesson in patience since having a 'willful child'.


But now he's done and looking good. He makes me smile every time I see him. That deep navy and the little sparkle of his gold handles. He looks like a royal admiral in the navy or something. I think I will call him captain.



Look at that glossy top. You can see the reflection of the ceiling in that thing. Oh captain, you are such a show off.


Pulls courtesy of Martha Stewart at Home Depot. Knobs are the same ones I used on the vanity from Hobby Lobby.


The high gloss on the captain makes him wonderful in person, but a bit hard to photograph.


I'm so protective of him I can't really bring myself to put anything on him. But he is calling to be styled I think.

So the lessons learned: Benjamin Moore Advance is aces, Citristrip is a cinch and Sander Deglosser is a lifesaver. And most importantly, do. not. ever. paint over varnish. Or I will find you.

Painted anything lately? Found a piece of furniture that was keeping secrets from you? Want to come over and help me put the girls room together?

41 comments:

  1. Keep the post titles to the point would you! :) It looks amazing! I love anything high gloss and you did a great job:)

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  2. You may call him Captain, but I say, "Hello Sailor". He is as much eye candy to me as inappropriately aged Zac Efron. Great job...you worked for this one.

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  3. This looks fantastic! and I love the color and the brass hardware. Stellar job and explanation of it all! Have a great weekend and push to the finish of the ORC!
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  4. i am so in love! it's stunning an i need to paint something shiny now!!!

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  5. It's gorgeous, and it shows that a lot of effort went into making it that way. 24 hours between coats? I would never have the patience, though.

    And isn't Citristrip great? I'm obsessed with it. Isn't it satisfying to pull that paint off? Nothing in the world compares to that feeling!

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  6. 1600 PENN...BAH!!!! such a terrible show! Thanks for sharing all of your product names. I'm the crappy person who just paints over varnish :)

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  7. Thank you for the tutorial! I love that color. This will come in handy when I begin my project!

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  8. UM stunning. I am in love with this piece, and I think taking it time to do it right will pay off in the long run. Great work Elizabeth.

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  9. Looks great. I am starting a similar project.

    What roller did you use? Foam?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anna! Yes, it was a little foam brush and it worked great. It wouldn't do well with oil based but with Advance it worked like a charm! Good luck :)

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    2. OMG...I'm so glad I found you! This is the article I have been looking for. You answered every question before I asked it.....(the blue gets darker). I use BM paints and am glad to know that they have the perfect paint for my project ...hopefully they still do .. .it's 2015 now. Its is 5* in NYS right now and i need all of these low stink options.Thankyou!

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    3. OMG...I'm so glad I found you! This is the article I have been looking for. You answered every question before I asked it.....(the blue gets darker). I use BM paints and am glad to know that they have the perfect paint for my project ...hopefully they still do .. .it's 2015 now. Its is 5* in NYS right now and i need all of these low stink options.Thankyou!

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  10. Oh my god HE'S SO SHINY I WANT TO LICK HIM!!!! (Wait, I'm getting over excited, must pull it back. And breathe.)

    You did an awesome job on this!! Wow, he looks a million bucks now!! That navy is freaking gorgeous. Now it's making me want to paint the white sideboard in my dining room navy. I love the brass accents always always. Beautiful and fabulous tutorial. You rock my world with your badass style. xxx

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  11. Hello gorgeous! I'm talking to the dresser... What a beautiful finish and loving the gold pulls and knobs. My name for him...Mr. Fancy Pants!

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  12. Gorgeous! I just love high gloss & lacquered furniture! xo Kristin

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  13. Thanks for sharing this how-to! I'm totally pinning for later. I think the blue is marvelous! I'm totally funny about setting things on newly finished pieces. I usually give them a couple of weeks to harden before I start styling. I recently did little lack table from Ikea and I'm definitely ready to move on to bigger badder things ;)

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  14. Gorgeous mama!!! LOVE the color, DYING over the hardware and your step-by-step tutorial is sooo friggin' simple I bet even my pups could learn a thing or two! Just bought this gorgeous commode from Craigslist that's in desperate need of a facelift! I've been putting the electric sander to her but it's just tooooo much elbow grease for my taste! Off to buy that wonderful sander in a bottle! You're friggin' brilliant!

    Thank you for the blog visit love! Hope to see you back soon!

    xo-Julie
    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

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  15. Love it! It's amazing! I also love Advance, but unfortunately it's tested as more toxic for humans because they think they're safe with it because of the low VOC, so they take less precaution and breathe it deeper. It's safer for the environment, but that's pretty much it. Unfortunately, unless you do a lot of research and make a lot of calls, most people don't know this because it's a big selling point for products and because most people just assume. So leave the windows open! :)

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  16. This is the BEST evolution I have seen to Date!
    Thank you for all the wonderful advice and hints....
    I will forward this to my loving MC!
    It's fabulous!
    Patty

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  17. It looks great! I really hate stripping furniture, I'm sorry you had to do it twice!

    I will let you know when I use my Mythic high gloss paint how it works. It's entirely stink free, and I love the semi-gloss by them.

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  18. Gorgeous! I love the brass hardware with the navy.Can you come over and do this for me? Haha, I actually just need you to be the coffee table for 8-10 days while I paint mine.

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  19. aye aye captain...you are the bomb!! Love how it turned out Elizabeth!! Worth all the waiting for sure!

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  20. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. Your dresser looks fabulous, love the color and glossy finish!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  21. Whee-Whew. That was the sound of me whistling at Captain.

    Ben Moore Advance. Who knew? Ima have to try that stuff, cuz I may have killd two many brian cells wiff the oil based.

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  22. I LOVE the color! It is the perfect blue! Great job and great test of your patience! I never would have been able to wait that long! But noted for the next time! I am also so going to try that stripper! I need to take some paint off from my bedrooms ORC project!

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  23. I really like this shine! I've been waiting for something to come across my path that I could paint in high gloss... maybe something pure white and stunning against a dark wall. Anyways, I'm surprised you didn't get any orange peel affect with the foam roller and the high gloss. The first piece of furniture I ever painted I got that affect and was super frustrated by it. I learned from then on to use flat paint (which dries very fast so a coat or two in a day is definitely possible) and then use a sealer that would give the end affect that I wanted (matte, satin, high-gloss poly). But regardless of the way you went about your change-up, the end product is all that matters here and it looks stunning. Great job!!!

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  24. hi elizabeth
    just discovered your wonderful blog, was scrolling through and found this post. this is a lifesaver, this high gloss crazy woman thanks you! i had even resorted to paint smuggling from europe, to find out about this product, YES!
    debra

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  25. Getting ready to start a huge repaint project on sleigh daybed, and after seeing this article, I'm sold on the products you used to re-do Captain. Think I'll take back the high gloss oil-base paint I bought and get the Advance, and also use the paint remover and deglosser you suggest here. My piece has a lot of blemishes. The original plan was to go over a badly done spray paint job on the bed, but I think I'll strip and start over from scratch. It'll take longer to do it, but it looks like the results will be worth waiting for. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog~~I love your humor and writing style, and your pieces look awesome. Great inspiration for those of us wading into the waters!

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  26. Totally love that navy. Thanks for the recommendation! Navy is so tricky. Luckily for me, this paint is only going on a wall - so hopefully I don't have an 8 day process - but you never know with my house :)

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  27. You picked the perfect color. Did you need to do any sanding between coats of paint?

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  28. I just found your wonderful blog and I am inspired in my girls room update. I have a 11 and 8 year old and we are going for a more tween, polished and no pink look. I am curious. I painted a whole antique bedroom set with the Advance paint and have had horrible results with it. I have painted a ton of furniture mainly using Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel, but after seeing Jenny for Little Green Notebook used it I thought I would try. It has chipped like crazy and the amount of time I put into the two beds and dresser it is so frustrating. I am about to strip them again and use All Surface Enamel on them. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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  29. I just found your wonderful blog and I am inspired in my girls room update. I have a 11 and 8 year old and we are going for a more tween, polished and no pink look. I am curious. I painted a whole antique bedroom set with the Advance paint and have had horrible results with it. I have painted a ton of furniture mainly using Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel, but after seeing Jenny for Little Green Notebook used it I thought I would try. It has chipped like crazy and the amount of time I put into the two beds and dresser it is so frustrating. I am about to strip them again and use All Surface Enamel on them. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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    Replies
    1. That's horrible Ingrid, I'm sorry to hear that. The dresser has held up amazingly well in the girls room (who seem to beat on it daily). No chipping at all. I think the key is when you are painting to make sure each coat has plenty of time to dry completely. That is what makes the process such a pain but ensures that nice hard candy shell. Good luck!

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  30. Did you use any type of wax or polyurethane on the top to protect it?

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    1. Hi Ashley. No, I don't use any type of wax on the dresser and it has held up wonderfully.

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  31. After a year of heavy use as a changing table/dresser it was ... itallwhite.blogspot.com

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  32. What sort of brush did you use? I have heard that you need a spray gun, as otherwise you will get brush marks?

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  33. Hi, i am about to start painting some kitchen cabinets than currently have a stain and a satin coat of poly over them. Am I okay to only rough up the coat of poly so thr paint will stick, wipe it so it is dust free, and then spray the necessart coats of Advance BM on it? Would love yiur feedback. Your dresser is darling! Thank you!

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  34. "The Captain" looks fantastic!!!!! I use and love ADVANCE.. I use it on all my painted furniture...Great job!!!!

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  35. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

    Airless Paint Sprayer

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