Room Makeover Story

As you all know, I've recently moved to a new home in Virginia. It's the first place I've ever lived that did not already come furnished, which means I have been on a major furniture hunt. The process of finding furniture has actually been really fun in a way - I feel so grown up! I bought a cute bed from Ikea and a large dresser, a mattress from Sears, and a desk and nightstand from Target. What I've learned is that even cheap furniture is not cheap. Luckily though, before I had opened and assembled any of the products I was able to find used furniture from various people in the area for a great price (thank you listserve!). The best part is that they were selling exactly everything I needed! It was no small feat making multiple trips to return all of the furniture I had already purchased and then going and picking up all of the new pieces, but it was worth the money I'd be saving (thank goodness for my 4runner!). However, because all of the pieces came from different people none of them matched which meant I now needed to paint everything. Black seemed like the obvious choice because I really like black furniture, and also, it seemed to be the most logical option for this kind of project since it would hide the imperfections and not look too cheesy as other colors might.

So off to Lowe's I went. I think I've been there 4 or 5 times since starting this project. I've spent about $85 on painting supplies and countless hours paining everything. It's been a huge learning process. It seemed so easy in my mind, but it's really time consuming. First of all, the internet is full of contradictions. Some website say only sand real wood and use primer for "fake" wood. Others say to sand and prime any surface. They also vary on whether to use oil or water based primer and whether or not to use a top coat. So I consulted the Lowe's employees in the paint department and they all told me completely different things as well. In a way this was reassuring because it meant there wasn't just one right way to do this so I probably couldn't go too wrong.

After a lot of trial and error I painted all my furniture black. For most of the pieces I didn't sand, used primer, two coats of paint and a top coat. Although, there are some things I would do differently next time. Such as: not paint in a very dark room where you can't tell exactly what's happening (basement at night after work). Only do one layer of primer because over night it would start to run down the sides and clump together making part of the furniture bumpy (this only happened on the bed which luckily is covered up by my bedding). I would be more of a perfectionist while painting. I would not be rushed. I would lightly sand everything. before doing anything else. Possibly buy paints that already have the primer included which would eliminate a step. Stir my paint better before using. Have more spare brushes on hand. Wear really grungy clothes with long sleeves and pull my hair up in a bun (because once that primer gets on you, it's never going to come off). And I might even just considering spray painting furniture next time. I saw some furniture Mom had spray painted black and it looked equally as good (actually better) and seemed a lot easier to do. Live and learn. I'm dearly hoping I don't have to go through this process again anytime soon though.

I am not a bargain hunter or do-it-yourself kinda girl by nature. The amount of work required and money saved doesn't usually out weight the frustration of the process for me, typically. But sometimes there isn't a choice.

All of these pictures are from the original owners taken in their homes (that is not my clutter!) This gives you an idea for all of the "before" pieces.

I can't find the original picture of the bed, but this is extremely close to it -style and color. I was a bit nervous getting a used bed and mattress (eww) but then I realized I have slept on probably a dozen beds the past few years at college, all of which had been extremely used - who knows how many people had used those beds before me, and I survived so I was okay with continuing with getting a used mattress. Turns on the mattress had hardly been used and was in great condition (phew). The style is not exactly what I would have chosen, but now that I have my bedspread and pillows on it, it looks great!
I don't know why blogger hates me right now, but I can't adjust these pictures, so they're just gonna chill on the left side of the page for now. Anyhow, after I got all of the above furniture, this is the room it came into. My new room. It's hard to get a feel for it since these pictures can't capture its full size, but it's a decent sized room with two windows and a little closet. The final result is coming soon!

4 Response to Room Makeover Story

January 16, 2012 at 6:06 PM

ahhh...I was so excited to get to the bottom of the post to see the results and they aren't up yet. I can't wait to see the final product! I love DIY projects!

January 20, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Can you pleeeeeeeeease update your blog so I can see the "after" photos?! :D

January 21, 2012 at 6:11 PM

how exciting! can't wait to see the final product! miss seeing that pretty face of yours-hope all is well:) love all your posts!

February 19, 2012 at 3:06 AM

I have two words for you my friend . . . Spray paint! :)

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