It's time once again for another Pinterest Challenge - winter edition this time. The Pinterest Challenge is a get-off-your-butt-and-make-that-thing-you-pinned declaration started by Sherry from Young House Love and Katie from Bower Power. This edition is also co-hosted by Megan from The Remodeled Life and Michelle from Decor & the Dog.
I've participated a few times before - check out my photo bottles, yarn eggs, fold-up patio bar, and my favourite - the poop factory costume for the ever-patient Chloe.
This time I wanted to try something a little bigger, though since I can only do this DIY stuff on the weekends it couldn't be too big. How about a little nightstand makeover?
My go-to method of refinishing wood is to sand it down, wipe on dark stain, wipe on watered-down paint, and then wax and buff it to a shine. I love the results - every time it turns out a little different depending on the stain and paint colour I choose. If you'd like to see some of my past results go here, here, and here.
But colour me surprised when I found out there is a name for this method - it's called "cerusing". Except there is one additional step - you use a wire brush on the wood before staining and painting so that the paint gets right in the grooves. When you wipe off the excess paint, you get little spots of paint left behind. It's a great way to camouflage imperfections in the wood when you can't sand the heck out of it (like with wood veneer).
I first saw this on The Ridiculous Redhead and had to pin it. I love the results I've had so far, but paint in the grooves would add some extra depth that's been missing.
This is the nightstand that volunteered for the makeover. Plain, serviceable, nothing to write home about.
Someday we'll build ones that we love, but the to-do list is so long right now that it won't be any time soon. I'm not a fan of the orange stain and the top has some pretty bad water damage. But the body/frame is real wood, although with particle board/veneer on the top and thin plywood on the sides. Materials that make sanding an adventure.
Do you know that I sanded them in the bathroom? Well now you do. I didn't want to go out to the freezing cold garage - we have a kerosene heater there but it burns my eyes after only a few minutes - and I didn't want fine stain/lacquer dust all over the house, so I chose the bathroom. The tiny, tiny bathroom. Pretty brilliant, I think. It only took about 90 minutes to completely strip each nightstand, though every surface in the room ended up covered in dust. And I sanded them on two different nights so I ended up cleaning the bathroom from top to bottom twice in one week. It's the hard-knock life.
They look pretty good naked, don't they? Tom thought I should leave them like that. Does he not know me at all? There's experimenting to do, y'all!
I used a wire brush to scuff up the wood - in the direction of the grain - on every surface of the stand. The veneer looked pretty cool because the brush would take out little divots rather than make big scratches. Don't forget to lightly sand again to smooth down the edges of the grooves when you're done.
I used a cloth to apply a thin coat of stain - Jacobean by Minwax - and then once it was dry applied a coat of "whitewash paint" with a new cloth. The colour I used was a mistint from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore - sort of a taupe-y shade with almost a pink undertone.
But wait! There's more. I didn't want to sand the inside of the nightstand - thin plywood, remember - but I also didn't want the old orange to show. So we built a door for the front of each that swings to the side and is attached with exposed trunk-style hinges. We swapped out the silver knobs for black handles as well. Lee Valley Tools has the most amazing selection of hinges and handles - everything from basic knobs to fancy shapes and hammered metal.
To make sure the door stays closed, Tom inserted a crosspiece below the drawer and screwed in a flathead screw flush to the wood at one end. He then countersunk a magnet in the back of the door that lined up with the screw and keeps the door closed when you want it to be. I applied a thin coat of wood putty over the magnet and the screw to make them less visible.
How about a little before-and-after?
I'm going to call this a win and keep practicing my cerusing skills.
Now head on over to the host sites and see what everyone else was up to this week!
I'm also linking up here this week!