Redoing a Rickety Piece of Cheap Furniture

This is a shelfy drawer thing that I got when I was 15. It was basic unpainted unstained wood, that I think might have cost like$10. I recall it being for holding CDs, not sure, and I never used it for that. It’s always been a random junk drawer, but useful.

When I got it, as you can see, I covered the sides with clippings from TidBits newspapers, and painted the rest in my cool designs. If you’re wondering about the bottom, I’d originally planned to do it all in blue and green, but it just didn’t work out, and that’s when I went with the black and white with newspaper print. However when it was all done I then realized that I forgot to paint over the bottom piece, I rather liked it and left it that way.

But I never sealed the sides to protect the paper, and after years of moving from state to state, and house to house, and now with a cat who thought it was a scratching post, it’s been rather damaged. Figured as my tastes have changed, though honestly really not that much, I thought I should redo it. Realized later that it’s been almost 15 years since I first decorated it, considering I’ll soon be 30 😦 . Who knows, maybe when I’m 45 I’ll update it again.

I peeled off the news paper as best I could with a letter opener and pocket knife. I’m super high tech. Then I sanded it down to loosen up any more that I could, and ultimately to smooth it out to be painted. There was also wholes where the screws on the sides were screwed into it, and so I patched them up with wood filler and sanded some more. I then added a layer of gesso so that hopefully the paint wouldn’t look all lumpy. Surprise surprise, gesso on paper caused everything to get all wonky, but it did make it where I could pull off nearly all the rest of the newspaper, which I then sanded some more, and then added a new layer of gesso to the sand and layer some more. Until it seemed smooth enough, consider the Elmer’s glue that just wouldn’t come up. During this whole process I vacuumed a lot trying to keep the dust and paper particles from sticking to it.

The top I sanded and gessoed as well. The top had some deep groves on it, and so I used a flat plastic spreader. I had one that was the width of the top so as to try to get in evenly as possible. It didn’t end up perfectly smooth, but it did help when I did get to painting it.

Here’s my cool little work area in the living room in front of the TV. It’s where I do my best work. I Used high gloss black paint that I’m not sure why I have. It is the paint I used on the fireplace, but that was an accident considering the first time I painted it it was flat black, and I accidentally grabbed the gloss and didn’t notice till it was almost done, and still have no idea where that can came from. But since I have it I used that, so now it’s shiny.

I went to Hobby Lobby and went through their awesome furniture knobby section to get a collection of random ones. As the title states, this piece is rickety. Nothing sits quite right, and unless I spent top dollar (which isn’t worth it) it’s never going to look like a pristine piece of furniture. I just want it to look cool, so I figured I’d go with the rickety bit and have it look like a piece that’s been fixed and parts replaced several times, so that means random knobs and worn/sanded drawers.

Actually the drawers were an accident. As you saw in the original, there were some specific designs, and while I sanded them and they felt smooth, when I painted them it was very clear to see what used to be there. So make sure to sand, wipe with a damp cloth, and sand again a few times to actually get it smooth. Well, I was fixing that and it made it look rather cool and I liked it. One of them was just rough and needed another sanding, and the 4th was just to go with the style I’d decided to go with. I had planned on doing papered sides again, but I didn’t really have anything that’d look right. Then I considered painting quotes on the sides, but I hate painting words, and knowing how hard it was to repaint over the others I wrote, it really made me hesitate. After I did the drawers though, I decided that perhaps less is more. Keep it classy, and so…

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