Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's Old Becomes New

It's Moving Day Part 1 today, with the movers taking out almost all of our furniture. They'll be back Monday for Part 2. As they haul out the heavy stuff that makes them groan and complain a bit ("That dresser weighs 400 pounds!"), I'll just sit here and watch CNN because they told me all they need from me today is moral support. That translates as, "Stay out of the way."

We have spent the last couple of months sorting through three stories of belongings and putting things into the categories of Keep, Give Away and Trash, and I have been amazed at what we've been storing that, when it comes down to it, is basically trash. Are we hoarders? And I have made so many trips to Good Will with car loads of donations that I feel like I know the guy at the door with the donation bin.

In all of the sorting, I came upon the dresser I have had since I was a teenager, and I had to categorize it. A part of me said to keep it because I have had it for so long (is that why we have so much crap?) but a part of me said to give it away because I have had it for so long (it seems to be the season for cleaning house without much sentiment). We took a picture of the thing and posted it on the bulletin board at Husband's business, but there were no takers.

So, I got to work to make this old dresser something I wanted to keep. I had seen creative ideas on Pinterest, chose one, and went to work.

This is the before:

I took out the big bottom drawers and took off the hardware on the top smaller drawers. I vacuumed 40 years worth of dust from the frame, measured the space inside and went to Lowes. I had the guy at the work bench there cut two pieces of plywood to fit as shelves for the inside and then bought new hardware, baskets and paint.

As I primed the old dresser, I thought with each brush stroke how my father had stained the piece decades earlier. My parents bought the dresser with a matching bed at an auction, and my father stripped the set in the garage and then stained it all with a dark finish. He loved dark finishes and applied them to any piece of furniture he got his hands on. I also thought of him as I threw away the old hardware because I knew he had chosen it to replace whatever was original to the drawers.

I was sentimental about it for a minute, but then I decided it was my turn to create what I wanted with this dresser (the bed was broken up and thrown out long ago). It took three coats of paint, and with each coat this dresser became more and more mine and less and less my father's. I mean, I have had this thing in my house for nearly 30 years, so it's time, wouldn't you say?

Once the paint was dry, I put on the new hardware—pretty glass knobs—and slid in the baskets for some extra storage. I'll confess the paint wasn't completely dry, and the baskets stuck to it a little, but that may be an advantage to the movers when they haul my personalized creation onto the truck today.

I like what I have created here, but I suspect my father would say something like, "You should have used darker paint, Rob." Well, it's all mine now, and I'll keep it. Maybe in 20 years or so, one of my kids will strip the paint, throw out the baskets and do something completely different with it. Or maybe they'll say, "What, were our parents hoarders?"

1 comment:

savannah said...

WOW! i love what you did, sugar! talk about re-purposing a piece and making it REALLY yours. well done, you! xoxoxoxo

(i'm looking at some chairs that could use a bit of sprucing up...)