Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY Dry Erase Dresser

When I was a kid I was grounded twice for bedroom furniture-related offenses.  The first time was for leaving a bottle of leaky bubbles on my dresser (which ruined the finish), and the second time was for carving "I Heart Patrick Swayze" into my desk.

Needless to say, when my mom sees what I did to my daughter's dresser with a can of dry erase paint she's gonna be sooooooo maaaaaaaad.....

...which is why I plan to blame it on the baby. How can she get made at this face?

Here, you look at these pictures of the finished product while I try to distract my mom with a glass of wine and some Oreos.  Be right back. 

Good news. The West Wing is on, so my mom will be downstairs for at least another 45 minutes. Even better news. I just remembered that dry erase is erasable.  You keep a lookout while I get rid of the evidence.  And maybe I should take that marker away from the baby. I think that's what they call a "choking hazard".

Whew. That was close.

Click through for a step-by-step and the helpful tips I learned about dry erase paint...

Here is my "before" dresser.  It actually looks better in photos than it does in person, which is what a lot of people also say about Jessica Biel.

The hardest part of this project was removing the dresser drawers.  Unlike most of my dressers, this one wasn't from IKEA, so I had no idea how the drawers were installed.  Turns out you just yank-yank-yank until they pop off the center track on the underside of the dresser.

I removed the hardware and gave the front of each dresser a light, even sanding.

Next came the primer.  After wiping down the drawer fronts, I sprayed each with this spray primer from Rust-oleum.  I find spray primer to be quicker and easier than traditional paint, especially for projects that I know will require lots of coats, like this one.

It took at least four coats to get the drawer fronts fully covered, which leads into my first tip:

Tip: Prime your project until it looks finished.  I had read online that the dry erase paint is very thin. It gave almost no coverage, so I was very relieved to have a finished-looking dose of primer on these bad boys before adding the almost watery dry erase paint.

Here's the dry erase kit I used, also from Rust-oleum (who, I'll add, is not sponsoring this post but probably should have. Rust-oleum, call me.)

Tip: A few reviews online indicated that they had purchased "bad batches" of the paint and epoxy.  A helpful reviewer added that the date of manufacturing is represented on the bottom of the can by the number after the T, so this one was made in 2013.  I had no problems with mine and was glad to know this little tip beforehand so that I could avoid a return trip to the store.

The instructions for painting and curing are very straight-forward, and I found no problems with either, although even with my thorough priming I still felt I needed three coats of dry erase versus the suggested 1 - 2 coats.

Anyone with kids knows that finding an extra five minutes for another coat of paint can sometimes be challenging, but I had no problem. I just had the baby feed herself. I'd say it was a success.

The only other comment I have about the dry erase paint was that there was a lot more of it than I had expected (probably because it is so thin), meaning after my drawers were done I still had lots left over, which leads to my last tip:

Tip: Throw a dry erase party, even if you only invite yourself.  I wish I'd had a small assembly line of items lined up to smack some dry erase paint on, even if it was just a dozen or so small storage boxes for the kids' playroom or the insides of some of my kitchen cabinets.  There was plenty of paint to go around, and I felt sort of guilty not using it all.  The paint is only "active" for 30 minutes after you mix the two included cans in the kit together, so you can't store and reuse it.  Next time, Rust-oleum. Next time.

So yeah, the takeaway is that I love the kids' new dry erase dresser.  Even without anything written on it, the white is lovely and crisp and has an almost semi-laquered look to it.

And of course the baby and I had a great time being naughty and drawing on the furniture.

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