February 25, 2012

I am Not a Witch- Campaign Furniture DIY

I am not a witch.

Political jokes aside, I am also not "crafty." (Some background on my lame joke: my roommate is very artsy and crafts-y, but she thinks when people tell her she's crafty, it sounds like she's a witch. Ha ha.)

But I am thrifty (and maybe also cheap?). And lately, I've been seeing all sorts of DIY websites and blogs online with regard to home decor and crafts and things. So... after miraculously coming across my new (to me) desk and dresser for my new room, I took to the Internets for inspiration. I came across some surprising information. Apparently, this style of furniture is called "campaign furniture." (So fitting, no? :) ) And... it's worth some monies. According to Nifty Thrifty, this stuff sells online for  $a lot (!!) and is undervalued by Craigslist sellers. Look how CRAZY the price is for THIS dresser!!

My set started out royal blue and looked like this:

Perfect color for a 7-year old boy, but certainly not for me!

I started sanding/taping/painting the day I got the furniture but didn't have enough time to finish. I made the mistake of buying the cheapie spray paint from Walmart (Don't buy it! It did NOT work!), and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong... Luckily, my roommate and her boyfriend are pretty crafty people, and they saved me with better paint (courtesy of our local hardware store. Support your local, small businesses, peeps!) and sound advice.

Unfortunately, since I'm sort of juggling three jobs + school + you know, normal life stuff right now, I didn't get a chance to finish this project 'til the night before I moved. I stayed up 'til 3am painting and taping and such, and let me tell you, it's really hard to see what you're doing when you're painting outside by moonlight.

Some "during" shots:

I stood them up this way, because it was easier for me tor spray paint them horizontally.

Dry drawers + touchups the next morning

I may or may not have finished painting these a few hours before moving.

All the blue = spots I missed while painting at 3am.

Now they look like this:

Not done fixing my room, but at least the furniture is all in here!

Ooops! I forgot to put back one of the desk drawers. Heh.

Not perfect, but better than before. I'm actually quite pleased with how they turned out. Not too bad for my first attempt at being "crafty," eh?

Lessons learned from this project: 
  1. Don't buy the cheap spray paint.
  2. When attempting crafty things, having friends who are already crafty is extremely important!
  3. Buying spray paint from your local hardware store = good for everyone.
  4. Spray paint goes on better if the surface is horizontal, rather than vertical (ie- I had to turn the dresser on its side in order to spray paint the sides flat.)
  5. If can do something crafty, ANYONE can! Maybe one day when I actually have "spare time," I'll do some other "crafty" things. :)
For some more campaign furniture DIY's, click here, here, here, and here. To turn your Ikea "cheapies" (Ikea is expensive, y'all!!) into "campaigners," click here.

And to learn more about the history and current "trendiness" of this style of furniture, click here.

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