Note: sorry, the pictures in this post are taken with my iPhone. My camera is still on the fritz so the picture quality isn’t the best. Thanks for bearing with me during my technical difficulties!
I am so excited about this DIY makeover that I had to post it today, not tomorrow. I just couldn’t wait to share it with you and especially my parents! My Grandma recently moved from her house to a retirement center and had to part with a lot of furniture. I volunteered and took some of the pieces that were in the worst condition – wasn’t that nice of me?!
This is the first piece of her furniture that I’m making over. Bless Grandma’s heart. She means well and believes everything can be fixed with duct tape but it just isn’t pretty. I knew with some fabric and paint this would look awesome at the foot of our bed! We could use it as a bench and also more storage.
Even the knobs needed some new life to them. The chest originally belonged to my dad’s childhood best friend. (I know he’ll call and correct me on where/when they were friends, but this is the story I’m going with and since it is my blog I’m right – hah!) The friend’s parents were going to throw this away since it was broken but Grandma knew her trusty silver roll of tape could solve the problem so she took it from them and has had it for years!
I knew the top was no problem. I planned on covering it with foam and fabric but the bottom was the kicker. I wanted to paint it white but the tape on the lower left corner was going to be an issue. It had been so long since the tape was put on there that no one could remember what was broken. I took it off as carefully as possible and easily solved the problem with wood putty and some sanding – a very quick fix!
Once that was finished, I painted three coats of white paint all over the bottom part of the chest. I would have loved to use spray paint outside but you can’t paint above 90 degrees and right now, it is that hot by 10 a.m. The chest would never have dried or looked right so I did it by hand this time. Once those coats were dry, I applied one coat of Polycrylic with a sponge brush to protect the paint and keep it glossy. (I used the ‘crylic instead of Polyurethane because it is water based and won’t turn white paint yellow like the ‘urethane will.)
I had a local fabric/foam store cut a piece of 1 1/2″ thick foam to size and used spray adhesive to attach it to the top of the chest. I let this sit for about an hour before I started working with the fabric. (I also used the spray on the fabric so when I was stapling it all on, it would stay as much in place as possible.)
I ordered three yards of this gray, Ikat dot fabric from Premier Prints. I found it on Tonic Living first, but they were sold out. Thank goodness you can buy directly from the company! It was only $9.99/yard and I love it! I ended up only needing 1 1/2 yards so after I laid out the fabric, I cut off the extra so it would be easier to work with while stapling.
Unfortunately, the top of the chest was attached with nails in the hinges, not screws, so I couldn’t take off the top to attach the fabric. This would have been MUCH easier but with Conner’s help and my mom’s air compressed staple gun, it wasn’t that bad of a project!
I started with the front and sides of the top, stapling inside the chest and into the foam and tucking the fabric around the corners then stapling that in place as well. Once I got to the back, I was stuck. Since the three hinges were in my way I wasn’t going to be able to use the same method. Conner was a huge help and it was nice to have a second set of eyes to see how we could finish.
He suggested just stapling into the back on top of the fabric since it was the back of the chest and would always be up against the bed. Brilliant! I tucked and folded the fabric so it made a nice edge and then stapled along the bottom of the folds. It came out rather nicely!
If you try this at home and are scared of the corners, don’t be! They are so easy and can be manipulated any way you like. Big folds, small folds, it is your decision and your choice. Try several different ways of folding and tucking until you get the look you like then staple and leave it alone! Even if you think it isn’t perfect, I promise the only person who will ever know will be you (and the person who helped you with your project, if you’re using a helper).
After purchasing two new glass knobs from Hobby Lobby and screwing those on, the chest was complete! I love how it turned out. It will be the perfect place to store sweaters and extra clothes as well as a great place to sit and put on shoes in our bedroom! The cedar chest is now modern and ‘us’ and fits in nicely with our bedroom. I think Conner is a little overwhelmed with the pattern against pattern but I told him he would get used to it because I’m trying to be more brave with mixing and matching patterns, textures and colors so this was just the beginning – hah!
Since the chest was free, my only costs were: 2 glass knobs from Hobby Lobby – $6 (I got them when they were half-off); 21″ x 41″ piece of 1 1/2″ thick foam – $12; 1 1/2 yards of fabric – $15. I had all other supplies on hand so this makeover only cost me $33. Not too shabby for a new bench and storage for our bedroom! Now to show my Grandma – I hope she likes it!