Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baby Changing Station (or almost biting off more than I can chew)

I picked up this little cutie for $20 online and jumped on the opportunity to give it a make-over. It’s such a cute piece with lots of storage potential so into the back of my minivan it went. Once I got it home and inspected it closer and found that most of the pieces appeared to be wood but there was a good many pieces that are laminate over particle board. Yuck.  
the bottom shelf is included but not attached- light repair work!

that black thing inside the drawer is my cat :)

its cute!
My game plan was to take it apart, sand it and paint it with a spray paint/ primer combo. Off to Lowes I went and picked out a nice flat white spray paint with the cutest green to use as an accent. I also picked up a glossy top coat. 

Later that day I took it apart and started sanding it. That's when the sense of "what have I done?" started to sink in. There were a lot of pieces and a lot more than I had been prepared for were crappy laminate. Thank goodness the people I bought it from were nice enough to include the instruction booklet that came with it. Well, I already started so onward I go!

On the next sunny day I headed outside with a few sanded pieces to test paint. How silly of me to think a painter with primer built in would be good enough! It was clear right away that this was going to need to be separately primed first so I dug out a can of primer I had laying around from an former project from a couple of years ago and started painting. I'll spare you the frazzling details but lets just say this stage of the project involved a crying 22 month old and the goopy old primer running out before the areas needing priming did.
I started with the underside of the piece that the changing pad goes on top of, just in case!

looks like crap so far!
you can really see every brush and roller stroke with the first primer coat

yet again my cat thinks she needs to be involved
 I was not happy with the prime coat I got so off the Lowes I went again. This time I bought a primer recommended by more than one DIY-happy blogger I found on Pintrest and some fancy foam rollers. Plus some more sanding supplies. And 2 more cans of flat white spray paint.

Luckily the new Primer and foam rollers did the trick beautifully. I got a much smoother prime coat without all the nappy texture I got with the other roller I used. Sigh of relief! I primed all 9 gillion pieces and coated all of them with a single coat of the spray paint which took all three cans I had already bought! Oh man, that "what have I gotten myself into?" thoughts are getting louder. I also painted the pieces I *thought* were the correct accent bits with the green paint. A special thanks goes out to the landscapers that came in with the leaf blower and got dirt all over my drying pieces. Good thing spray paint dries fast!

Later that night I poured myself a big glass of wine and reassembled the unit. That's when I discovered my accent pieces error. Oops.
This adorable shade of green is in the very back of the deep cubby on the side where no one will see it
its not done yet but its reassembled and sturdier than before I took it apart
 Next I took a break. You know when you start a relationship and you spend way too much time with them and you just NEED some time off? Yeah, well, that was me.

After a couple days off I went back to Lowes to buy MORE PAINT. Yes, MORE. 2 MORE cans of spray paint! For those of you counting at home that's 5 cans of white paint for this one project. I thought spray paint was supposed to be the cost effective option here people! Luckily my kids were rock stars in the store because I brought both by myself and expected to be able to make decisions on what paint samples to buy for another project Im doing sometime after this bad boy is finished. They were richly rewarded with Happy Meals and frozen yogurt :)

Back outside I went with the assembled table and emptied yet another can of spray paint on it. Once inside again I found a few areas I missed so I pulled a can of white paint I had laying around and my new foam brush and did the touch ups that way. The sheen of the paints are different but luckily the areas I used it on are separated enough from the spray painting pieces to not be noticeable. I also did the accent painting and subsequently necessary touch up on the laundry hamper. I'm really quite happy with how it came out.  
accent painting done but despite taping before painting there was some leakage

nice and tidy!

lookin' good!
It was finally time to wrap this project up. I finished the accent paint on the groove at the bottom of each leg and then did some clean up painting because of course there was leakage around the painters tape. Then I top coated it a couple times over in the areas that would get the most contact. I also painted a metal finish on the handle on the hamper. IT'S DONE!!!

So as usual my eyes for DIY projects were bigger than my stomach so to speak but all in all I'm happy with how it came out, if not with how much time, effort and money required to achieve said outcome.  Here's the break down:

Lesson Learned #1: Use a good quality primer! I started with an old goopy dried out primer I had on hand and it cost me time. Once I primed with Zinsser High Hide Oil Based Cover Base things started moving along.

Lesson Learned #2: Use FOAM rollers and brushes! If its got bristles, forget about it. Bristles= visible paint strokes= UGLY.

Lesson Learned #3: Spray paint is best reserved for smaller, less complicated projects. I would use spray paint again on small end tables or other smaller pieces that don't require dismantling first. I plan on using regular paint and rolling it on next time. I anticipate using a half gallon would easily cover a piece this size with 2 coats instead of going back and forth to the home improvement store repeatedly to buy MORE spray paint.  I'll do an blog entry comparing the pros and cons of each once I've tried it out.

This particular project was a learning experience for sure. I'm already mentally onto my next project (my end table in the living room) but feel like Ive learned what products I should be using and how I should be using them. Hopefully I can find someone to appreciate and get use out of this changing station now that its FINALLY done!

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