So here’s the thing, I’m really not very handy. I hate admitting that because deep down I feel as though someone who is interested in design should be at least somewhat handy, but truth be told I’m not, like really not. There are some things I can do that I personally consider handy, but to those true do-it-yourselfers they aren’t really all that handy. For example, I can follow the IKEA instructions and build a BILLY bookcase, or a MALM nightstand with a little sweat, tears and the odd F bomb when the pieces don’t fit quite as nicely as they should, I can hang pictures, I can paint but only things that don’t require me to do anything precise like cutting in. You must be thinking “why Jane with all of your god given handyman skills why don’t you do more DIY projects?”. Truth is, I hate this stuff. I hate getting dirty and I really hate when I don’t know what I’m doing, but I have to pretend I do so my husband doesn’t think I don’t.
Well this week I decided it was time to complete a project that for me was pretty big. I decided to re-finish our tv/media unit. Our media unit really doesn’t fit in with our new-ish house. We bought it 6 years ago and I really didn’t want to part with something that cost us $600. I realize it was 6 years ago, but it actually has great lines and I love the retro feel. Instead of forking out the cash for something new I decided I would paint it. Last year I took on a similar job and needless to say, it didn’t turn out quite the way I was anticipating. I was wary of doing this unit mainly because it’s in our family room, and we’re in there a lot; it’s a family room. The first step was figuring out what to do. Of course, I used Pinterest to help me figure out the steps I needed to take to make this work.
Pick a paint colour. Obvious choice, some shade of grey. I went with Benjamin Moore Origins paint from Canadian Tire in Confederate Grey. The paint itself has a built-in primer; however, given the condition and finish of our piece I also picked up primer.
Prep your piece of furniture. I washed the media unit down with a warm cloth and dried it. I removed dust and a lot of leftover dog hair hidden under the legs.
Prime your furniture. We started to prime at about 9pm and we were finished by 10. We went with Zinisser primer and wow did it smell. In fact, I woke up in the middle of the night concerned that perhaps the fumes had somehow gotten to my daughter and that it was causing her to have breathing issues. I rushed into her room at 2:30am to find her snoring loudly, and fast asleep. Nevertheless, I then woke my husband up to voice my concern about the fumes and the health of our daughter. He said he couldn’t smell anything but if I was that worried that he would move the piece of furniture outside for the night. So it’s 3:08am and we are in our undies and t-shirts moving a tv unit from our family room to our back deck. Oddly enough in the morning when we went to move it back inside it felt super heavy and took us twice as long. Lesson learnt, if you have heavy furniture to be moved or are moving in general, jump out of bed in the dead of night and get the job done. You’ll feel like Superman with super human strength.
Paint. I did 2 coats on top of the primer but I was also painting a deep dark grey.
You could seal the piece of furniture and many people do. I didn’t. I left it. I had had enough of painting (see not so handy) and the piece looks good. If it was a piece of furniture that saw a lot of traffic I would have but our media unit doesn’t see a lot of traffic it just houses the tv and the components.
Set your room up and live. If you have made it to this step, well done! I can’t believe I made it, but I did. I love step 6!
All in all this little project was about $75 and wasn’t too bad. I was able to complete it without swearing, without tears and without sweating. Verdict, repainting is easier than putting together a BILLY bookcase. Money well spent on a piece of furniture we love but still I’m not convinced I’m the DIY type. We will see!