Harper’s dresser makeover

I’ve been getting a lot of questions via email and some comments about Harper’s dresser and how I painted it. I decided to do my best to write up a more detailed tutorial about the dresser and it’s transformation.

how to paint a dresser

I knew I wanted a French Provincial style dresser. I finally found one via Craigslist at a vintage furniture store about half an hour away. It’s a fairly petite dresser (dimensions 19″ deep, 46″ wide, and 29″ high), so I had no problems fitting it in my rav4 with the middle seats folded down. The color I picked was Sweet Pea (Olympic ONE brand in satin finish from Lowe’s, which is acrylic paint with a built in primer). A quart of paint was more than enough.

It was the middle of winter, so I painted up in our loft (it’s open, so very well ventilated) with a fan and used an old comforter as a drop cloth. First, I took out all the drawers and removed the hardware. I put the hardware and screws in a ziplock baggie so I wouldn’t lose anything. The second thing I did was get a bowl of warm, soapy water (I just used dawn dish soap) and a rag, and wiped everything down. I just wanted to get all the grease off from years of finger prints, etc. Since this dresser already had a painted finish, I figured soapy water would be enough. If it had been a wood or shinier finish, I would suggest using a liquid deglosser to wipe it with instead. Then I turned the dresser upside down (since I wanted to paint the top last).

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Next I took my angled brush (this one is my all-time favorite) and painted all the crevices and areas I knew I wouldn’t be able to use a roller on (like the ornate feet, corners, etc). Right after that I used a small foam roller on all the flat surfaces. Tip: use the roller as much as possible for the smoothest finish.

It took about two coats of paint with the angled brush, etc, waiting about a day between coats. Then it took probably three coats on the flat parts with the roller. This is because the foam roller puts on very thin coats. After this I let it dry another day then turned the dresser right-side up and painted the top. I let it dry another day and put the hardware back on. Here’s the picture I took shortly after finishing the nursery:

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It’s been over a year, and the paint job is holding up really well. I was afraid the top would scratch or chip with the changing pad and diaper caddy on top of it, but it’s still looking great! Here are a few pictures I just snapped with my iPhone to show you how it looks after a year of using it every day. The quality is not the greatest, and the lighting is artificial since we have the windows blacked-out, but it’s enough to give you an idea.

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So for those of you looking for some answers about how I painted this dresser, I hope that helps! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other questions. :)

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Harper’s nursery reveal

I have finally finished Harper’s room, six months after her arrival and three months after her due date. I mentioned before that this nursery represented so much more to me than just a place for Harper to sleep. Nothing about Harper’s premature birth was the exciting, blissful experience I had anticipated when we found out we were welcoming a second child. After going into labor and unexpectedly delivering at 27 weeks, life was a bit chaotic. Creating a beautiful nursery became the one thing I felt could still turn out as planned. After visiting my baby girl in the NICU, I would come home and paint (and paint, and paint), plan, and work on things to create a lovely room for her to come home to. It was my therapy. But enough with the dramatic introduction. Let’s get to the pictures.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nurserysuddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

It took me forever to decide on colors for the nursery, but once I came across this fabric and this inspiration room on Pinterest, I fell in love. The crib skirt fabric is Caitlin Wilson’s Fleur Chinoise, and it set the tone for the whole room. I custom-ordered the crib skirt, changing pad cover, and pillow cover from Sally Jensen Interiors on Etsy.

The wall colors are Benjamin Moore Classic Gray and Dove White. Painting the stripes was a little daunting on our textured walls, but I followed this tutorial I found on Pinterest and it turned out great! My best friend Amanda was a huge help for this project.

The crib was a Craigslist find. Noah was still using his crib, and didn’t seem close to being ready for a big boy bed yet. (In fact, he still loves his crib!) I didn’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on another crib, but knew I wanted a Jenny Lind style. After a few weeks of hunting, I found this one for a steal on Craigslist. It was a dark wood finish, and I painted it white.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

The Harper sign over the crib was a baby gift from my parents. It came as unfinished plywood, so I painted the edges a shimmery champagne color with Martha Stewart craft paint and painted the front mint green with leftover paint from the dresser.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

A small table next to the crib holds a humidifier and the baby monitor. It was an espresso wood finish, and I repainted it white and gave the legs that gold-dipped style using the same champagne craft paint I used on the sign.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

The dresser was also found on Craigslist. I knew I wanted a French Provincial style and it took me about a month to find one that was the right size and in my price range. It came in a beige and gold color, so I painted it with Olympic’s Sweet Pea to tie it in with the crib skirt (update: I posted the tutorial here). The hardware is original, and I left it untouched. The mirror was a clearance find at TJ Maxx a few years ago. It had black distressed edges, so I painted it white. The changing pad cover was custom ordered on Etsy. The rocking horse to the right of the dresser was a $3 garage sale find. It was wood and fairly beat up. My mom repainted it white and mint.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nurserysuddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

Vintage looking wall hooks are a fun way to display some of Harper’s adorable outfits. I have to admit that shopping for baby girl clothing is so much fun! The framed typewriter print says “You’re just my type,” and the other one says “And the child grew and became strong in spirit.”

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

I wanted a capiz shell chandelier from West Elm, but it was a bit pricey for me. I found one on Amazon that looked similar but fit the space better with smaller dimensions. The upholstered rocking chair is from Walmart. It used to be in Noah’s room where it had a denim slipcover. I re-slipcovered it in beige to stick with the color scheme. It has been used for many nursing sessions and bedtime stories, and is sure to see many more. The personalized pink chevron blanket was a gift from Blake’s coworkers. It has Harper’s first and middle name embroidered on it. The side table was painted white and gold and holds a few BabyLit books. I have to admit that Harper is still sleeping in her swing or Pack ‘n Play in our room for now, so once she moves up here I will put her white noise machine on this table.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

Wall shelves feature a few accessories. The flowers add a pop of color. The alarm clock is cute, but functional, since it is the only clock in the room. I painted a gold dipped paper machet letter H. The sheep stuffed animal was a gift from a friend that somehow ended up in Harper’s NICU cubicle. That little sheep stayed in the hospital with her until she was discharged. It holds a special significance now. The print says, “Being yourself is the prettiest thing you can be.”

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nurserysuddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nurseryI saw this closet on Pinterest and loved the design. I drafted up a similar design, and my dad brought it to life by building the shelves and installing the clothing rods. I removed the sliding doors and replaced them with curtains. It makes it feel more like a boutique and less like a closet with all Harper’s cute clothes and accessories on display.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nurseryThe top shelf has a glass canister full of Harper’s headbands, some board books, and a lamb that was given to Noah by Blake’s parents. the second shelf displays Harper’s birth announcement and a favorite pair of baby shoes. The mommy penguin wearing her baby penguin in her pouch is reminiscent of all the hours of kangaroo care (skin-to-skin time) that Harper got in the hospital. I would literally wear her inside my stretchy camisoles for hours at a time. I felt very much like an actual kangaroo.

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

And what would a nursery be without a precious baby?

suddenlyinspired.com || harper's nursery

There are a few finishing touches I’d like to add to the room. I’m thinking of adding some pom pom trim (white? mint? hot pink?) to the window and closet curtains as well as a mobile over the changing table. We also need to install a Foscam to spy on Harper. Overall though, I am very happy with how the room turned out. I just feel so grateful for the nursery and the healthy baby girl who gets to sleep in it.

Source List

Paint colors: Benjamin Moore Classic Gray and Dove White
Jenny Lind Crib: Craigslist (similar here)
Harper sign over crib: Etsy (kygracedesigns, sweetheart script font)
Crib skirt, pillow, and changing pad cover: Etsy (Sally Jensen Interiors)
Rocking chair and slipcover: Walmart (also found on Amazon) (formerly in Noah’s nursery)
Pink chevron blanket: Pottery Barn Kids
White ruffle pillow: Target
Curtains for window and closet: Ikea Lenda style
Faux sheepskin rug: Home Decorator’s Collection (bought on discount from Amazon)
French Provincial dresser: Craigslist (painted Olympic’s Sweet Pea)
Round mirror over dresser: TJ Maxx clearance a few years ago, painted white
Rocking horse: garage sale find, repainted
Picture frames: all from Ikea
Art work: found here, here, and here
Wall Shelves: Target
Alarm clock: Amazon
White baskets: Target (Room Essentials Y-weave style)
White wall hooks: Etsy (DiamondInTheRust)
Mint flower pot/vase: Ikea
Flowers: Michaels
BabyLit Books: Amazon
Side tables: From a set of three nesting tables on clearance at Lowes a few years ago, painted white and metallic champagne (with Martha Stewart craft paint)
Capiz shell chandelier: Amazon

Noah’s Nursery Reveal

The nursery has been 85% finished for quite some time, but I’ve been wanting to add a few finishing touches before sharing it with everyone. You know, preferably before Noah graduates high school. The final touches involved hanging shelves and installing bamboo blinds, which with my dad’s help finally got done today *happy dance*. So without further ado, here is the room I lovingly decorated and put together for my little guy.

Here is the view from the door when you first walk in. The curtains are the Lenda style from Ikea. I sewed on the navy blue stripes with fabric from Joanne’s. The bamboo blinds are from Home Depot and really work well to darken the room for naptime. The art collage over the crib was something I had a lot of fun putting together. The crib was purchased with my Christmas bonus money the year before last (while I was still pregnant). I’m sad that since we lowered the crib mattress, the navy and white polka dot crib skirt I made had to be removed. Right now the drawer beneath the crib holds extra blankets and bedding. The chocolate faux-leather ottoman beneath the window was a steal from Ross {I’m thinking it was only about $40} and although it is currently empty, it will be used for extra storage eventually. The faux-sheepskin is from Ikea.

baby boy modern nursery navy blue white striped curtains, white wood crib, art collage over crib, sheepskin flotaki, chocolate ottoman, denim dorel slipcover rocking chair, gray walls

The changing table/dresser is immediately to the left of the door. It was a Craigslist find of yore. I love the mid-century lines and the way the white and wood ties in with the crib. It was a bit small for our master bedroom, but it is the perfect size for the nursery. {We’ve since replaced it with a larger Hemnes dresser from Ikea in our room.} The scrapbook paper mobile hanging above the changing pad was something I made awhile back to give Noah something to look at while he gets his diaper changed.

baby boy nursery, mid century dresser, ikea eckby shelves, scrapbook paper mobile, globe owl framed art, gray walls

We are currently only use four drawers out of the six. The top left holds pajamas and socks. The top right holds Noah’s cloth diapers. The middle left drawer has all his pants and jeans. The middle right drawer holds onesies. All the rest of his clothes are hanging in the closet.
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The closet is on the wall adjacent to the door on the right. I hung a homemade bunting to add some color. All his shirts and sweaters are hanging up. The white baskets on the upper shelf hold shoes, burp cloths, extra bibs, etc. The left side of the closet is still pretty empty, but there is a plastic set of drawers that holds extra disposable diapers and wipes.

baby boy nursery closet, colorful DIY fabric bunting

The rocking chair in the corner was a birthday gift from my parents. It has a durable denim slipcover. I love it! The adorable owl pillow was a birthday gift from a sweet friend. The lamb skin was a baby shower gift from my mother-in-law. It’s specially made for babies and is machine washable. Noah enjoys it.
baby boy nursery - navy blue white striped curtains, bamboo blinds, colorful fabric bunting over closet, denim blue slipcover dorel rocking chair, yellow chevron owl pillow, faux leather chocolate ottoman

Here is the view standing in front of the window looking toward the changing table. The diaper pail and trashcan tuck in nicely beneath the shelves.

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The shelves to the right of the dresser are from Ikea. I chose the Eckby style because I loved the nickel finish on the brackets, and the shelves could be cut to length to fit the space perfectly.

The top shelf holds storage boxes {Kassett from Ikea} to hold cards and mementos. The globe is there because I have always loved globes, but also because I want Noah to know the world is a small place. I don’t want him to be afraid of travel and new experiences. Also, I really suck at geography and I want my child to have a better understanding of the lay of the land. Seriously…up until a few months ago I thought the state of Maine was a peninsula {Blake tells me I shouldn’t admit that publicly}. And don’t ask me where the state of Wisconsin is. I’m really not sure.

The middle shelf has a picture of my Papa Lou; the frame was a gift one of my co-workers gave me. Papa Lou hated that picture because he said he looked like a “sloppy sailor,” but I have always loved it. He had a successful Navy career {surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, among many other accomplishments} and retired as a Commander. He passed away three years ago, but my family and I will always be proud of his service. The cute little “NOAH” train was a Christmas gift from Blake’s Uncle Mike and Aunt Roberta. The white resin owl statue is from Home Goods.

The basket on the bottom shelf holds some books. There is a white shadow box frame that has a piece of framed scrapbook paper until I can find something better to go in it. There is also a Broncos piggy bank. We want Noah to be a saver. And a Broncos fan {that’s a given}.

baby boy nursery shelves - vintage photo frame, modern globe

Here’s a few more gratuitous shots:
DSC_0908art collage over crib close up NOAH letters

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All in all, I’m pretty happy with how the nursery turned out. There are still a few things I want to add, like some hooks on the wall to the right of the closet for holding a little backpack and jackets. But for now I’m very happy with how it looks!

Source List:
Wall color – Silver Screen by Behr from Home Depot
Bamboo blinds – Home Depot
Curtains – Lenda from Ikea (navy blue stripes sewn on)
Floor Flotaki (sheepskin) – Ikea
Crib – Walmart
Dresser – Craigslist
Changing pad and cover – Babies R Us
Mirror over changing table – Ikea
Shelves – Eckby from Ikea
Globe – Amazon
Broncos piggy bank – our local Walmart
Rocking chair and slipcover – Dorel from Walmart
Owl pillow – Etsy store whimsysweetwhimsy
Picture frames over crib – assorted frames from Target
NOAH letters over crib – hand painted by a family member
Clock – not sure, already had
Lamp – not sure, already had

Nursery progress: art collage over crib

It feels good to have one corner of the nursery finished. Especially considering that Noah is already 4 months old! Sometimes things don’t get completed on time. Eesh. This past weekend, Blake and I finally got around to hanging up some art on the walls.

Noah helped. (Don’t try this at home with your own baby.)

I had envisioned a frame collage over the crib, so I had been buying white frames from Target of various sizes. I had no particular plan, but just made or printed art to fill each one as I thought of it. In the end it all came together. Here is the finished product:

The letters were a gift from Blake’s sweet Aunt Gigi. She had them made especially for Noah – her niece hand painted them. I wasn’t planning on a Noah’s ark themed room, but I immediately fell in love with these letters as soon as I saw them. They had to be incorporated into the collage.

The whale was something I made on a website called tagxedo. It’s an awesome website where you can make a customizable word cloud for free. You can choose the words, the shape, and the colors. I used words from one of my favorite verses in Joshua and had them made in the shape of a whale.

The “i love you this much” picture with the infinity sign is something I made in photoshop. I saw something similar on Etsy, but didn’t want to pay for it, so I made one myself.

The owls were also inspired by browsing Etsy. I saw something similar and made my own version with scrapbook paper and burlap.

Last, but not least, I framed my baby shower invitations. One was from my Aunt Diana and the other from my friend Grace. Both of them put so much time and careful planning into all the details of each shower, including the invitations. I wanted to hang them in the nursery to represent how excited we were to meet little Noah.

Here’s a view of the finished “crib corner” of the nursery:

And how about a close up of the reason this nursery came to be (allow me to note that the owl pillow comes out of the crib when Noah sleeps in it):

This little bean lights up my world! I can’t wait to finish decorating the rest of the nursery for him!

Nursery Progress: DIY colorful bunting

The nursery is nowhere near finished, but I’ve been making slow progress. I’d been wanting to make a colorful bunting out of fabric scraps. Most of the fabric I already had from previous projects, but back in early May I bought a few colorful quarters from Joann’s with a coupon to have a variety of patterns. I actually finished the bunting the first of June, but I’m finally getting around to sharing it!

colorful fabric quarters and ribbon from Joann’s

I traced and cut out a 6″ equilateral triangle template on cardstock – then I used the template to trace and cut out triangles of all my fabrics. I dared to wrangle with the beast use my sewing machine for this project. I took two fabric triangles and put them wrong side together and nice side out, then sewed around the edges, leaving an unfinished edge. I opted to go this route because I didn’t feel like ironing and folding edges, and also I like the idea that no matter where I hang the bunting it will look the same on both sides.

finished triangle flag

laying out the fabric triangles to find the best arrangement

Then it was time to put the triangle flags on the ribbon. I was tired of sewing at this point, so I broke out my trusty Heat N Bond hemming tape {the same kind I used to make the bed skirt}. I ironed it on to the top of the  flags, waited for it to cool and peeled the paper off, then ironed the ribbon onto the flags, leaving a few inches between flags. Here’s how it turned out:

finished bunting

I decided to hang it over the closet to spruce up that otherwise very boring wall. Right now it’s up there ghetto style with scotch tape holding it in place. I’ll come up with a more permanent solution soon.

bunting over closet

And now here’s a far away shot to give it more perspective:

view from across the room

On the space of wall to the right of the closet {which is covered by the door when it’s open} I plan to hang some hooks for jackets, bags, etc with maybe a chalkboard over it for jotting down notes or doodling.

In other nursery news, the crib has a new friend:

etsy owl pillow

My sweet friend Hong got me this Etsy pillow as a baby gift. She was even thoughtful enough to have it embroidered with Noah’s name.

back of pillow

I love it! And of course, when Noah actually starts sleeping in his crib, I’ll find a new home for Mr. Owl. He’s just hanging out in the crib for decorative purposes now.

So that’s the nursery right now. There’s still so much to do – hang artwork, get the changing table/dresser set up there, install a shelf and some hooks, get a slipcover for the rocking chair, put up some bamboo blinds, etc etc. One thing at a time though. This nursery will eventually come together!