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Working on a new campaign

May 23, 2011
by thenestinggame

Two weeks ago I popped into a Flea Market at the corner of Clairmont Road and Buford Highway. It’s where I got these random pinecones, and there is just so much junk to look through there. Well, this time I spied these campaign-style nightstands:

Which made me think of this:

Source: Vanessa De Vargas, Lonny Issue 2

We have had our eyes peeled for a small dresser to replace the refrigerator flat file that is in the office/boys room. I think Taylor’s come to terms with moving it into the basement. The fact that we’re planning on putting a flat screen in there for the PS3 is part of the acceptance stage, if I had to guess.

I thought about the nightstands for a week, then went back and they were still there. I got the pair for 30 bucks. Pushed together, they will make a nice small dresser, if a little short.

The office, a wee part of which you can see here, is painted gray (Behr’s Dolphin Fin) and has pops of yellow. The artwork we have up there is mostly black with electric yellows, greens and blues. Here’s one piece by Taylor. And a Ken Done print that I bought on a trip to Australia.

All that said, I debated about what color to paint it, but we decided we liked the yellow-green so much that we decided to go the same route.

First, I used soap and water and wiped everything down. At the bottom of one of the nightstands I found a cardboard heart and a “Happy Birthday, Mommy” card dated 2003 from a kid named Genevieve. I hope Genevieve’s mommy is not a crack whore. Not sure why she would be, but for some reason the card made me sad. Anyhoo, then I took off the hardware.

I test-polished a couple of the corner details and a handle with Bar Keepers Friend. It shined right back up. The brass isn’t pristine, but it looks nicely worn and I’m okay with that. Next, I sanded the cabinets and the drawers. Nothing too intense–just roughed ‘em up.

I set up shop in our basement. (Thank God we have a basement. Dad, you were right.) I covered a work table in a plastic drop cloth and set this piece of wood on it where I balanced the nightstand, flat on its back

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. (Like Genevieve’s mommy.) This way, no painted surface was touching any surface.

I consulted Young House Love’s guide to painting furniture and picked up a quart of oil based primer. One coat:

And then another.

Much better. The Young House Lovers said one coat would do, but I really wanted to make sure the cruddy dark brown paint was masked. I also followed the “multiple thin coats are better than fewer gloppy ones” rule.

Action shot!

Next, paint! I bought a quart of high gloss LATEX paint in Behr’s Barnyard Grass, which looks something (but not exactly) like this:

Evidently, latex paint over oil PRIMER is ok. It’s latex paint over oil PAINT that’s a no-go. But that is where the story ends. I did manage to sneak a few painting sessions into a busy weekend, but–FOUR AND A HALF COATS LATER–I’m not 100% finished yet. I added coat #4.5 (I did the cabinets, but not the drawers) last night before they were fully dried from the previous coat and I think I mucked up the finish a bit. So, we’ll see about doing a little damage control tonight, hopefully.

But, they are glossy and bright and remind me of Kermit the Frog.

I have yet to figure out if that is a good thing.

Stay tuned!

Also, stump update. Still sticky.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine permalink
    May 23, 2011 2:13 pm

    Taylor has actually agree to move the flat file monstrosity to the basement? You are a miracle worker!
    Love the chests and the fun color.
    Have always been intrigued with your extensive traveling, but Australia? Exciting!

    • May 24, 2011 10:34 am

      Very excited about getting that thing to the basement. And Australia was amazing! Took a fun trip with my Mom, Papa and Leigh Anne Rose in 2002.

  2. Sadie permalink
    May 23, 2011 6:03 pm

    In the third to last picture, you were wearing Dad’s shirt. I remember it because when i was in third grade he told me what the square root of 484 was. Lmao. :D

    • May 24, 2011 10:29 am

      Good memory, Sadie! The shirt is from my agency, 22squared. I think you can do the math.

      Also, does “LMAO” count as cursing??? ;)

  3. May 24, 2011 8:43 am

    Speaking of Kermie:

    Will we get to see a picture of the finished project?

    Also, you have FAR more patience than I (plus the basement helps).

    • May 24, 2011 10:33 am

      Jason Segal give me hope! Also, a group of us went to this experimental puppet show this weekend (very odd), but the Center for Puppetry Arts has a modest Jim Henson display with a full scale Big Bird, Kermit, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, Ernie and some Fraggles. It’d be worth checking out on your next trip!

      Finished pics will come. They probably won’t be in place in the room, but hopefully I can have something to show in a week, I’d guess??

  4. May 27, 2011 11:40 am

    yes! i want to see how they’ve turned out. kelly green can be an annoyingly transparent color. along with red. some brands are worse than others…no fun! good call with the oil based primer, you are a thorough young lady :)

  5. June 1, 2011 2:16 pm

    It’s funny to me how in your photos of the finished nightstand, everything around them looks so pinkish. It’s as if that electric green sucked up every bit of green in the whole photo. The antiqued brass accessories, however, somehow class up the green and make it all come together.

    I was also intrigued to learn that Campaign furniture is a type of furniture made for travel. Historically, much of it was made for military campaigns. (Stolen verbatim from wikipedia.)

    Nice job, Molly.

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