Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thrift Shopping

Denton has about a dozen thrift shops in town, benefiting various charitable causes.

Twelve.  Count 'em.

 I tend to frequent these thrift shops as a matter of habit because a. I be poor, and b. things be cheap. And it just so happens that I was shopping for a new TV console.  I'm usually all about the new gadgets and gizmos, but I've yet to replace my sad 1990's TV.  Partly because it still works just fine, and why bother spending a fortune on a flat paneled doohickey when I've got something functional, but mostly because my TV stand was made to accommodate the old school square model TV, and not the newer rectangular version. HDTVs have an aspect ratio of 9:16, and since TVs are measured on the diagonal, some complicated math that you care nothing about tells me that I can't have a TV bigger than 22 inches.  Some more complicated math tells me that this would actually give me less screen space, and though the diagonal measurement is actually bigger, the area of the screen is smaller than my current TV.  All this to say, if I want a new TV, I need a new TV stand. So I went a pinteresting. Here's what I found.
Source:Darling Doodles Design

I wanted to go with something fairly similar to this, with an open table top and storage underneath. Hence, thrift shopping. In my third shop, which supports a local women's shelter, I found this lovely low dresser with two drawers. It was literally falling apart.
It really doesn't look like much, does it?

The shop manager told me that I could have it for any donation.  Naturally, I asked "So you mean, I could give you fifty cents, and you'd let me haul it off?"  I got a hesitant affirmative, and ended up giving the man what I had floating around my purse in ones.  $7. After it fell to pieces in my car, I began reconsidering the wisdom of my purchase.

I painstakingly pulled the dresser apart, bit by bit, glued, clamped and finish-nailed it back to something near it's original sturdiness.  I cut a piece of plywood for the shelf and did a dry fit.

Then I got to sand it down with my brand new Ryobi sander.  I like Ryobi tools because they're generally light weight and easy to handle, and I have small girly hands, even when they're covered in paint and sawdust. And no, Ryobi didn't pay me to say so.
Anyone notice how much I use blue?

Then, I commenced to taping over the stiles and the drawer front.  The stiles are solid wood, and the drawer front is veneer. But it's pretty veneer, and in good shape, so I decided to keep it. Everything else got a couple of coats of blue, inside and out.  This included the plywood that was to become the shelf, and the table top.  I wanted to stain the table top, but it had been horribly repaired by someone not quite as handy as me at one point, and really was beyond repair. Next came staining what was left a dark color to match the drawer front. Original drawer pulls got a nice red coat of paint. I didn't prime the drawer pulls first, and only used one coat of paint, which gave the effect of almost a red glaze. You can see the wood grain through the paint, which I particularly like.  Next I had to drill a large hole in the back of the dresser for the cords to come through.  I put everything back together, glueing the shelf in place, and polyurethaned the whole shebang. Ta-da! Finished product.

And actually, I found a dresser that fits the space even better at my grandmother's house, which is getting the TV console treatment soon, so this beauty is available for sale at my etsy store.