First I did background research on cleaning, types of paint and colour schemes. I wanted to learn how to refurbish items to give them a more modern look.. It took me a while to start, as I felt I needed to buy the perfect item to paint!

The first week, I traveled half an hour one way to pick up a dresser I had purchased. I then left the dresser for a while to learn about painting. I knew I had to find which cleaner would be best to use. I saw this video called “Cleaning Furniture With TSP Antique Restoration” so I checked out the cleaning supplies in our house and found some. TSP stands for Trisodium Phosphate. I looked into what I should know/the dangers of using TSP; my investigation led me to find out I only needed a certain amount of TSP, mixed with warm water and then wiped with warm water to remove any excess. This cleaning took me a whole TWO HOURS as I needed to clean the dresser very thoroughly and multiple times inside and out. 

The next two weeks I learned about types of paint and colour schemes.  

 I learned more about types of paint and which would be best for me to use on the dresser that I was refinishing.  I have learned that there are the following types of paint: 

  •  Latex paint has multiple finishes including satin, semi-gloss, or glossy finishes.
  • Chalk Paint is water-based paint typically has latex as its base, but delivers a thicker, buildable texture.
  • Milk paint for furniture is popular for its eco-friendly ingredients with no chemicals or added fumes.

Later, I seeked some guidance from my local Home Hardware where I talked to the staff about what I was painting and asked their advice. I even asked them about what colour they liked! They suggested I use a different type of paint specially designed for furniture and cabinets. My common sense agreed with this since they have had many customers use it and the staff member even had a positive experience with it as well! 

Prior to buying paint, I thought I was going to make a risky move and use bold colour so I thought it was best to learn about colour schemes to help me make a better decision. 

I learned…

  • Complementary colors are any two colors opposite each other on the wheel. For example, blue and orange, or red and green.
  • Analogous colors are any three colors next to each other on the wheel. For example, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow.
  • Triadic colors are any three colors that are equally apart on the color wheel. For example, red, yellow and blue.
  • Split complementary colors use three colors. The scheme takes one color and matches it with the two colors adjacent to its complementary color. For example, blue, yellow-orange and red-orange.
  • Tetradic or double complementary colors use four colors together, in the form of two sets of complementary colors. For example, blue and orange is paired with yellow and violet. 

After learning more about colour schemes and asking my twitter followers what their thoughts were. I thought I better keep it simple and go with a neutral colour; I decided on classic white. White is neutral, matches all colours, and may allow me to accessorize more and explore colours with the drawer handles. 

Finally, the fourth week I actually started painting. This was a huge relief. I was really starting to doubt my thinking that this project was not for me. 

I started with sanding, wiping the dust off from sanding and then introduced my mom with the stick it paint. My mom really pushed me to try and explore this project more with painting. She really motivated me to keep trying, by staying positive and helping me see the end result. This is part of the reason why, I wanted to include her in my process with a video.

Videoing the process was not for me, I enjoyed learning and showing my classmates what I was doing and learning. However, I found it disappointing as I could not see much progress happening in a timelapse. I decided I would be happier doing my learning project by posting more on twitter to gain support and engagement from other students and to take progress pictures. I almost wanted to quit when I had spilled almost a whole can of paint. Most of all, I have learned to stick with it and that my mom, and my classmates have helped me and supported (way more than any other semester) me so much this semester creating a positive environment full of excitement and people who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. 

Week five, I was still painting and finally in week six  the dresser was complete and I was happy with the results. 

I later refurbished more items but chose to post on twitter with pictures rather than blogging. I completed two side tables/end tables.

In week six, my sister purchased a house and my family spent some time moving her in. This was when my mom thought it would be nice to refinish her room and then I could move into her bigger room. (I thought to myself finally being the youngest has somehow paid off!!) With the help of my parents through buying supplies, helping pick colours and outlining the room with paint (cutting in) we got the room done. 

My mom and I picked out a neutral colour, grey to paint the walls. Once we were done painting the walls, my parents had decided that the ceiling was more filthy than we expected, so we decided it would best do paint the ceiling as well. (Yes, we should have done the ceiling first, but we didn’t.) Prior to painting the ceiling, I saw on Twitter with some tips about painting a ceiling better. So, I wore an old shirt, tied my hair up and put a shower cap on and made sure I had my glasses on similar to the tip on Twitter. After painting the ceiling, my parents and I saw a drastic change in the colour and this even made the room even brighter than it was before. We picked out some flooring and paid someone to come in and install it later that week.

Painting and moving to a new room has helped me decorate differently with a different colour scheme, has taught me new skills, and helped me value the hard work put into creating this space. 

My last project, that I have not shared with anyone besides my parents is making some blanket ladders. I had my parents help with cutting, and measuring, we took the time to work together and bond. (Group Effort) We bought some eight foot tall pieces of wood to make my gift for my sister for her housewarming and birthday gift. Her house is modern with the majority of the interior of the  house being white. I have not posted online about this because her birthday is coming up right away here in June and did not want to spoil the present by posting online where she may see my posts. I have even had to hide the ladders on multiple occasions. There are two options for her to pick from: a dark stained ladder and white painted ladder. 

I have loved creating and exploring. Please watch my video to see my projects that include some progress photos. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way.