All Dressed Up

I love my new dresser!

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Okay, so it’s not exactly new… My parents bought it for me when I was 13, and my dad stained it the natural shade it still boasts today.

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After 14 years, I was getting a little bored with it, and replaced the plain wood knobs for some teal/gold ones I’d found  on clearance at Pier 1 about a year ago.

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I knew painting or staining the whole dresser darker would be much more work than I wanted, but I think it’s something I’m going to cave and do in the next few years.  So in the meantime, I thought a fun, temporary solution was just what it needed!  I had some temporary wallpaper laying around from Tempaper’s 2012 Honeycomb Citron collection, which I’d had on the walls in my old apartment.

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It went up on the walls relatively easily, and came down in about 5 seconds without leaving a single mark on the walls.  I decided to trust my dresser to Tempaper as well.

After unscrewing the knobs and setting them aside, I started by unrolling the paper.  I wanted the pattern to look continuous despite being broken up by the space between each drawer, so instead of measuring and cutting first, I simply stuck the paper on the top drawer.

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To get clean cuts, I first indented the paper on the edge of the drawer front, which is a little difficult to see, thus the added arrow:

image (2)Where ever those creases are, you’ll need to cut with either scissors or an X-acto knife.  If using an X-acto knife, make sure you go slowly and apply very little pressure; otherwise, you risk putting cuts in the wood.

image (55)In the above photo, you can see that the lower left hand corner of the paper is a little bit uneven.  This is easily prevented by moving a little slower with the razor, or can be easily fixed by going back over it one more time.

This project is very easy, and really only requires a bit of patience (to straighten out the paper, smooth out the air bubbles, and cut evenly). When you’ve finished applying the paper, the knobs can very easily punch through the now-covered holes.  If you experience any resistance, try starting a tiny hole with your scissors or razor.  And then you are left with a clean-looking, finished product!

photo (18)The best part is that the knotty wood can still show through on the sides; perfectly wedding country-style with a modern, eclectic twist!

I love it!  What do you think?

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Xo, Laura


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Laura’s Stairway to Heaven

Some exciting stuff went down around here today:

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But to start with, times are hard around here without Mike.  Gus and Phoebe have been breaking the rules left and right.  Actually, Gus was extremely helpful last night, when he woke Phoebe and I up at 4 am to notify us that the Wall Street Journal delivery man was actually a Dexter-style serial killer.  I may or may not have been extremely grouchy.

But I DID get to FaceTime with my sweetheart tonight!  Sometimes he talks, but most of the time I talk:

And in other exciting news, I finally took care of our boring stair situation.

Natural wood is beautiful, but too much can be too boring.  And I LOVE the way that painted stairs look:

(More examples can be seen on BHG, Real SimplePickleePainted Therapy and Bees Knees Bungalow.)

I wanted to replicate the look of painted stairs, but I needed it to be renter friendly…. especially since our landlord’s ONE inflexible mandate was that we not touch ANY of the real wood (fake wood paneling excluded) in the house.  I knew that contact paper was the solution.

The only problem I faced was what color/pattern of contact paper to use.  I’ll save you the soul searching I went through to arrive at a decision, but ultimately I chose to go with plain white contact paper.  I decided against any colors or patterns because I worried they would detract from everything going on in the living room and kitchen, two rooms visible from the stairs.  And actually, I initially decided to go with beige contact paper to match our antique white walls.  But on second glance, the color was too far off to actually be pulled off.  White has always been the classic color for painted stairs, so I figured it would work for us.

I set to work with a roll of white contact paper purchased for a little under $8 at Lowe’s, a pair of scissors, and an exacto knife.  The look is extremely easy to replicate, since all you need to do is measure the stair, cut the paper, line it up, and pop it in place!  Because the contact paper is fully removable, you can lift it back up to smooth out any bumps.  Or you can simply take the easy way out and piece any air bubbles with a needle, then smooth the spot over.

Occasionally you may mess up and cut a piece that’s much too short without knowing quite how you did it (was it that glass of wine?).

image (14)But you can just peel it off and start anew.  Eventually, you end up with the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen: a 100% renter-friendly, faux painted staircase!