Ever since I saw this tremendous subway art dresser over at Lindauer Designs, I knew this was a project that I had to tackle myself.
As a native Arizonan, I am a self confessed arizonaphile. I love Arizona, it’s landmarks, it’s history, and it’s people. So it seemed only natural that if I were to create a subway art dresser, it would celebrate the Copper State.
So the first step for this project was to make a list of Arizona places of interest to be included. With the help of my faithful Facebook fans, I came up with a list that was quite a bit longer than what I needed, so I could pick and choose based on which letters I had and what space I needed to fill, since I wanted a pleasing aesthetic.
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This old dresser needed a bit of structural work before I could think about getting to painting. From the before pic, you can see the gaping hole where a bottom drawer should be. I cut a piece of wood to fit and made a faux drawer that is hinged for a little extra storage cubby.
The legs also needed some serious work. The brace between the front and back legs was missing on one side and one foot looked liked it had been chewed by a dog. I decided the best course of action would be to use my electric jig saw and cut the legs off. It’s a tall sucker, so it could use to loose a few inches anyways.
Once the structural issues were dealt with, I set to work with my paint brush. The first layer was a dry brushed white.
I used a white primer for this. No need to be fancy since we’re going for a rustic look on this piece. Since you’re using very, very little of the primer on this layer, it dries very quickly. By the time you’re done painting it on, you’ll be ready for the next step, which is adding the typography.
Like the Lindauer Designs dresser, I used 3 different sizes of Helvetica font vinyl stick on letters I picked up at Hobby Lobby, 2 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch. (If I remember correctly, they were in the poster board/sign making section.)
I wish I could tell you just how to go about designing and laying out your subway sign, but like most things in my life, I just winged it. 😉 I started with Prescott (my home town, only natural), then just started filling in the blank spaces with landmarks and cities from my list.
Once I was happy with the layout, I mixed up some DIY Chalk Paint with some black paint I had on hand. The plaster of paris lightened the color slightly to a dark, charcoal gray (dare I call it graphite?) When you’re using the plaster of paris in your homemade chalk paint, you will end up with small white specks in your paint that you wont notice when painting light colors, but when you are using dark colors they definitely show. It’s not something that bothers me, as I use it to my advantage on distressed or rustic pieces, but it is something you should keep in mind if you’re thinking of using the DIY Chalk Paint recipe.
In addition to the typography on the front of the dresser, I decided to leave wide stripes of the dry brushed white on both sides of the dresser as well, and I love the way it turned out! What do you think?
Ta da!! So excited with how this flip turned out. Love it when the finished project turns out just how you envisioned it!
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