My First Steampunk Adventure

Ever had one of those pieces of furniture your kids - or somebody's kids - got hold of and never looked the same?  That was me and a dresser that I bought for my youngest two girls who thought it was better used as a jungle gym.  I swear, the clothes were out of that thing more than they were in it because the "girls" liked to stand in the drawers and have a dance party(???).

I truly have strange kids!

Well, we all know what happened to the bottom of those drawers eventually.  Doesn't matter that it was all wood either; stress is stress!

Not sure if I'm talking about me or the dresser at this point.....

Since it was all wood and it's structure was still sound - I took it away from them while it was still in one piece and gutted it!

I thought about keeping the metal runners on the drawers, but once I saw how bent they were, the were chucked into the trash.  I'm still trying to figure how I even managed to get them closed as the little rollers were bent almost in a 90 degree position on three of the drawers.

I must have been pretty desperate to keep those clothes of their floor.

What I could salvage will be put to use on a very cool future project idea my sister in Arizona sent me a picture of.

Anyone have animals???

At last I had a gutted set of "drawers" that would soon be turned into a Steampunk Bookcase that I had been obsessed with doing.  I was literally trying to figure how to do it instead of sleeping at night.

It's  my OCD coming out of me again.

After that, the whole thing got a light sanding and a base coat of Annie Sloan's "Old White" chalk paint.

The first thing to do was to replace the back with a piece of all wood beadboard.  It was painted in Annie Sloans "Paris Grey" chalk paint then waxing and staining on top of it.  I then took a stencil and added old clock face designs on the board with acrylic paint - lightly stenciling the paint on to give a faded look to the designs.

The look of the wood I was going for was old crate wood.  This literally had me layering  chalk paint in "Old White", "Paris Grey", and "Coco".  But first, I needed to create the look of boards on top of the bookcase.  I used a ruler, a screwdriver, and a chisel; marked how wide I wanted my "boards", and slowly carved a line  down the top.

They look great after
adding some wax and
stain to emphasize the gaps in my faux-boards!

Stenciled numbers were also added to the top of the bookcase to give it a slight industrial vintage look.

Next was the process of fixing the interior of the bookcase by applying wood putty to the holes left by the old drawer guides.  Also creating the same faux board look on each side panel.  Then the process of layering the chalk paint colors began.  A coat of clear wax, some sanding and distressing, it was ready to start on the shelves.

The shelves were made using reclaimed pallet wood (non-treated).  After cutting them to size - three to a shelf - and securing them with 1 x 1's underneath, I found Steampunk images, altered their size to fit, and printed them on regular paper.  Grabbed my graphite tracing paper and went to "town" on each shelf with a ball-tipped tracing pen.

After laying clear wax down, then dry brushing "Old White" chalk paint, then staining, then sanding, then distressing..... whew!  I had my old shelves:

Now I just had to do this three more times!

After finishing this process with the other three boards, I took 1 x 1's and did the same painting and distressing routine that I did with the bookcase.  I then measured where I wanted each shelf to be, put some Gorilla glue on each and used that handy-dandy nail gun to secure them.  The bottom two shelves were nail gunned down in place so they wouldn't come loose.  The top two shelves were made to be removable, if needed.

After adding some old bookshelf rails I found and some old clock cogs and gears.

  I had a really cool bookshelf that the twins are still fighting over today, even though it's "permanently" stationed in my son's room.

I'll be doing more of this kind of designs in the near future.  I'm currently looking for a a really stinking huge larger workshop since I am now working out of a work shed, a large greenhouse, my sunroom, and my dining room!  The hubs is really being way too patient with my taking over every room on the inside AND outside of the house!

Vintage Resurrections
- est, 2011 -

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  1. Looks great! I love that it is different and outside the box! Your hard work paid off. I am a new follower! Come by and see me sometime!

  2. Wow! What a great idea!!! You did a terrific job re-purposing that piece. I love the clock gears too! It looks so great! Sorry for all the !! marks, but your did a wonderful job. I am your newest follower. Hope you can visit me sometime :)

  3. What a journey! I love it- and it's so unique. Looks like you had fun!


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