From the Deep: A dresser transformed

Monday, July 02, 2012

Attention: This post contains content that may be upseting to wood purists and octopusophobics. If the painting of second hand furniture or leggy sea creatures gives you the heeby jeebies, viewing is not advised. Avert your eyes! Step away! I'll give you a moment to take a little stroll.

OctopusDresserBrooklynLimestoneIntro

Are they gone? Great, now onto this weekend's project.

As I mentioned in this post, I was thinking of adding a bit of whimsy to the dresser I scored on craigslist (loved the shape, hated the reddish finish). Once I got a good look at the graphic, I knew I didn't have the skills to freehand it. I dragged out the overhead projector (the same one I used to make the worldly sofa table) and got to work. It took a few hours, a sore back and a helpful husband but I'm loving how it turned out.

It's definitely a personality piece. Something I always try to add to every room but this is especially fun for our casual beach getaway. Did you notice this octopus is missing a leg? Oh the stories he could tell if our octopus could talk!

OctopusDresserBrooklynLimestone

If I wasn't pregnant I would have sanded the whole thing down to the natural wood before I started painting. I didn't think I could manage that without inhaling half the finish in the process so the red stain had to stay. The white really tones the red down so its not nearly as bothersome now.

The step by step photos tell the story but obviously you could use the same technique with just about any image. I simply printed out the image onto a transparency, lined up the projected image onto the dresser to help me outline my leggy friend before filling in the rest with a larger brush + roller. (I found the octopus image at the always resourceful graphics fairy)

My only problem now is that I sort of like how it looks in the living room so much I'm not sure if I want to hide it in the bedroom. Hmmm. I might have to find something else for the bedroom. Decisions, decisions.

What's your verdict - amused or horrified?

72 comments:

  1. oh my gosh i am in LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!  seriously in love.  don't hide it in the bedroom- bring it to my house and let me show it off for you. ;)

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  2. Angela8:44 AM

    It’s adorable and very unique!  You scored as usual!

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  3. my verdict?
    Jealous!  Great job!

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  4. Lilnecklady8:58 AM

    Score!!! I knew you would come up with something fabulous...Love it!

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  5. I REALLY like it. I love that you left the top of the dresser in the dark finish. That is one of my favorite looks and I searched high and low for furniture that incorporated the look when I was creating my 1st daughter's "big girl" room, but never found anything I liked. You hit a home run!

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  6. Julie9:13 AM

    Lovity love love!  And my eight-year-old looked up from his pancakes and declared that he wants that for his room!  Winner!

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  7. Wow, this is so cool! I love the risk you took - such a fun piece!

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  8. Elizabeth9:25 AM

    So the seven tentacle thing was bothering me and after scrolling up and down multiple times, I THINK you might have just missed one of them.  It's on the right and it looks like two tentacles sort of blend together and one goes down and the other goes off to the right.  If you were counting from the left tentacles six and seven blend.  It looks like the seventh one should head towards the drawer pull of the bottom drawer.  In your collage of photos, you can see it in the picture on the right of the one where you can see your hand doing the outline painting.  Is it just me?

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  9. Emily A. Clark9:26 AM

    You have some incredible patience!  At first, I thought you taped that octopus off before painting and I wos dumbfounded :)  I think it's totally fun for a beach house.

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  10. Elizabeth9:27 AM

    BTW, I love, love, love this project!  So much so I don't think I would want to hide it in a bedroom either!  Good luck finding the perfect home for your new piece!

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  11. No its not just you (i mention that it only has 7 legs in the post).  I intentionally left it off because I didn't want to cut into the hardware and I didn't want to add it randomly.  But asymetry doesn't really bother me.

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  12. It actually didn't take too long.  I went back and forth about painting some of the interior details (which would have required a lot more patience) but I'm glad I went with the more simple shape now that its done.

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  13. L.Duncan@home23duncanboys9:47 AM

    Totally loving it!!!! And jealous too:)

    7 tenticales? Who cares!

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  14. Elizabeth10:39 AM

    This is amazing!  Totally a signature piece, I dont know how anyone wouldn't love it!

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  15. Wendy - Old Town Home10:49 AM

    Super fun! I love how it turned out, and think it's the perfect addition for a modern beachy vibe.

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  16. I totally missed your post about being pregnant.  Congratulations!!!!  So happy for you.  I'm expecting in October (my second little girl) and will also be working on a nursery.  I'm sure yours is going to be the most adorable and clever one ever though.

    As usual, I'm totally impressed with what you've come up with.  Love the octopus.  

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  17. Jen Woodward11:01 AM

    i think this looks awesome. and it's giving me inspiration for some of the ugly dressers i find on Craigslist. congrats on the pregnancy, by the way! that's so exciting!

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  18. I love it.  I completely love it.  I love octopi, I love the reddish finish - I think it works perfectly.

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  19. Jillstigs12:01 PM

    Absolutely FANTASTIC!  I have a print of that same octopus from Graphics Fairy that I love.  Did not want to get the shower curtain (which freaked out my 13 yr. old daughter) so that was my comprise. 

    Seriously want to steal that dresser from you.  Great job!

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  20. Not a HUGE fan of octopi, BUT, this was exquisitely done!

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  21. Such a fun project!! Loving your creativity here. Bravo.

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  22. nct6211:31 PM

    I absolutely LOVE it!!! Bravo!!

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  23. Sara Harvey2:23 PM

    This is really unique...I love it!  I love how you used a projector...I think we have one hiding in the closet at work!

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  24. Glebova_aa2:28 PM

    Super!!

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  25. Marnie2:36 PM

    Love...love....love it!

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  26. Absolutely love this! So unique and memorable!

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  27. Love it so much!! How in the world do you come up with these fabulous ideas?? You continue to amaze!

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  28. Sutton Bend3:05 PM

    Amused, definitely! This one is a keeper.  

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  29. I think it looks great, but I'm going to stay with my earlier feelings that octopuses are creepy looking. 

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  30. Michael A Wurm Jr4:02 PM

    FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  31. I think it looks great!! And while I'm not a huge octopus fan-- I LOVE the idea! And you're turned out just splendid!

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  32. Lugeneb5:55 PM

    Love it!  It should be front and center not banished to the bedroom

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  33. Very cute! I'm all for painting old furniture!

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  34. I love it so much!! And this is so easy to do! I have gotta get myself an old school projector like that one...
    Stephanie, this is an awesome solution to your problem!! :)

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  35. Love it Stephanie, you did a fantastic job.

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  36. Considering my recent love for octopie it's no wonder I love this! Gorgeous idea and I really love the reddy stain peeping through the white xx

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  37. lesli devito11:10 PM

    I like how the handles kind of look like bubbles..genius job and I love this. I have been looking for inspiration for my daughters bowfront dresser and may do a reverse version of this, hers is already white......

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  38. Oh, baby! A heptadpus dresser should go on tour all through the house. 

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  39. April @ Money Pit Love11:16 PM

    Love it, love it, LOVE IT.

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  40. Jen Y3:30 AM

    I love your warning at the beginning.  :o)

    You did an amazing job! I'm sure it wasn't as simple as you make it sound. I don't think I like the octopus trend though. The owls were ok (at least they were cute or pretty) but I won't be decorating with octopus.

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  41. Amy Kennedy Slesar8:57 AM

    LOVE. IT!

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  42. Coastinganon10:28 AM

    I love it!  I did a nearly identical application to a dresser for my son's 'big boy' bedroom, but I am nowhere near as patient as you, so I created a custom decal and reverse stenciled it.  You can see it here: http://www.otherpiecesofme.com/2011/08/reverse-stencil-dresser-success.html

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  43. I love how you have this way of making everything look so darn classy.  If I was to put an octopus on a dresser...it would be just that.  But yours is stunning!

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  44. Erin Herzog1:31 PM

    OMG - this is one of the coolest things i have ever seen! Well Well done!

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  45. Emceuen3:15 PM

    first time commenter here, but this post called to me :) I don't really like octopus and i don't really like white paint, but i am full on having a total love affair with this dresser. could you put it in your entry way? what a great conversation piece to walk into! 

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  46. I'm still not a fan of the octopus but I'd put this in the living room. I keep thinking the octopus would just gobble up the goldfish.

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  47. that is awesome. 
    from idea to execution to finish
    awesome

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  48. LOVE it! I think you did a phenomenal job....using an overhead for projects like these are great! Great post hun!

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  49. Laurie6:44 PM

    Ummm...duh, it's awesome!!! (:

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  50. Melissa Irvin9:39 PM

    That turned out fantastic!  Love it!

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  51. I saw octopus pillows in HomeGoods last week and thought of you!

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  52. Looks truly fantastic!  I am so glad you went with something so fun!  It is perfect.

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  53. Decoratingdame1:03 AM

    I love it!  How new and fresh...out of the box. 

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  54. Jordan@the2seasons.com8:28 AM

    First of all Congrats on the exciting baby news!  I am so behind on my blog reading and I am just getting caught up.  Second, wow this dresser is amazing.  Have a fun weekend.

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  55. It's perfect! I'm inspired! Hmmmmmm

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  56. You are sooooo stinkin' creative, Stephanie!

    Love it!

    Seriously.

    And congrats on the pregnancy!

    I'm actually 28 weeks pregnant with twins and am behind on everything, including blog-reading, so I just now saw this.

    Hope you're feeling fantastic (as can be with the whole growing a human being business you've got going on).

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  57. Holy smokes that is gorgeous!

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  58. I'm in the process of painting that very same octopus on canvas - to hang above our saltwater fish tank in our foyer - so, I love that you painted it on a piece of furniture!

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  59. I love this idea! I saw this at the perfect time I have been wanting to paint a buffet I have. What preparations and paint did you use for the project? Thanks!

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  60. I love this dresser! I pinned it on my neutral nursery board so more people would find your tutorial.

    If you would rather I didn't, just contact me via the addy posted on the footer of my website and I'll take it right down.

    Jan
    Unique Baby Nursery Ideas

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  61. Stacy9:51 PM

    as a fellow pregnant lady trying to avoid fumes but getting stuff done before bebe arrives- I am wondering what kind of paint you used on this with no sanding and no priming...THANKS!

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  62. Hi Stacey.  This was a last minute project so I didn't pay that muc attention to the paint - I just went to Home Depot and picked up a quart in white that had a LOW VOC and no primer promise.  I believe I used Glidden Duo (the same paint I used for my shore bedroom) but I can't seem to find a photo to double check.  You can read more about what I thought about that paint on my MYColortopia post: http://mycolortopia.com/blog/bedrooms/my-guest-room-makeover  Its not completely smell free, just a lot less toxic than traditional paint.  When used in small quantities like the dresser, the smell was barely noticeable.

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  63. Thanks so much for your reply.  This is also a last minute project (baby countdown is in full effect), so hopefully we'll have a piece as stunning as yours very soon!  And thanks for the link to the other post, I've been wondering about that specific paint.  (P.S. We have a dark blue/almost navy blue room as well and it's my FAVORITE room in my entire house.)

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  64. Erin @ DIY on the Cheap10:19 AM

    Just wanted to let you know that I featured this in a two-toned furniture inspiration round-up today!
     http://diyonthecheap.blogspot.com/2012/08/two-toned-furniture-inspiration.html

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  65. Elizabeth11:37 AM

    Oh!  When you mentioned it was missing a leg in the post I didn't get that you made that decision on purpose. I read it as you were annoyed by it and it kind of bothered me too.  This whole Internet thing is tricky that way.  I just thought it was crazy that the original artist could do such an amazing drawing and then leave off one of the legs, so I was excited to find it for you.  Funny thing is I never would have counted if you hadn't brought it up.  Looking back I see where it would have gone through one of the drawer pulls.  You've to do what's right for the piece.  Great work as always!

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  66. Diana4:39 PM

    Love it!
    What a great idea for the beach!  I would use it as a TV stand in the family room where everyone could see it!

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  67. cvloehr10:31 PM

    Hello Mrs. Limestone, I am a new though completely addicted visitor to your blog. I too am an avid refurbisher of found furniture. My question is: how do you get rid of the musty smell? My projects generally result from pieces on the side of the road in suburbia with free signs, that are not gross but still have that certain mustiness. I have left them out in the sun to bake, I have cleaned thoroughly, but once it makes it's way into my home, I am often still left offended when I walk past. Thoughts? Thanks!

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  68. Thanks for reading. I've never really had much of an issue on this front. Once a piece of furniture has been thoroughly wipes down and then painted, it shouldn't smell. Have you tried using vinegar? That might neutralize a little must. If the odor is strong at the start I would probably not bring it home. Some things are just too funky even if free :)

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  69. cvloehr10:41 PM

    Vinegar is a great idea, thank you! It didn't smell at all to me until my overly sensitive husband started complaining about it, and now I smell it all the time. There is also the possibility that it is the stain and sealer that I used that we are smelling. I'll have to do some research before bringing in my next piece. 

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  70. Oh my God how time flies! Your octupus reminded me of an octopus I painted that seems like just yesterday, but - horror - it's already been 6 years!  [and I did mess up one of the legs :-)] End result was still fun and a success; she loved it!

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  71. THis is awesome and I am going to try it too!

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