Mr. Sandman

By | February 24, 2013

I’m usually in charge of all the sanding around here. Not because Melissa can’t do it, but because I hate to paint. And she says it only seems fair that if she’s doing all the painting, I should be doing all the sanding…

Anyway, I got to work last Sunday working on the Craigslist dresser we bought a few weeks ago. I wasn’t happy about starting the project late in the afternoon, but she was pretty persistent, and thus, she won out in the end.

Need a refresher? Check out this post

It started out looking like this:


But we’ll be painting this guy white, or gray, or blue, or whatever color Melissa decides on, so we had to sand down the finish and get it ready for primer.

When we bought this stuff off of Craigslist, we drove the car around back of the house and unloaded the dresser into the basement. I didn’t want to carry it all the way back around to do the sanding in the garage. So since it was warm, we started by taking out all the drawers, and then we carried the dresser outside the basement door since it was warm enough to handle being out there in order to avoid having all the dust and stuff in the house.

Then I got to work using a hand sander, sanding with a lower grit sandpaper (100 or 150 grit) to start getting out the deep scratches and dents.  Then I switched to a 220 grit to get a smoother finish, and since we’re going with paint instead of stain (the veneer was too thin to sand and refinish with stain), it’s not as important to get down to the bare wood.


Melissa came out and helped a little on the legs with some 150 grit sandpaper since we couldn’t use the palm sander on those.


Then, we went to work on the drawers.


These had the most damage, so they took the most work.

On almost all of them, there was pretty bad wear that we had to sand way down to get it smooth. Basically, we had to go from this:


To this:


I was able to use the palm sander to work out almost all the nicks, dents, and scratches on the trim, letting Melissa use some sandpaper to get in the nooks and crannies.


Then, she wiped them down and gave them a good spray all over with mold-killing Lysol, “just in case.”

And since I do have a mold allergy that makes me cough and wheeze, it didn’t seem like too bad of an idea.

When we were all finished, the dresser was all scuffed up, ready to be wiped down and  then primed.


Again, since we’re painting and not staining this piece, we didn’t need to worry about getting all the finish off. Plus, since the primer we prefer claims to require “no sanding,” we’re fine with just scuffing the surface a bit to give it that extra hold. This is probably sanded way better than it really needs to be, but we prefer to not have to go back and fix it later if something happens and the primer doesn’t work as well as it should.

Here’s a closer look at the top:


Here’s the drawers, all sanded, which gives a closer feel to how the trim will look a contrasting color:


Now that we have these all sanded and ready for primer, we’ll probably have to wait awhile before we can move on. It’s still pretty cold here, and we can’t paint when it’s below 50 or 60 degrees. Plus, we just had a huge snow storm last week (with over a foot of snow!), so it’ll be a few days (or more!) before it melts enough to do much outside or in the garage at all anyway, especially since there’s more snow headed our way tonight…

Tell me how you divide up duties around your house? Or do you always do the teamwork method and help each other out? What about sanding, who gets that awful fun task?

2 thoughts on “Mr. Sandman

  1. First House Spouse

    Splitting up the work is always interesting when we embark on a new adventure. We’ve come to realize that my wife is a wonderfully natural starter of projects while I enjoy finishing them (and frankly, never starting anything). It’s become one of our strongest marriage traits. During the project however, we try to split up work as best we can to keep both people busy and having fun (as much fun as you can have depending on the task). When one of us has nothing to do we try to do the same task or trade off who’s working and who’s relaxing. For our laundry closet remodel, I got to do the destruction, we both spackled and sanded, Sarah cleaned the walls, and we both taped and painted. I prefer to do anything that damages or punctures the wall…but only so I can get upset with myself instead of her when I mess up the house 🙂


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