A Golden Makeover

Knob Detail

While I don’t think our new apartment is 100 percent ready to show off yet (although we did have a party this past Friday!), I’m especially proud of some of our new finds—and the way we’ve repurposed some of our older pieces for use in our new space.

Closet space is always precious in Manhattan and I don’t think we quite realized how lucky we were in our last apartment. We had two closets, and by Manhattan standards, they were nearly walk-ins. Plus, they had built-in shelving—a huge plus.

Our new apartment has two (much smaller) closets, leaving us with a lot of clothes with no home! A dresser was the next logical step, but after splurging a bit on other new pieces of furniture, we knew it was going to have to come cheap.

IKEA Tarva Makeover

After a few days of mulling around, Apartment Therapy posted this great upgrade of an IKEA dresser. I was sold. Ryan was less than convinced, after vowing to bring nothing IKEA into the new apartment. Not deterred, a few days of gentle prodding and we drove to Red Hook to pick up the new dresser.

We also picked up a quart of paint (Glidden Crisp Linen White), Rust-Oleum metallic spray paint, a little jar of gold leaf, and new metal knobs for the dresser.

First, we spray-painted the knobs and the dresser’s feet with the Rust-Oleum. After letting that dry, we constructed the dresser and then I gave it a few coats of white paint and installed the knobs. It already looked great, but I knew what was really going to set it apart was the gold leaf.

Detail of IKEA Dresser

I decided to keep it simple and do a thin gold leaf trim on each drawer, the sides, and the top. I meticulously taped out my lines using a ruler and painter’s tape and then went to work.

Not surprisingly, this was the most time-consuming part of the project, but we’re both absolutely in love with the dresser and can’t believe it started out as a plain pine box! Everyone who’s seen it so far has said that it either looks like a meticulously preserved vintage dresser or an expensive new piece.

It looks great in our freshly-painted bedroom (Benjamin Moore Marlboro Blue) and most important of all, it allowed us to finally shed the shackles of our last two moving boxes. Success!

– Laura

P.S. I do think I’ll eventually add a coat of protective polyurethane to prolong the life of the gold leaf, but so far it seems to be holding up quite well.

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