Have you been eying Mid-Century style furniture, but been balking at the cost? Me too. As a contributor for Ana-White.com, I was searching for the perfect piece of furniture to submit to her for a new plan. I wanted something that was multifunctional. What we needed was storage for the hubs’ work uniforms, since FRC (flame-retardant clothing) shirts and pants are really thick and bulky. They were clogging up the closet! But since we don’t really have enough space for a nightstand AND a dresser, it needed to work double-duty. That’s when I saw this amazing illustration on Pinterest:
It was perfect! Exactly what I had been searching for. And I just want to give mad props to Ana for a second, because who else can draw up plans based on only an illustration? It’s awesome! She turned that image into this reality:
This is the first time I’ve worked with PureBond plywood, and ohmygoodness it is an amazing product. It’s formaldehyde free, which is important to me now that we have a baby in the house. It’s also pre-sanded to a buttery-smooth finish. And the grain is amazing. I used one coat of Rustoleum’s Ultimate Wood stain in Kona, followed by 3 coats of poly. The supplies (including hardware) cost $120. But again, I totally splurged!
They were so easy! I can’t believe I’ve never used them before. They’re expensive, but so worth it. They let you have a fully-inset door with no exposed hardware. Oh, and all those pocket holes on the door? That was kind of an accident.
See my door? Well, it wasn’t supposed to look like that. It was supposed to just be one solid piece of plywood. But due to some sort of brain meltdown, I cut the door 4 inches too short! Doh! No worries though. The plan had more than enough scrap 1×2′s to make a frame with my Kreg Jig. Then I just cut down the width of the door a bit, and fit it into my frame. Easy peasy. So though it has a lot of crazy holes on the inside, from the front you can’t tell a thing. It just looks like a fancy detail. Whew!
The legs are what really pull this console into that fifties feel. These tapered beauties are only $2.50 each at Lowe’s, though you have to spring for an extra buck and get the metal fittings. You screw the metal plate into the bottom of the console, then simply screw in your legs into the plate. So if I ever decide I’d rather have 6″ legs (more like the inspiration piece) it will be a super simple switch!
Let’s talk about drawers for a second. I’ve never done drawer slides before, and it was a learning process. One tip for newbies: Install the slides on the drawer box first, and then use glue and nails to secure your drawer front after it’s installed. Not before. That way, you can make sure the drawer looks perfectly spaced, even if it’s not. Drawers are really hard to get perfect, so don’t worry too much if they’re slightly off. It bothered me at first, but after examining store-bought dressers I noticed that they’re not perfect either. So I relaxed.
Another first for me was edge banding. Have you seen it before? It comes in a roll, either in birch or oak grain. You unroll it and iron it onto your rough plywood edges. Then you use a knife or scissors to trim off the excess, sand and stain. I pretty much sucked at this. I used a razor blade, drawing the cutter towards me in a slow, even motion. Even then, I’d cut into the plywood as often as not. Luckily, once you sand the edge down and stain it you can barely tell. So don’t be afraid to try it out. It’s worth the effort with those unlined edges. If you skip it, every raw edge of your plywood will look zebra-striped, even if you sand it well.
• Once you cut all your pieces, sand the living daylights out of them. Once it’s all sanded and smooth, decide which pieces you want to face top and front. This will determine where your edge banding goes. I did the banding after it was stained, and I wish I hadn’t. It would have been much easier to do the banding first, then sand it and stain it all at once.
• Stain all your pieces prior to assembly. It will make the finish much smoother and more even, making it less likely to create drips over the edges. Plus it will ensure you don’t have any raw wood showing after you piece it all together.
• MEASURE! I messed up the door, and my husband messed up one of the drawer fronts by drilling the handle hole an inch too high.
• Don’t get caught up on perfection. It’s hand made for a reason. It won’t be absolutely flawless, but it will look great. I promise.