Introduction: Vintage Dog/cat Bed From a Drawer
Runner Up in the
Cat Challenge 2016
Let your pet be "snug as a bug" in this fabulous bed made from an old drawer. Make this vintage petbed that shows off your style in just a few days using some basic materials.
Time: I will say this project takes a couple of days to make, mostly due to the fact that you need to let the transfer images dry overnight. If you use napkins or other images to decoupage (not using the transfer technique) you can have it done faster.
The drawer measures 30x55x13cm.
Now let's get started...
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
- An old drawer or box
- Chalk paint (I used Annie Sloan's)
- Varnish/chalkwax or both
- Blanket/something soft as the dog/cat's matress
- Feet + screws
- Small screwdriver for attaching the feet
For transferring images:
- Decoupage glue
- Laserjet printer
- Painting glove/mitten (optional, but very helpful)
- Sponge (optional, but very helpful)
Step 2: Painting the Basecoat
The good thing about chalk paint is that you don't have to sand and prime your project.
- Clean the drawer (I used an eco-friendly all around cleaning agent and rinsed the box off with water in the tub)
- Let it airdry completely
You can use an already made color or make your own. Consult a colorwheel if you don't know which colors to mix to get the desired color. All you will need is a big jar of white and small jars in the primecolors: red, blue, yellow and black/dark grey. With these colors you can mix any color you want.
For this color I used about 8 tablespoons white and added small teaspoons of blue, yellow and grey. Make sure to stir properly. If you want you can have a colorchart to make it easier to see when your blend is the color you want. Keep in mind that the color changes slightly when dry.
Use criss cross paintstrokes and work fast. Don't go over a wet area again as this might cause the paint to "roll". I used a round paintbrush for this step. This paint dries very quickly so by the time you have painted the whole drawer you will be able to start on the next step straight away.
Step 3: Adding Texture
For this step I used a tiny amount of the leftover paint from the previous step mixed with white. This will make it still look white in comparison, but will look more coordinated with the darker color.
To add this cool texture use paint dilluted with water and a flat brush. Dab off any excess and drag the brush slightly over the top. The brush should be quite dry and absolutely not dripping because then the paint will fill all cracks in the wood and we don't want that. We just want the paint to be sitting on the surface and leave the darker paint in the cracks. You can see in the photos that some areas are totally covered with white and this will happen in some places, so don't worry. You can sand those parts later.
Step 4: Sanding
Use sandpaper to sand away any big white splotches. I used a sandingblock for the bigger areas and a tiny piece for edges and smaller areas. Using a small piece and a finger or two will help you have control over the sanding and the final look. I mostly used 80-120 grit sandpaper (quite coarse). After you're pleased with the look, wipe the drawer properly with a damp cloth. Keep in mind that this is a watersoluable paint and if you use a cloth that is too wet you will wipe away paint (which can be to your advantage if that's the look you're after).
There will be quite a mess so my best tip is to use a big piece of fabric underneath that can soak up the sanded paintparticles. When you're done you can just throw it in the washer. You don't want to mop it off the floor since water will turn it to paint and may stain your floor.
Step 5: Printing Out Images
Browse the internet for free images and print them out in the desired size. Make sure you mirror any texts.
I used a laserjet printer and standard copypaper. There are different techniques on transferring images so use the one you prefer.Here I'm showing you a transfertechnique using a laserjet printer and decoupage glue.
Trim the images leaving only a tiny edge of white paper.
When you're happy with the layout it's time to glue them on.
Step 6: Glueing Your Images on the Drawer
Using a smaller brush wipe on decoupage glue on the right side of the image. Be generous with the glue, but not so it's gloopy. Wipe away the extra access with your brush. If you leave too much glue it will become bubbly and will leave a huge blob on the image that can be hard to take off without ruining your image (see photo). Press down firmly making sure every edge is in place. You can use a creditcard for this step, but I just pressed with my fingers.
Leave the images to dry overnight. This is very important. I've read you should leave it to dry for at least 6 hours, but I always waited overnight to make sure I didn't ruin the images in the next step.
Step 7: Revealing the Images
After the images have dried overnight use a wet brush and dab on the paper making sure it's damp everywhere. Be careful not to wet the paint as it will dissolve and/or smear around the image's edges. Let the paper soak for a few minutes until the image shows through.
For removing the first layer of paper I used a sponge. You could use your fingers, but after an image or two your fingers will be raw, so take it from me and use tools instead of your skin to do this. Work from the inside out in case there are edges that aren't properly attached. Let the image dry in between so you can see where you need to scrub more. For removing the next layer I used a painter's glove that is slightly textured and rubs off the paper more gently than the sponge. You will also have better control this way. You might need to repeat this process a few times until the paper's "fuzz" is mostly gone. The image will look more crisp after you've added varnish, but you want to remove as much visible "fuzz" as possible.
Repeat the process with the remaining images.
If you find a piece that isn't attached properly, use some more
decoupageglue, let it dry overnight and do this step again the next day.
I used four different flowers for each side. I finished one side, then printed out mirrored images and attached them to the other side of the drawer .
Step 8: Detail of the Images
Attach as many or few images as you like. I like the back looking as nice as the front and sides so I added an image there aswell (the doves).
Step 9: Adding Varnish And/or Wax
Go over the whole drawer making sure you're pleased with how it looks. Sand more if needed. I sanded where the usual wear would be: around the edges and where you would open and close the drawer. Wipe everything off with a damp cloth making sure there is no sanding dust or tiny rolled pieces of paper stuck anywhere. To seal the whole thing use varnish and/or wax. I used varnish for the sides that had images and wax for the plain parts. This is mostly because I want to compare the durability of the two mediums.
Step 10: Adding Feet
To add some extra flair to the bed attach feet to the corners. I found it helpful to use the tiny screwdriver to make a small indentation where the screw should be. This way you don't need to drill, but have it easier to attach the screw.
Step 11: Adding a Blanket/cushion
Finally add a blanket or cushion to make "the matress" and present it to your pet who will surely be overjoyed at its new fashionable bed.
Hope you liked this tutorial and will consider voting for me in the dog or cat contest.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you give it a go. I'd love to see what your petbed will turn out like.
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Please be positive and constructive.