Monday, April 18, 2011

Toy Box

Several months ago, we were raiding our favorite thrift store for some found goods. We stumbled across this old 70s sideboard record player. The record player was still in tact, but we saw new purpose for the furniture piece: to gut the sideboard of its record player componets, freshen it up with some paint, and convert it to a toy box for our daughter! And, the new furniture piece was going to be multi-purposed: we would insert an attachment for an iPod and speakers, to ultimately turn the sideboard into a musical toy box!

So, how did we do it? Well, very slowly and cautiously. First, we gutted the sideboard and Jackie gave the inside a good scrub down. Then, I used the electric sander to get whatever glossy oil finish off that we could. We then primed the piece with BullsEye 123 Primer from Zinsser (the stuff is magic! It bonds to anything- I've even used it to prime glass before!).

Next, we coated the piece several times with Swiss Coffee OC-45 from Benjamin Moore, as an undercoat color (which I maliciously color matched into Behr Ultra paint... pretty typical).

It was pretty hard to keep going with the project after the under coat color was completed- the toy box looked soooo good in white (and I still can't believe I'm admitting that outloud). We then painted the lid in Benjamin Moore's Black Bean Soup 2130-10 (again, color matched into Behr). We chose this color because it matched most of the black-brown Ikea furniture in our place.

We then painted the toy box in Martha Stewart Living's Lagoon MSL125 (and yes, I actually used her paint this time!- only because I've had issues with color matching Martha's paint line before. Her paint is a little runny, but did the trick).

After the paint cured fully, I distressed the blue topcoat with a combination of 150 and 220 grit sandpaper to give it an aged look. I used a flat finish for all the paints to allow the multiple coats to form better adhesion. For the dark brown top, I used a high gloss oil based Varathane to give it some shine and better protection. And the varathane almost ruined the project... or, at least I thought it did. I knew that between coats of Varathane, you have to sand to prep for the next layer. I think I sanded a bit too heavy, because there was subtle scratches in between the coats. With each layer I applied, the scratches lessened, but are still there, hiding under the wet-look finish. I guess it adds to the whole distressed look.

We then attached fabric to the former speakers, and re-inserted them. We probably spent at least 3 hours in total at the fabric store trying to decide. We originally selected a paisley print with the same blue in it, but decided to go with something more kid-friendly instead. We ended up with a fabric adorned with smiling cupcakes.

We brought the piece home just in time for our daughter's birthday. The cupcake fabric made her squeal with delight! I love watching her use the sideboard for balance, as she walks back and forth along the piece. Even better, I love the way she dances, and moves to the rhythm that her toy box produces.

We still have to line the toy box to make it a bit safer for our daughter to use, and we'll potentially find a more permanent holder for the iPod (other than the makeshift foam covered electrical box I screwed onto the inside) and temporary computer speakers. And there is still a pair of slow-closing door hinges waiting to be installed. Other than that, it remains in our living/ dining room in all its glory.

I sometimes wonder about who originally owned the piece, and how it came to be donated to a thrift store. We gave the sideboard a facelift and new purpose, and I like to think that some day, our daughter will approach Jackie and I, and request to own the musical toy box- and continue the legacy that is found in family and sharing.

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