DIY Big Boy Cars Room on a little budget: Part 3 – repainting and repurposing furniture

Our little boy’s room really started to come together when the car decals were placed on the road we painted. If you missed the DIY Part 1 and 2 feel free to go back for instructions on general painting tips and how to paint a road on the wall.  The main goal of this DIY project was to create the perfect room for our growing son while spending as little money as possible.  Because we are actively waiting to be matched with our next child’s birth mom and because we generally live frugally we didn’t want to break the bank on this one. The need to redo this room came by surprise. It was out of the need to move our son to a twin bed while still keeping the nursery in tact for our future baby. That being said, I am a perfectionist when it comes to decorating. I want our house to express my family and this room had to be just right for my little guy.  He loves his road and cars decals so much that he told me, “Mom, you need some cars on your wall.”  From a toddler’s perspective I am sure my bedroom would look much more fun with cars, but I’ll pass. There are usually cars on my floor so he does do some decorating of his own, right? 
Let’s get down to the furniture.  We started with a twin bed frame that was my husband’s as a child. (Even cooler is that the mattress is from my room before I moved out – a perfect contribution from both parents)  It was an okay stained color but the finish was cracking and peeling.

We rescued this classic children’s dresser from the trash of a house that had a fire.dresser before It smelled terrible and was covered in black soot, but I could see it’s potential.  We use TSP (Tri-Sodium Phoshate) cleaner to wash the dresser inside and out before sanding it and rewashing.* Note to any DIYer living in an old home or working with old furniture: You definitely want to use TSP to wash down your rooms, windowsills, furniture etc. during any project or just because. This helps (and don’t hold me to this because I am just an amateur) minimize lead dust that may have been created in your home or from sanding, moving etc. I use this in every room in my house.

Even though we were repurposing the furniture in this room, I wanted the room to be pulled congruently together.  So we chose a bright yet not too bright, bold blue from Lowes called Handsome Hue. We didn’t want the furniture to shine too much so we went with the suggestion of the satin finish from the paint guy.  It’s durable, washable (we’ve already had to wash it, yes) and it adhered nicely to the wood.  I wanted the wood to look worn and rugged so I only did one coat of paint. There are spots where you can see the wood color come through and cool brush strokes. If you don’t like this, paint another coat and it will disappear. If you are new to painting furniture, it is really important that you sand your furniture, wash it, let it dry, and then paint it. 

Here is the finished dresser.dresser finished  More on the super cute race car drawer pulls and thrifty accessories in my next post.
Additionally, we repainted a bookcase also originally from the curb that was in the nursery. It was a different blue and used up some red paint we had to make it pop. Our little guy just loves his room. Here he is moving in, which for him meant dragging all of his stuffed animals from one room to the other.
moving the animals inmoving in


Keep on trucking,




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