Carly Rubach

Garage Makeovers

Head into the garage with Carly as she makes old furniture new again with a couple simple DIY tricks.

By - Apr 14th, 2013 01:15 am

Dresser4Unpacking is hard.

Even though the new house is manageable and not overwhelming to decorate, we haven’t found much time to fix the place up. Granted, I haven’t had a full weekend where I could just work on the house since we moved in, but at least I should have a chair or a piece of art in my room. In time, I suppose.

We’ve been able to take advantage of our garage, which is becoming my favorite part of the house. The area is cluttered with stuff, but it functions as a great space for DIY projects. This isn’t the first time I feel like I don’t have to worry about making a mess—not that I have been terribly concerned about making messes in other “non-garage” spaces. But I do believe you’re more likely to get a project done if you’re able to leave your tools out instead of having to take them out again each time. Or perhaps that just means I’m lazy.

deskWhen decorating any new apartment or home, look at what you have and see if there is anyway you can recycle pieces before tossing them to the curb. I’ve had a craft desk from Ikea for years, and I thought I’d certainly get rid of the unsightly piece during the move, but then I decided to give it a fresh coat of paint instead. This time around I’ve added a satin sealer, which will keep the finish from chipping so easily. And boom, there you have it—my updated craft table!

My special man-friend started another project in the garage with an old, unloved dresser.  Aesthetically, the dresser was not very pleasing to the eye, but it was functional and in great condition. I’m very picky about wood finishes—the deeper and darker the finish, the better, in my opinion. Dresser5We used a power sander to strip the varnish and then reinvigorated the dresser with a deep “espresso” wood stain. You should use a primer, then stain, then finish with a top coat. I always prefer a more dull finish, so the satin is typically the way to go in that case. If you prefer a little shine, try a gloss or high-gloss finish (but don’t—just use the satin!).

chairNow that we have areas on which to place objects, my goal is to start fixing up a couple of the bedrooms. Unfortunately, I’m leaving the decorating of one of the bedrooms to my special man-friend. “That sounds nice,” you say? His first purchase was a plaid Christmas chair for $17. It could be worse, but it’s pretty bad.

I’ll leave you with a few before-and-after photos of our reinvigorated dresser. I’m considering adding colorful knobs or handles, but I don’t know if that’s the right move. Anthropologie has such a fun collection to rummage through. We’ll see.

That’s all for now. Happy decorating!










Categories: Lifestyle, TCDIY

0 thoughts on “TCDIY: Garage Makeovers”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ms. Rubach, your special man-friend did a great job on the dresser. I enjoy your DIY advice and projects.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us