Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Grand Finale

When I was in college I had this one professor who made us write reflection papers on every project we did, test we took, and paper we wrote. That's probably what I get for being an English major. But, this whole idea of constant reflection has really stuck with me. For me, it's helpful to focus on what went well and what I could have done differently. So how does this relate at all to my blog you ask. . . well, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the dresser refinishing project. 
I know you probably thought I was done with this whole project when I revealed the dressers yesterday, but the way I see it is. . . Kim Kardashian was married for 72 days and we're going to be hearing about that forever, so if I worked on this project for around 72 days then I can at least talk about it for a week. 

For the handful of you who have read our "about the rothenbergers" page, you've seen that Justin & I are in no way, shape, or form home-improvement experts. Truthfully, we're barely novices. Justin has a lot of hands-on experience from growing up on a farm, but many things are still new to us. And we're just trying to learn as we go and learn from each other.

So this is what we learned from the dresser refinishing project:
- Home improvement projects always take longer than you think. I need to be a little bit more fluid with deadlines. My type-A personality wants things done immediately, but in order to do things well you need to commit the time. Which brings me to my next point . . .
- I am so very grateful that Justin is a man of detail. It showed in our DIY wedding and it is showing in our DIY home. Things that I tend to gloss over, he notices. We're like peanut butter & jelly.
- Justin definitely recommends pre-drilling the holes for hardware before priming/painting.This way if he makes a mistake he still has time to correct it and he doesn't have to make any marks on the finished surface.

- Poly is very glossy. We used satin finish poly and the dressers still turned out a little more glossy then we would have liked. Next time, we'll thin the poly out.
- Frog tape worked great to help us keep a straight line on the inside of the dressers. I would recommend this a hundred times over.

- We slightly regretted using a white primer. This showed through very easily when we antiqued the dresser and sanded the edges. It resulted in us needing to touch-up the dressers several times. So if you're painting a piece of furniture dark I would have the primer tinted to a darker shade as well.
- And lastly, the trial and error approach is okay sometimes. It took us several attempts to figure out how to get the cherry-wood-with-antiqued-black-paint-finish look, but we eventually found something we're happy with, and the sense of accomplishment we feel over the dressers was well worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. (Yes I cried - don't act so surprised mom)

A big THANK YOU to everyone who commented this week and encouraged us as we worked on the project. We really appreciate it! 

Enough about me - what are your weekend plans? Any DIY projects in store? 


  1. Your dressers look so much better; you must be thrilled to be done!

    Big LOL about Kim Kardashian and her 72 day wedding. :D My husband is also a man of detail, and I am a woman of "how soon can this be done?" which is why he's the pharmacist and I'm...not. Like you guys, it makes us work well together.

    Thanks so much for the visit yesterday...better late than never with pinterest, right? Maybe? :)

  2. @ Erin
    We are soooo thrilled to be done. I can't wait to just relax this weekend. Maybe I'll even browse pinterest a little :)

  3. My goodness those look amazing. A bit of reflection is a good thing, those tips sound useful.