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Monday, April 16, 2012

“Arizona State of Mind” Subway Sign Dresser

Ever since I saw this tremendous subway art dresser over at Lindauer Designs, I knew this was a project that I had to tackle myself.

As a native Arizonan, I am a self confessed arizonaphile. I love Arizona, it's landmarks, it's history, and it's people. So it seemed only natural that if I were to create a subway art dresser, it would celebrate the Copper State.

So the first step for this project was to make a list of Arizona places of interest to be included. With the help of my faithful Facebook fans, I came up with a list that was quite a bit longer than what I needed, so I could pick and choose based on which letters I had and what space I needed to fill, since I wanted a pleasing aesthetic.

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This old dresser needed a bit of structural work before I could think about getting to painting. From the before pic, you can see the gaping hole where a bottom drawer should be. I cut a piece of wood to fit and made a faux drawer that is hinged for a little extra storage cubby.

The legs also needed some serious work. The brace between the front and back legs was missing on one side and one foot looked liked it had been chewed by a dog. I decided the best course of action would be to use my electric jig saw and cut the legs off. It's a tall sucker, so it could use to loose a few inches anyways.

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Once the structural issues were dealt with, I set to work with my paint brush. The first layer was a dry brushed white.

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I used a white primer for this. No need to be fancy since we're going for a rustic look on this piece. Since you're using very, very little of the primer on this layer, it dries very quickly. By the time you're done painting it on, you'll be ready for the next step, which is adding the typography.

Like the Lindauer Designs dresser, I used 3 different sizes of Helvetica font vinyl stick on letters I picked up at Hobby Lobby, 2 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch. (If I remember correctly, they were in the poster board/sign making section.) 

I wish I could tell you just how to go about designing and laying out your subway sign, but like most things in my life, I just winged it. ;) I started with Prescott (my home town, only natural), then just started filling in the blank spaces with landmarks and cities from my list.

Once I was happy with the layout, I mixed up some DIY Chalk Paint with some black paint I had on hand. The plaster of paris lightened the color slightly to a dark, charcoal gray (dare I call it graphite?) When you're using the plaster of paris in your homemade chalk paint, you will end up with small white specks in your paint that you wont notice when painting light colors, but when you are using dark colors they definitely show. It's not something that bothers me, as I use it to my advantage on distressed or rustic pieces, but it is something you should keep in mind if you're thinking of using the DIY Chalk Paint recipe.

In addition to the typography on the front of the dresser, I decided to leave wide stripes of the dry brushed white on both sides of the dresser as well, and I love the way it turned out! What do you think?

Arizona Subway Sign Dresser

Subway Dresser Dry Brushed Detail

Arizona Subway Art Dresser

Subway Dresser Knob Detail

Vintage Subway Sign Dresser

Subway Art Dresser Front

Ta da!! So excited with how this flip turned out. Love it when the finished project turns out just how you envisioned it!

Linking to:

House of Grace, Primitive & Proper, Not Just a Housewife, 5 days 5 ways

37 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Korrie! I can always count on you to get the comment ball rolling. ;)

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  2. What a fabulous dresser... It started off life as an unremarkable piece of assembly-line furniture but now has been given a whole new life! Great job on the decorating - If I were you I'd sit with a coffee and admire it just a wee bit longer :)

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  3. This is such a fun piece of furniture now. xx

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  4. Beautiful job! I love the feel of it, aged to perfection!

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  5. Way Loving it!! I have so been wanting to do one of these. Yours turned out super cool!

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  6. very cool! i especially love the side stripes.

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  7. Oh wow, you have seriously outdone yourself on this one! I bet you this is going to go all over blogland, it is so gorgeous!

    xx Karen

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  8. looks good Ann-Marie -love those side stripes the best.

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  9. So absolutely cool. I want to do this now! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  10. Ann Marie...holy crap that is awesome sauce. Must FB and pin pronto!

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  11. Love the rustic-ness of the whole thing. Love me that whole AZ rugged individual stuff. Know what I'm sayin?

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  12. I saw this on Pinterest and the "Prescott" jumped out at me because that's where I live! Love how your project turned out.

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  13. Mt. Lemmon is in my back yard!
    NICE!

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  14. Native here. This is really beautiful! I love that you could personalize this. Great job!

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  15. Oh girl, this is just freakin' awesome!!

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  16. Wow, you went all out on this, it looks amazing! I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, check out my April 18th post for info about it. Have a great day!

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  17. So clever, I love it, I want it! Just got very inspired ;)

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  18. Being from Arizona myself, I really love this!!!!!!!! I was so excited to see Mount Lemmon on there!! You did a great job!

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  19. where do i begin? yes, i love it BUT it's the wide stripes on the side that knock it outta the park for me. way to go...AGAIN!

    NOW how do i get your posts in my email? my reader is saturated!

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  20. I love it and I pinned it! And thanks for the DIY chalk paint tip when using darker colors. I was thinking of doing a similar treatment and toying with Annie Sloan vs. homemade...

    :)

    Linda

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  21. This is the most wonderful DIY project I've ever seen. I too am an Arizona native, and I love the way you celebrated all the amazing diversity and great places. And since I grew up in Prescott, I love it that Prescott got its own drawer.

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  22. Wow, this seriously rocks! I wouldn't have even recognized it! You did such a great job with the subway vibe!

    Thanks for linking up at Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL!

    ~Abbie

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  23. Whoops!

    Wasn't logged in!

    ~Abbie

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  24. O my goodness! I love this! I am itching to do a subway art piece of furniture, and am from AZ, too, so I might have to use yours as inspiration when I get to doing it one day...
    Thanks for sharing!

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  25. That is seriously the coolest dresser EVER!!! You are so artistic in your painting, AM..

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  26. REALLY neat! Love it! Giving you the sincerest form of flattery and giving it a try for my sons room using local places of interest and/or his favorite places/things. Thanks for the step by step!

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  27. Coolest piece ever! I love it...Az native also :)
    Lina @ Fancy Frugal Life

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  28. Beautiful AND I had no idea you could make your own chalk paint. It's impossible to purchase around these parts. I love the way it looks on that dresser. Thanks so much for the post!

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  29. I love your projects and hope to get to the Prescott store this summer to check it out. You inspired me to make one for my boys room. It's a Star Wars version. http://pinterest.com/pin/68750331781982648/

    Thanks for the inspiration!!!
    Angelina in Peoria

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  30. Ann Marie, I've just discovered you! I love your work, and it so inspires me to do more. Thank you. Now following your blog! Amy - www.ohsewrosy.com.au

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  31. i just stumbled upon your blog...so awesome! we have very similar taste. :) also....i'm a native to az, too! we in live in mesa. :)

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  32. I love this dresser .... but doesn't Mt. Lemmon have two m's?? :)

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  33. I checked Hobby Lobby for the letters and all I could find were permanent sticking ones. Are those the ones you used, and would they ruin the white paint or primer underneath when you peeled them off? Thank you!

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