But before I could paint, I had to fill in the nail holes on the front side with wood filler (this time I used the Elmers shown below - this is not the kind to use if you plan on staining for your finish) and Aaron removed the drawer slides for me.
I sanded down the drawers with 120 grit sandpaper using a hand sander. This thing is pretty easy to use but I'm scared to death I going to get myself with it (everyone please knock on wood for me :). It was cold when I was working on this at night in the garage so my hands were freezing!!! If they haven't invented a hand sander with a built-in hand warmer yet, I'm totally going to be a rich lady because I just thought of it! Also, notice the lovely green ear plugs I'm wearing - I pretty much always wear these when using any electrical tool - I can't stand all the loud noise.
And then comes vacuuming out all that dust I created (I think at one point I was even wearing a little dust mask :). Ignore the diapers box - I'm pretty sure there's at least one of those in every picture.
Seriously, is it time to start painting yet? I feel like I'm always asking myself, "Are we there yet?". There are a gazillion things to do just to get to painting and I seem to forget that every time. After wood filling, sanding and vacuuming, I set the drawers on little blocks of wood to lift them off the tables for ease of painting and to decrease the potential for drips. Since the drawer slides have to fit back on, it's important to keep the bottom edges clean and not let them get gooped up with paint.
After sanding comes priming. I use to think that priming was an extra unnecessary step but I've recently jumped on the prime-everything-bandwagon. I think it works. In addition to our can of primer, I've also got a mini-roller, tray and brush ready to go.
Finally! We're in business now! I start by using the brush to get the inside corners and then do everything else with the roller in one shot, doing the whole inside first and skipping the back and bottoms of the drawers since they will not be seen.
After the coat of primer dries, I put on two coats of semi-gloss Behr White (because we already had it) - you'll see this in the finished product I'll be posting about tomorrow.
Just to give you an idea on what we spent on this project, I thought I'd go over what we had to buy. If you've got any tools and materials already you should do okay on this project. We did have pretty much everything already but we did have to purchase the drawer slides, wood and some extra paint rollers. For the wood, we buy Purebond because it's formaldehyde-free, which I imagine makes it a little bit more expensive but I'm not sure how much. We did save ourselves some money by deciding to cut out the drawer handles instead of purchasing hardware, which would have cost around $4/per drawer (an extra $16 total).
So here's the breakdown of materials used:
$28 Drawer Slides - we bought the cheap ones at $7/per drawer
$ 9 1/4" sheet of plywood - the whole piece was $26 but we only used about 1/3rd of it
$34 3/4" sheet of plywood - the whole piece was $45 but we only used about 3/4ths of it
$ 4 paint rollers$75 with materials to spare for a later project!
All in all, the drawers were pretty cheap to make and were much more reasonable in cost than hiring someone to make these custom built. On the flipside, we could have found something pre-made but these drawers are made to fit and optimize storage exactly for our space - you can't beat that for the price!