Pink & Pearl Nursery Set

Hello Readers!

I’ve spent the last 3 days working on this fun project {hence my lack of a blog entry} – and I couldn’t wait to share the outcome! I was hired by a friend to take on this 3 piece cherry wood nursery set, for a baby girl room themed ‘shades of pink’. Wow, what an undertaking! I have actually fully stripped a cherry wood nursery set before, to the original wood finish, which was a lot of work, but since I was only painting – I assumed this would be a breeze. Not so much. Overall, with a little prep and mineral spirits cleaning the furniture was in good condition so I didn’t need to do any sanding or wood filling.

The Before


The client sent me an ombre dresser with shades of pink as an inspiration. I decided to make the dresser the statement piece, and do the rest with white with a pearl finish. Just a little paint, right? How hard could that be! As I shopped for the materials I decided to go with the Behr Ultra White, the premium “one coat guarantee” that has a primer in the mix. Even though the gentlemen at Home Depot assured me it was the thickest paint they had and upgrading to the Premium would ensure only one coat to apply. WRONG AGAIN! LOL! One thing I love about refinishing furniture is the learning experiences it teaches me. Takeaways and learnings from past projects to make the process more effective and efficient each time. I’ve done too many pieces to count, and over two dozen different techniques, but even still this project taught me a lot!

I’ve worked with cherry wood finishes before, but had never attempted to take it to the opposite end of the color spectrum like ultra white!

Techniques & Lessons Learned

I spray painted newly purchased white iron hardware, with a rose gold metallic paint. I let it cure for 3 days. Lesson #1: In humid temperatures, let hardware cure for at least a couple of weeks if you can. Although I managed to put the hardware on without any issues, it was done with extreme patience and easy handling, as the hardware was still very sticky, which ultimately took more time.




After cleaning the pieces with mineral spirits, I started on the dresser drawers, simply because the ombre pinks are more fun than the white part. šŸ™‚ As I started to paint the pink drawers without primer {because it “wasn’t needed”} I noticed that the top coat on the cherry wasn’t allowing the paint to stick as well as it would have if I had primed it. Rather than priming it, I went back and forth between a nylon brush, then switching to a white bristle brush, then ultimately back to a nylon brush again. Lesson #2: It doesn’t matter what the guarantee is on the label, paint {especially white} will always apply more easily to a surface with primer. Lesson #3: Depending on the number of coats you’ll need, white bristle brushes are great for the first coat or two, but for the final coats a nylon brush just leaves a cleaner finish and you avoid the constant paint clumping on the brush and bristles falling out. The pink shades took 3 coats, but the white took at least 5… I stopped counting after 3.

Once the dresser was painted I started on the pearl white finish, looking for the end result of a shimmery, translucent, glowing, pearl white finish. I did some research and decided to go with Modern Masters Pearl White Metallic paint on amazon. I started on the dresser just to test, and used an expensive nylon brush {as instructed} to apply. I opened the jar to see what really looked like metallic silver, but since it was water based, semi-opaque, I figured it would dry translucent over white. Wrong again. Applying with a brush just left what looked like silver/grey brush marks… leaving the dried finish looking ‘distressed’ and a little sparkly. Lesson #4: There’s a difference between ‘sheer’ or translucent paint, and semi-opaque.. understand the difference before you decide what to use. I painted another coat of white over the side of the dresser to try something else. I ended up watering the paint down, to thin it at about a 1:5 ratio, and then used cotton sheet shop rags to wipe it on – which worked beautifully!


Although the pearl effect is hard to capture in photos, you get the idea. Lesson #5: If you can, trial and error on a piece of sample wood the same finish as your project, before you take it on.. you will save a lot of time and frustration! šŸ™‚

After I learned this technique I started painting the white on the other pieces, and then got to the crib. Cribs are HARD to paint! I’ve paint parts of a crib before, but again, on stripped wood and not in white… so totally different ball game. Lesson #6, #7, & #8: Painting a crib that’s not assembled is easier than painting one that’s already assembled. Allow yourself at least 2 full days to paint it, so one side can dry over night and you can flip to the other side the next day. Use a 5″ FOAM paint roller to apply the first couple of coats, and then final coats with a nylon brush. I cannot tell you how much time you save by using a roller on a crib… but make sure its a foam roller {used for very smooth surfaces}.


The final piece was 2 coats of polycrylic, using a white bristle brush {tip, if you can do this in a window ventilated room, indoors, turn off the fan and close the air vent to avoid particles getting in your topcoat – you’d be surprised how much dander/dust/hair is in the air!}

Lesson #9: Do NOT under-estimate the amount of time needed. I had estimated about 16 hours worth of work – total – and this was about 27 hours of work, over a 3 day period. All in all, the results and time put in shine through in the finished product and exceeded my clients expectations!

The After


Nine lessons learned in a single project, is a win in my book too!

PS:Ā Iā€™m currently taking new projects for furniture makeovers, contact me for more info!




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