The drawers in the studio finally have hardware.
It took forever to put them on and here’s why: I’m terrible at it. Seriously, terrible. I put the cabinet/drawer hardware on in the kitchen and pretty much every one is crooked. How is that possible when you have a template and measure over and over again before drilling? I can not say. I’d like to blame the drill.
Regardless, I decided I was not willing to install the hardware on the drawers in the studio because they really needed to be straight and my track record wasn’t promising. With 12 million other projects in the house, the drawer pulls kept getting pushed off until my darling husband finally gave in to my constant request and worked his magic.
NOTE: installing hardware should not be this difficult. Simply find the center of the drawer, mark where the screws will go, drill a small pilot hole and then increase the drill bit to the correct size of the screw.
Now that the pulls are installed, let me start at the beginning and show you how they came to be.
My inspiration for the studio desks was this picture of the same dresser from ikea with brass bar pulls. I instantly fell in love with the look and wanted to recreate it in the studio.
After searching every resource possible online, I found that long brass pulls are crazy expensive. I adore these from Schoolhouse Electric, but there were two problems. 1. I was hoping for something longer than they offer (ideally 15-18″) and 2. $74 per pull was not in the budget. My sister has the same pulls in her gorgeous kitchen and while they are expensive, they are beautifully made, very heavy and true statement pieces. I just couldn’t justify it for this space.
Since I kept coming up short, I decided to improvise with a cabinet pull diy.
I found a 10-pack of 15″ bar pulls for $49.49. The size was good, shape was minimal, but color was wrong (they only came in satin nickel).
I figured it was worth a try to change the color with my go-to gold spray paint.
I rigged up a way to spray them to get even coverage by poking a hole through a cardboard lid and screwing in the pulls as you would on a drawer front. This little system worked great!
It only took a couple of light coats and the pulls were looking more in line with my vision.
The gold spray paint (Rustoleum Universal metallic in Pure Gold) has a pretty champagne-y gold finish and they would have been fine, but I was hoping for something just a bit more patina-ed and worn. Something that would more closely mimic the look of aged brass.
Out came the Gold Leaf Rub ‘n Buff.
This stuff is basically shoe polish for metal.
You take a glob and rub it onto the surface in a circular motion with a rag. It doesn’t take much until you have a richer golden/brassy color.
See the difference? On the left is the paint alone and the right has the polish on it.
How about a little side-by-side comparison:
For just $5 per pull + spray paint, polish and a little bit of time, I am really happy with the results.
If these were going to be used in a daily, high-use area – like a kitchen, for example – I might be a bit more cautious about choosing a spray painted pull. I can imagine that the paint will scratch over time and they may not look as good. For this space, though, they work great. And they look so nice on the dressers-turned-desks.
As you can see, there was one additional problem: the new pulls don’t line up with the pre-drilled holes.
So for the next diy, I patched the little holes for an (almost) seamless look.
We had a container of this patching paste in the garage, so I pulled it out and got to work.
I just dabbed a bit on my finger, sm0oshed it into the hole and wiped the excess away.
The holes were not quite covered after one coat, so I went over it again with a second and this time used a ruler to scrape it flat against the surface. A putty knife would probably be the tool of choice, but a ruler was right there and I didn’t feel like searching out the right tool, so I just went with it. #thestoryofmydiylife
Usually when you use this patching paste, you lightly sand off the excess and then paint to cover. In my case, I didn’t really want to sand the drawer fronts for fear that it would take off the pre-finished white paint. While my original plan was to paint the dressers a deep green, I’m really happy with the white for now and want to live with them this way for a while.
It dawned on me that since the paste washed off my fingers with soap and water, perhaps it would wipe off of the drawers as well (just the little bits of excess around the patched hole).
So with a bowl of warm, soapy water, a scrubby sponge (my fave from here) and a paper towel, I gave it a try.
A little bit of scrubbing and the patching paste came right up, just as I hoped.
If you look closely, you can still barely see the holes, but not enough to really notice.
Overall, I feel quite happy with the hardware choice and achieving the brass look for much, much less.
wall + trim color: Shoji White by Sherwin Williams
For more about this space: