The thing with buying your first house is that people use it as a chance to get rid of stuff they don't want in their houses anymore AND YOU MUST BE GRATEFUL FOR IT. We were given a lot of stuff that had seen better days which we couldn't afford to turn down or replace. One of those things was a welsh dresser my Mum and Dad had before they moved. They didn't want it anymore so it found it's way to our house. It was fully functional but the knotted pine darkened by age wasn't really my thing.
I took it apart and sanded it down so that paint would stick to its previously oiled surface. It got a coat of primer (I'm not sure why but everything I read seemed to tell me this was a good idea), and then two coats of green paint. I left it to dry for a couple of days (this lets the paint settle or something apparently) and then applied a varnish over the top to protect the paint from scratching off - the paint still scratches off but this just adds to the shabby charm I was looking for.
Next I went on the scrounge. Trips were made to the wallpaper aisle of our local B&Q and I painstakingly picked out something I didn't hate (too flowery, not flowery enough, too bright, too modern - I was the goldilocks of wallpaper much to Sam's annoyance). To cover the back of my dresser shelves I needed about 2 metres of wallpaper (allowing for matching the pattern up etc). I also needed a small amount in a different paper to line the drawer bottoms. I did NOT want to pay £20 for a roll of wallpaper to use such a tiny amount, so we loudly made noises about needing to take a sample home to check it against our walls while surreptitiously rolling as much as we dared of the sample roll and shoving it into our trolley.
Wallpaper pilfered, I embarked on the most fiddly part of the makeover. First I mixed up wallpaper paste and painted it onto the back of the dresser and inside the drawers, my Dad said this would make it a better surface to apply the paper to. This was left overnight to dry and I began to cut out the strips I would need. I needed 3 strips going down which would be made up of 2 pieces side by side so I had to match both horizontally and vertically. Having never wallpapered anything in my life, this was much harder than it seemed but after a few mishaps with my precious stolen wallpaper and a lot of wallpaper paste all over me, the dresser was almost complete.
I fixed it back together and as a finishing touch, my friend bought me some lovely ceramic knobs to put on the doors. And there it was, not quite how I had pictured the dream dresser in my mind, but I had made it and that kind of made me love it more.
(Fast forward about a week to when someone put a greasy plate down on the dresser which left a massive grease ring never to be removed and I learnt my next lesson: NEVER, EVER have guests in your shiny beautiful home if you want it to stay shiny and beautiful)