My initial plan was to buy an old window and reverse paint a bright garden scene on it to hang in my backyard. It’s a great way to add splashes of color to a shady yard.
But I couldn’t find a suitable old window when I went shopping at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Waldo. Craigslist, I’ve now realized, is the best place to find them.
What I did find at the Habitat for Humanity Restore was an old solid-wood chest of drawers with nice curvy lines and wood grain for $50. It was a little beat up, though, and needed refinishing.
I decided to sand the dresser down and whitewashed it last weekend. I really love the look of whitewash; it reminds me of French Country or Scandinavian furniture. Go to to watch a video of how I did it.
Never miss a local story.
Next week I’ll run a photograph of the finished product. As of press time, I was looking for new drawer pulls.
I’m not sure I like the end result. I sanded it twice — with a coarse-grain sandpaper then a fine-grain paper using an electric sander. I also hand-sanded it in harder-to-reach spots. I apparently missed a spot or two though, because the whitewash rubbed off in still shiny spots while I was applying the first of two coats of semigloss polycrylic.
For the whitewash, I mixed two parts water to one part ivory latex paint, brushed it on in small patches, let it set for several seconds then wiped it off.
When I whitewashed a pair of antique sofas for my living room a couple of years ago, I used a chemical stripper — a lot more effective in getting down to the bare wood — before sanding. But chemical strippers are messy and toxic so I skipped that step this time and the results weren’t quite as professional looking.
I don’t know where I’m going to put the dresser. At first, I thought I’d put it in our dining room and place my husband’s 1990s CD player and AM/FM receiver (Do you see an old man audiophile pattern with him?) on it, but I think it’s too tall for the spot where I want to put it.
Also, I will be tracking down an old window to reverse paint, so look for that.
Union Hill Garden Tour
Get a gander at the gardens in one of Kansas City’s oldest neighborhoods during the Union Hill Garden Tour, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 12. Nearly 20 private and community gardens will be open for viewing during the self-guided tours, which begin at 31st Street and Grand Avenue.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 60-plus, and free for kids 12 and younger. Go to www.uchskc.org/news-events to buy tickets. Trollies will shuttle visitors between gardens. A string quartet from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance will perform from noon to 2 p.m., Made in the Shade will sell a variety of hostas during the tour and Union Hill Animal Hospital will have pet treats and goodie bags available.
Guests also can explore the neighboring 27-acre Union Cemetery, Kansas City’s oldest public cemetery. The Union Cemetery Historical Society will have volunteers on hand.
Neighborhood restaurants near 31st and Oak streets will offer food and drink specials to tour attendees following the event.
Half of the tour proceeds will support the Union Cemetery Historical Society, which restores, maintains and preserves the cemetery. The other half will go to the Union Hill Neighborhood Association for newsletters, neighborhood cleanups and neighborhood projects.
Antiques festival at Crown Center
Crown Center will host its annual antiques festival from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 12. More than 40 vendors will set up shop in the center’s square to sell pottery, china, toys, linens, collectibles, furniture, jewelry, books and more. Admission is free.