Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rehabbing an Old Ikea Locker Cabinet and How to Wet Sand Metal

This project has been a work in progress for a year. A whole year! Longest project ever and really there's no reason for the extended timeline other than life getting in the way.

So we originally bought this locker off of craigslist for $20. The locker was not in great condition. There are some dents and originally it was white with stains. I'm not even sure what made the stains, but they were mainly pink. I unfortunately don't have a picture of the locker in the condition we originally purchased it. But when I saw it I thought it would fit great under the tree house bed (that wasn't even built yet, at the time we bought the locker the bed was still just an idea in progress). I also don't mind the dents because it's going to be additional storage in my son's bedroom, who is also very rambunctious. So if it gathers more dents over the years, I'm more than ok with that.

We originally painted the locker gray. Looking back I'm not sure why. Seeing the gray locker in the bedroom just made it look pretty bland and not much fun. We also replaced the door locks and hinges, but I don't have pictures of that. The other issue is that a little while after we painted it, the paint started to sort of look like webbing. It was very strange and weird looking. After doing a lot of research and my hubby talking to his painter friend, we discovered that some sort of oil had been spilled onto the metal and had to be polished out. My hubby's friend recommended wet sanding.

I have never wet sanded anything before, but did some research before starting. I started by getting three different grits of sand paper. I started with 80, then moved to 120, and finished off with 220. The idea is to slowly buffer out the oil, scratch, weird texture, etc. My online research said that I needed to keep the area wet while sanding and then use a clean cloth to wipe away the mess periodically.

That's pretty much exactly what I did. I started with the 80 grit and moved my way through until 220. It was messy. There wasn't a bunch of dust, despite what it looks like in the picture. I actually sanded three pieces of furniture on this day. This was the only one I wet sanded. It turned out really great, nice and smooth. But the old wet paint got everywhere and I went through twice as much sandpaper because it would get so much wet paint sanded off onto it that it wouldn't work anymore. But the results were undoubtedly some of the best sanding results I've ever achieved.
 After all the wet sanding was finished, my hubby set up this awesome paint booth for me. Like I said I was working on three pieces simultaneously, so it made sense to sand all the pieces, paint one, and move on to the next one.


The painting is always the easy and fun part. Jakey picked out the color. He floated back and forth between green and orange, but eventually settled on green. I like the color, it's bright and fun! He's got great taste.

And it definitely fits pretty perfectly under his bed.

Since we had previously painted the whole locker gray, I thought it would be neat to just leave the inside and get a two tone effect. I simply taped trash bags to the bottom, behind the doors, and any other part that showed that I didn't want green. I'm so happy with that decision, I think the two-tone adds more depth and character. 

This was a fun and super cheap piece that fits Jakey's entire truck collection perfectly! Jakey loves it and it definitely helps keep his room cleaner.