Friday, October 03, 2014

DIY Dresser Facelift

I’m really excited and pleased to show you this dresser that I finally finished.   Everything came out to be roughly $20.00.  The items that I purchased came out to be $17.50, but I used gray paint that was left over from our bedroom walls and wood glue that I already had on hand…I might have actually stolen it from my parent’s house.   The dresser itself was free.  FREE 99!  I had found it on Craigslist and the guy who owned it put it out on the side of the road for me to pick up.  Yes, I literally picked up a dresser off the side of the road.  It’s not something uncommon for me.  A lot of times Nick and I will be driving somewhere and I’ll see free furniture on the side of the road and he will simply say “No” and keep driving.  I guess I am that predictable.  Anyway, the person getting rid of the dresser must have pulled it out of his garage because there were cobwebs and dead spiders on the bottom.  There was much squealing as I brushed it down with an old grocery bag, but I wanted that dresser.   On top of it all, the grass that it was sitting in had a lot of mosquito eaters flying around.  It was awful, but I was determined to have it and it was nothing that a little Clorox and Lysol couldn’t handle. 

Once I got it home, it sat in my parent’s garage for months until we moved out of the apartment and into the house.  It wasn’t until we were all settled that I finally started to work on the dresser.  Originally, I wanted to make it into a faux card catalogue.  I was going to get smaller pieces of wood with drawer pulls like a card catalogue, but after I figured out how much it would cost just for the pulls, I nixed that idea.  It was going to be something like $130.00 and I wasn’t willing to spend that much on a cracked, dilapidated dresser even if I was planning on giving it a facelift.  So, I got pieces of craft wood from Hobby Lobby for $15.00 to use instead. 

I started painting the dresser back in June.  It only took a few hours to paint, but I let it sit another four months in our garage before I had time to complete the project.  It’s probably a good thing that it was an ongoing project since I was able to get a great deal on new knobs.  I knew that I didn’t want to use the original pulls (I ended up using them on the Star Trek table for my friend) so I had set my mind to getting new knobs.  Low and behold, I was at a garage sale and found brand-spanking-new handles that were selling for $0.25.  Having slightly hoarding tendencies, I had to make myself not buy all of the knobs because I knew I didn’t have use for more than ten.  I still wish that I would have hoarded and bought them all, but I know that they would be sitting in my craft bin unused.   For ten knobs I only put out $2.50, which barely gets you one very standard knob at Home Depot.

I had to make sure to really measure out where the pieces of wood would lay on the drawers so that they would be straight when they went back into the dresser.  Luckily, it took a long time for the glue to dry so I was able to stand the drawers next to each other and shift pieces if they were not perfectly in line.

To fix up the dresser, I painted the pieces of wood and glued them on over the severely cracked front paneling of the drawers. I also used wood putty to fill in chipped sections on the bottom of the dresser where it looks like the veneer had been ripped off.  Luckily, that portion is up against the wall in the room that I put it in because it is still not perfect looking.  The bottom of one of the dresser drawers is cracked, but I’ll probably just put liners on the inside to cover it up and remember to not put anything heavy in that drawer.  While the dresser is by no means in selling condition, it is looking 100% better than its original state.  I was able to seal over most of the cracks with some wood glue and paint so that they are much less visible.  I probably should have used wood filler to fill the cracks, but I liked the consistency of the glue better for spreading a thin coat.  This project wasn’t very difficult, but it did take a long time.  I definitely think that you could finish a project like this in one weekend even with waiting for the paint and glue to dry if you have the time.  It is well worth it to put a little life into old pieces of furniture.  Like they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  That’s for darn sure.

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