From Drab to Fab! Dresser Re-do

I’ve been looking for a dresser to put in our entry way since we purchased our home a year ago.  I wanted something cute but functional, and most importantly, I did not want to spend a crazy amount of money.  Every time I would find the perfect piece, the price tag would leave me stunned.  Seriously?!  $400 dollars for a small dresser…and it’s not even real wood?!  I don’t think so!  That’s when I decided that my budget for the dresser/table would be $25 dollars.  It was going to be a challenge but I didn’t think it was unreasonable.  I started going to garage sales, scouring Craigslist, and frequenting the thrift shops in the area.  Every once in awhile I’d find exactly what I wanted but either it was already sold or it was priced higher than I thought it should be.  Maybe I’m crazy, but most of the time I think people expect too much money for their stuff they’re trying to sell on Craigslist or at garage sales.  Am I cheap?  I don’t think so.  I’m just practical.

I knew exactly what I wanted and I was willing to wait for it (which is very unlike me.  I’m usually very impulsive!).  A couple weeks ago I decided to take a trip to The Salvation Army.  It’s kind of a dirty thrift store that has a ton of furniture…most of it junk.  I made my usual rounds, checking out the dishes and the cookbooks.  Finally I made my way to the furniture and there, surrounded by giant, damaged (but oh so expensive) buffets and broken tv stands, was my dresser!  There was no sold sign on it but I expected that the price tag would read $40.  That’s about how much they usually sell these things for, and I actually would have paid it; but it must have been my lucky day!  It was only $12.  $12!!!  Sold!

Isn't she a beauty?

I was so excited about this find that as soon as I got home I tore the hardware off and started sanding.  I primed everything but was having a hard time deciding what color to paint it.  The photo doesn’t really show, but the top of the dresser is a really nice cream colored laminate.  I knew I wanted to keep this for now (maybe eventually I’ll ask my dad to make me a new wooden top), so I had to find something that would go well with it.  I thought maybe I would paint it white and do maroon accents.  I tried this, but all the curves on the top drawer really started to annoy me.  I ended up spray painting my entire hand maroon by accident.  It was not pretty.  Nothing I had at home would get it off either…not even fingernail polish remover.  So I walked around looking like a freak for a couple days…oh well.

I decided I’d just hand paint the accents and that would work good enough for me.  So I primed back over the maroon.  Then, I thought that maybe the dresser would look nice in a light almond color with pretty metallic hardware.  So I gave it a try.  It was perfect!  Then I took some sandpaper and roughed up parts of the dresser to make it look a little less perfect and give it some character.  I was happy, and so was the dresser.

Who said dressers don't have feelings?

I love how a small hint of the maroon peeks through

I still want to hand paint that little decal on the bottom and legs too.  Then I’ll paint over them with the cream and distress it a little.  Hopefully this will make it look a little more like the top drawer and make it “pop” a little more.  For now though, I’m incredibly happy with my $12 dollar steal.  I probably only have $20 stuck into this thing.

This is how it looks in my entry way (a work in progress). Everything you see in the photo has been repurposed from Goodwill.

Do any of you hunt for deals or enjoy thrifting?  what are some of your favorite finds?

P.S.  Do you see that giant pot behind the dresser in the above photo?  It’s super heavy and still has the plastic on it (I didn’t get to it this summer).  This $130 dollar pot from the local nursery was mine for only $5 at a garage sale!  Some doctor was selling it and I asked, “how much?”  He told me he just bought it but didn’t think he’d really use it so I could have it for $5.  He also gave me a neat looking side table for free too!  It’s in the garage still waiting for it’s makeover.  Sometimes living in Rochester has it’s perks…


2 thoughts on “From Drab to Fab! Dresser Re-do

  1. laura

    found you on mn food blogs.

    funny. i had this entire bedroom set as a kid. I had the canopy bed with pink eyelet ruffly bedding, dresser and night stand. i think it was from sears.

    1. Shari Post author

      That’s too funny!!! I probably would have loved that set when I was a little girl!

      I’m glad you found me through MN food blogs. I checked yours out too…I like it!!! I love your earrings!


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