Extreme makeover: dresser edition

Here’s a project I’ve been working on, that I just finished last weekend. This old dresser was in our family before I was… it was purchased sometime in the 1950s. It went with me when I moved out on my own, and over the years it’s been taken to eleven different homes in four cities or towns.

Stains, watermarks, a bent drawer pull and another one you had to pull only from the left side, or the front of the drawer would come loose…it was looking a bit of a wreck, but other than the wonky drawer the construction is sturdy, so I decided it was time for a makeover.

I sketched out a few ideas….

… and took a pillowcase to the paint store so they could scan it and match the colours with the colour-matching-scanner-thingy (actually called a spectrophotometer) which is pretty cool, you can take in almost anything in a colour you like and get paint mixed to match.

I pictured this taking a couple of evenings…. silly me! It was definitely a bigger project than I anticipated… glue, spackle, sand, spackle, sand, prime, prime, paint, sand, paint… the bottom drawer had grooved lines and Xs that took filling and sanding a few times before it was smooth.  Nothing was a standard size, as I found when it came to measure for holes for the drawer pulls, so it took some fancy math and even then I got one of them in the wrong place (spackle, sand, paint again).

The thirsty old wood really soaked up the paint, I nearly ran out! The brown paint looked like melted chocolate and was a pleasure to work with, but I had my doubts about the blue as it was looking quite gray and cement-like, and took several coats before it dried to an even finish. Fortunately, once the drawers were put in place and the dresser was next to the bedding of the same colour it looked much better. I had originally planned to paint patterns or borders, but once the handles were attached it seemed like it didn’t need anything else.

Clean, simple and modern.

All that was left was adding some scented paper liners in the drawers.


About Kate

An artist and creative living advocate, I blog about Creative Canadian Women at PennelloLane.com

Posted on March 19, 2010, in home and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. You’ve done such a great job, Kate!!!:) Amazing!!!:) This dresser has become as good as new!!!:)

  2. How close is the colour to Tiffany turquoise?
    Its very pretty xxx

    • It’s in the same family, I’d say, but lighter and more muted. 🙂 When my sister saw it the other day she thought at first the drawer fronts were made of frosted glass…. which maybe gives an idea of the colour, it was hard to get a really accurate photo. And makes me wish I’d used glossier paint… that would have looked really cool!

  3. WOW! what a makeover! You did an excellent job! One wouldn’t be able to recognize the “old” version of it. It looks amazing. Well done!!

  4. Kate, you are such a DIY Queen! That dresser is gorgeous! I have a similar one that belongs to my mother. Perhaps someday she will let me “deface” it 😉

  5. I have a dresser very much like that(same color wood–same deep drawers)and have been saying for years now that I should perk it up with paint or a new stain…once again you have inspired me(maybe I’ll paint it this year?)

  6. Audrey and Tina, yes, you should make over your dressers too! I hope to see photos! It was a big project, but so worth it.

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