Updating a Dresser | DIY

When I left New York, I left most of my furniture behind. Correction, I got rid of everything expect four things. One of those things only made it because it broke down flat and could fit in a box with my library cart. The other two things were a huge trunk I couldn’t part with, I actually used as as shipping container and my Room and Board ottoman I won named Otto. Most of my stuff was hand me downs, a street find or Ikea, so I really didn’t have much attachment to it and wanted to get new stuff anyway.  But since I am still not 100% sure I am staying put and am still broke, I went scavenging at home for a few pieces to tide me over till I get some new stuff. One of those pieces happened to be this little dresser.

Pretty in Pink I think not.

Pretty in Pink I think not.

I have no idea what the red was.

I have no idea what the red was.

It was hiding in the bathroom closet, holding stuff that should have been tossed when my sister left for college two years ago. It had clearly been through a lot. I decided I was going to give it a face lift. Dad had paint stripper in the garage and I had four days to make it happen. Here’s how it went down.

Step one:

It smells awful, but it got the job done.

It smells awful, but it got the job done.

I stripped the paint, following the instructions on the can. I didn’t care if it was completely stripped to the wood since I knew I was going to be painting it, I just wanted the surface to be smooth and not look like this was coat five or six. That said, it still took three rounds on the drawers and up to five on part of the frame. I let it sit about 20 minutes between each coat and used a scrapper to peal it all off. Steal wool came in really handy on the last coats for corners, little edges and tough spots.

Step two: I let it sit for over 24 hours after stripping it as the instructions said before doing anything else.

Step three:

Time saver

Time saver

Sand it. Lucky for me, my dad also has a sander, so I used that to smooth all the surfaces out and sand off a couple spot where the paint was really stubborn. The results:

dresser redo (7)dresser redo (6)

Step three: Paint. I bought quart of semi-glossy dark grey paint (I wanted black, but this was as close as I was going to get at the shop). I started using a brush but then switched to a small roller so there would be no lines. It worked well and I only needed two coats of paint. I used some foam under the frame corners to keep it off the ground so I could get the bottom edges covered well.

Step four: let it set. I left it alone for almost 24 hours, but I needed to pack the  car and get on the road, so I put the drawer in and drove away. the paint was dry, but it did peel off a bit when I opened the drawers. At least it was from the back edge of the drawers and it came off the main frame with out harming it’s finish, so it doesn’t really matter. But I guess it needed a bit more time.

Step five: Find awesome knobs. On the way home, I stopped at World Market and picked up these guys. I love them. They are perfect. Install and you are finished:

Not too shabby.

Not too shabby.

dresser redo (10)

Love the knobs!

Love the knobs!

Tada! A perfect little dresser for the few clothes I have. It was much easier than I thought it would be, but definitely requires some patience with the stripping process. I think I may have gone made if I was trying to get it down to the bare wood. The painting went really smooth and quick though, so I guess that made up for lost time.

Eventually I will get a bigger one, but I actually really like how this turned out. So I guess it went from being a temporary throw way to something I will re-purpose else where when it gets to small. Funny how that works out.

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