Nov 27, 2011

Dual Purpose Dresser

I found this dresser several months ago at Impact thrift store in Hatboro, PA.  The brass handles and its exceptional curve appeal (ha!) are what drew me to this beauty.  When I inspected the dresser, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found -- solid wood, in great condition, the insides of the drawers were clean and spacious and the price was oh-so-right! 

i scored this dresser on sale for $36.  it just doesn't get any better :)

This baby had to be mine all mine.  And speaking of baby, I thought of an idea which justified why the dresser was coming home with me.  I've been searching for a dresser for our office, a.k.a. future baby room, for a long time.  The criteria for the dresser is that it has to work well in our office and also serve double duty for our future plans for the space. 

So, this dresser will not only fulfill my immediate need for storage in the office, it will also serve as a changing table when the time comes. 

Here are some examples of DIY changing tables I found on the internet:  

via Kelly Rae Roberts

via BABY Lifestyles

via Swanky Baby


If you find a dresser for a mere $36 in perfect condition and it happens to satisfy your specific design taste as is, I'd consider you INCREDIBLY LUCKY!  And since I'm NOT one of those people, although scored for a great price, this dresser needed a lot of TLC. 

Here's what I did...

First step was to strip the current paint (several layers actually) off the dresser.  I used Klean-Strip Stripper (shown below).  This is an extremely toxic product so it's important to follow the directions carefully for proper use and disposal.



About five minutes after application, you'll notice the paint begining to curdle.  After waiting about 10 minutes, I used a metal putty knife to scrape the curdled paint from the dresser. 

pretty crazy stuff, huh?  this has to be one of the more toxic products i've used to date.  i performed this step in my garage with the door wide open for plenty of ventilation.

Next, I performed my first step of applying the stripper two more times.  Depending on how many coats of paint your piece of furniture has on it, you may need to apply the stripper more or less. 

this is what the top of my dresser looked like after applying and scraping one coat of the stripper.

this photo shows some of the progress I made while stripping the paint.

Then, once I removed most of the paint from the larger, flatter surfaces it was time to work on removing the paint from the hard to reach areas.  For hard-to-scrape areas, such as the intricate wood work on the dresser's leg shown below, I used an old toothbrush and the head of a pen to scrape the paint off. 


Next up, I sanded all surfaces with a rough sand paper.  Then, I sanded the dresser with a softer sand paper that left the dresser with a nice, smooth-to-the-touch feeling. 


sanded (left) versus unsanded (right)

Finally, I finished the dresser and made it custom to my specific design taste. I painted the outer surfaces (except for the top) with three coats of Minwax PolyShades - Mahogony, left over from my powder room makeover.  This product is great because it has Polyurethane in it, a protective top coat great for furniture, so it saves you a painting step at the end. 

As for the top of the dresser, I painted one coat of Zinsser's top coat, and two coats of high-gloss white.   My inspiration to paint the top white came from this beautiful dresser, which is also a DIY project.

via Young House Love
I wrapped this project up by painting a protective layer of  Polycrylic on the top of the dresser.  And the finale:


close-up of the brass handles


intricate wood work on the dresser's legs

how awesome is this top drawer with the dividers?  i love it.

this dresser is the perfect storage solution i needed

i chose a high-gloss white for the top because i love the modern, sleek look of it.

6 comments:

lynda @ Twenty Six Thirty Three said...

It turned out beautiful! Great job. I'm loving those pulls.

Comeca Jones said...

OH MY!!! Its totally gorgeous!

Soul Pretty said...

gorg! great job.

Sofia said...

It looks beautiful, I love that you chose to have the top white. That Stripper spray looks crazy toxic, though..!

Rhonda Deal said...

This is a fantastic piece of makeover magic. I especially loved your tip for using the head of a pen to get the old paint out of hard to reach areas such as the decorative moulding on the legs.

Rattan Furniture Specialist said...

Lucky you for finding that dresser. Thank you for makeover tips as well. Your skills made the dresser look as good as new. Thank you.