This project has to be one of my favorite furniture makeovers to date because of it’s backstory, the actual process of making it over, and because it’s going to be put to good use in my boyfriend Matt’s apartment.
So, first up- the backstory! Matt’s great grandmother passed this dresser down to him when he was growing up, and he used it for years in his parents home. He recently has decided that he could use a dresser in his bedroom for our things (we live about 45 mins to an hour apart from each other right now so I’ve been leaving things there to make it easier and taking up some of his space) and searched around for a good candidate. When he couldn’t find anything he loved, he decided to surprise me for Christmas with his original dresser and we worked on it over the holidays.
It was my first dresser re-do and letmetellyouhowexcitedIwas! That’s not even sarcasm either. I think it’s so awesome to work on a well loved piece like this. After seeing so many amazing ideas around the web for dressers and couldn’t wait to get started. So, we didn’t!
We stopped by the hardware store, just before the winter-pocolypse-ice-tundra storm came (which was PACKED with people picking up supplies incase they were trapped indoors the next few days) and picked up our stain, primer and paint.
Since we wanted to keep it as simple as possible, we decided to reuse the existing hardware holes, and purchased new hardware to fit. The top two smaller drawers needed a 2.5″ handle, and the bottom six needed 3″ handles. We fell in love with the idea of two different styles, and picked up this cup handle by Style Selections and pull by Brainerd.
Next up came the work! We sanded down the drawer fronts using an orbital sander until they were free from any gloss or previous stain. This is one of those “miracles of blogs” things where sanding down eight drawers takes over an hour, but only gets one sentence of glory, so I decided two pictures were necessary to portray all of the dust we made (we had to do it indoors in my kitchen, and my whole house was covered in red dust by the time we were done.)
Once they were all sanded, we taped off the sides of the drawers to avoid drips, and stained the fronts using Minwax’s Dark Walnut.
We wiped off the excess stain after about 5 minutes, removed the tape, and then left them to dry overnight.
For the body of the dresser, we roughed up the top and sides with the sander to ensure the primer would bond with the surface, and gave it a good cleaning. We chose to use Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer, and applied it using a roller and angled brush.
Fast forward the clock a few hours, and it was time to paint! We chose Valspar’s City Storm as a muddy gray color to compliment the rich tone of the wood stain. We used a semi-gloss finish, which was surprisingly a really think paint, despite other brands we’ve used being thin and runny. Two coats using a roller and an angled brush again, and it was all starting to come together!
To protect all of the surfaces, we give her two coats of a water-based satin poly, waiting a few hours in between applications.
Last but not least, we attached our new hardware and put it all back together!
We absolutely love how the hardware turned out when it was all put together and think the different lines in the wood give it a fun look highlighted with the dark stain.
I got a little picture happy playing with my new camera : )
One of the funniest moments of the process was finding the furniture tag and looking up how much the dresser was originally purchased for… it’s a Thomasville piece that now sells for a minimum of $1,300. We cracked up thinking about how we just painted over that expensive of a piece, but loved the outcome so much that it made us confident with our decision.
What do you think? We’re so excited to move it into his room and working on a project with my guy was so much fun! He might be in trouble and I might have him help me more ; )
-J&P (&M today!)