Last weekend, I made over a dresser in less than two days, and it barely cost me $40.
Ever since I saw this blog post from In My Own Style, I’ve been dying to try something like this. I especially love the detail of the glass beads on top of the letters on the handles. I found this dresser for less than $20 at the Goodwill in downtown Temple.
It was in pretty miserable condition, covered with spiderwebs, leaves, dirt and lots more gross stuff, but the fixtures are virtually identical to the ones used in Diane’s blog, so I thought I would give it a try.
CLEAN AND PRIME
First, I removed all the drawers and carefully took off the fixtures. I decided I would replace the round ones on the top two drawers with new silver ones, so for now, I put those aside. I never throw anything away, because you never know when it might come in handy for another project. Then I had to clean this thing.
SO MANY SPIDERS YOU GUISSE. UGGGGGGHHH.
I turned it upside down and vacuumed everywhere, then wiped it down with a light cleanser to satisfy the crazy OCD germ freak in me.
After I cleaned it and removed all the fixtures, I primed it.
Everybody likes Kilz, and you can use that too, but I like plain old artist’s gesso. It dries really quick and gives you a smooth surface to paint on. Give all the surfaces a light sanding before you prime, if you have an especially glossy finish you’re working with.
Once the primer dried, it was time to paint. I went with Krylon Fusion in White. Krylon’s been hit or miss for me lately, but white, black and red in the Fusion line are pretty reliable. I spray painted the dresser drawer fronts, but left the inside blank, since I’m going to decoupage that later. I was going for a very lightly distressed look, so I wasn’t too worried about getting the best, most full coverage paint job.
While all the paint dries, I worked on the fixtures. I followed Diane’s directions and just washed them before I spray painted them.
PRO TIP: Wedge a toothpick into the little hinge to keep the pull standing straight up, so it doesn’t fall against the fixture itself. That way you get a nice even coat over the whole thing.
(This was the hardest part of the project, because we had to go track down toothpicks at our local big box store. Here’s a hint for you who want to try this–they are not in the toothpaste aisle. They’re with paper plates/cups.)
I did a variation on what Diane at In My Own Style did, because I wanted to incorporate a bold pop of color. I chose Valspar Exotic Sea Spray.
While they dry, you can start on the glass beads with the letters. I bought a bag of these at Michael’s for $1. I took one, put it over the letter I wanted and used an a blade to cut out roughly the size I wanted and trimmed off any excess around the edges.
I used a heavy duty epoxy to glue them, but other glues will work just fine.
DECOUPAGE THE TOP
Decoupaging a large piece of paper onto a large surface is really hard. If you want to try this yourself, I suggest cutting the paper up into more manageable sections and then piecing it back together. You won’t notice the patchwork in the end. It took two of us to get one piece on and there were a TON of air bubbles.
Get Your Own: The paper is from Lux Paperie, and I bought two sheets for $8, total. I used most of it. The scraps will likely go to another project someday.
Next, I distressed the top of the dresser with my sander. I wanted to give a worn look, but not go too far with it. When you’re done, seal the top with polyacrylic (this might be the one time I use a satin/flat finish as opposed to a gloss).
Then, I decoupaged the inside of the drawers. In keeping with the theme of the vintage typeset, I used pages from a book on word power (LOL). Finally, I distressed any of the sharp edges around the dresser and drawers to expose the wood beneath.
If your dresser drawer bottoms are trashed/broken–don’t freak out! You can get a cheap piece of plywood or MFD to put in the bottom. It’s an easy/cheap fix; all you have to do is measure the inside of your drawer.
Now all you have to do is reattach your new hinges.
The silver knobs on the small drawers are from Lowe’s and only cost 97 cents each, and the scalloping around the edge gives it a nice touch.
Here’s the final product! This was a great way to give my entrace way a refreshing makeover.