Thursday, September 28, 2017

Curbside Dresser Makeover (AKA The Problem Dresser)

Hello my friends--I hope you're all having a great week so far.  Thank you all for joining me today for another fun and exciting Thrift Store Décor Upcyle Challenge!

Each month I team up with some awesome blogger friends to transform a thrifted item into something great.   As you'll see in this post it's not always easy and can sometimes be a real challenge!

Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge

The Rules:

  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There's no monthly theme.
  • There's no budget to stick to.

Meet the Hosts

Make sure you follow our board on Pinterest for more upcycled decor inspiration!

Supplies Used: (Affiliate links may be provided for convenience.  For more info, see my full disclosure here.) 

Without further ado, let's meet this month's lucky contestant...

This guy has definitely seen better days. 

It's the problem dresser that I almost gave up on at least 5 times.  But I'll get to that in a minute!

I spotted it sitting out on our neighbors curb one day but when I noticed that one of the sides was in in really bad shape I passed it by.

I came home later that day and I noticed that it was sitting our garage.  Huh??  The hubby ended up grabbing it for me and proudly brought it home without knowing that I had already decided to pass on it.  Bless his heart! 

It sat for a couple of weeks while I pondered whether or not I wanted to work on it or not.  To be fully honest, I considered setting back out on the curb for someone else haul it away!  But one day during the boys' naptime I was bored so I thought, "what the heck, let me see what I can do with this..."

I began by doing a hardcore cleaning job.  Seriously, this thing was a nightmare.  First it was the dried up gunk all over the surface.  Then it was the dead spiders hiding out inside. But the real show stopper was the mouse droppings I found when I took out the broken bottom drawer..  Yes, freaking mouse droppings.  As soon as I saw that I must have paced around for at least 30 minutes trying to figure out what to do with it.  But finally I put on my game face, grabbed the Simple Green, hauled it out to the grass and hosed it down.

Luckily it was like 100 degrees outside so it dried almost instantly. After giving it a couple of coats of my DIY chalk paint (paint + Plaster of Paris) with a small foam roller it's future was already starting to look a lot brighter.

To hide the old drawer track at the back I cut down a piece of plywood that I had laying around and used liquid nails to attach it.

I cut a second piece of plywood for the bottom shelf and attached it with nails to the front.

I realized that I didn't like the small gaps on either side of the bottom shelf so I also cut down two small pieces for those spots and attached them with liquid nails.  I also cut down a couple of 1x2s and attached them to the back corners to hide the gaps back there .

To disguise the roughed up bottom that one side had I attached some molding around all around the base.  I got to thinking that it's kind of funny that the original design only had molding across the front anyways, so this was actually a nice update! 

I used some caulk to hide my terrible miter cut job that I did.

With such pretty curves and details the top was starting to look too plain.  So I cut down some more plywood into strips and stained them with Minwax Stain in Jacobean before attaching them to the top.

I used my trusty Nail Tap to hammer the nails in so that I could fill them in with wood filler.

Once the wood filler dried I sanded it down and re-stained those spots.

I then brushed on a little bit of white paint and used a wet rag to blend it in to make the wood look more weathered before finishing it with some polyurethane.

When I first started this makeover I had 100% planned on selling it when I was done.  But at some point I realized that I was really starting to fall love how it was turning out and started to consider keeping it.

After taking these pictures and seeing how pretty it looked inside our home I had an even harder time trying to think about selling it.

I kept the original hardware.  I simply soaked them in soapy water and then painted them with some oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

I used some sandpaper to lightly distress the edges and I feel like it shows the details off nicely and really makes them pop.

This dresser has come a long way and it's crazy how many times I almost threw in the towel on this guy!  It just goes to show, furniture makeovers can get pretty messy but it's almost always worth it in the end.

Thanks for stopping by, I'll be back next week with an update on how our floors are going (eek!!) as well as plans for the next One Room Challenge!

And now for more thrifty goodness!

Linking up to these awesome parties!


  1. Love how you totally changed this dresser! Great idea to make bottom drawer a shelf. Visiting from Thrift Store Challenge.

    1. Thanks Victoria! I originally tried to fix the broken drawer but it was a blessing that I couldn't because I really like the look of the shelf! :)

  2. Love Love Love how you transformed this dresser! The planked top and moulding around the bottom are the perfect finishing touches.

    1. Thank you so much! Both the plank top and the molding were unplanned updates that I'm so happy I stumbled on! :)

  3. You did a fabulous job on this. I don't blame you for keeping it. You poured your heart and soul into it.

    1. Thank you Debra! Yes that was a big factor for sure haha! I am happy to report that it landed a nice spot in our dining room :)

  4. Where do I begin? It turned out so very nice! A complete transformation. Great idea to add the trim to the bottom and the planked top is beautiful! I would have trouble selling it too!

    1. Thank you so much Shirley! It definitely turned out better than I had expected it to and I had never even entertained the idea that I would keep it before I saw it transform so nicely :)

  5. That is an awesome job! I totally understand the frustrations that come with upcycling furniture, but all your hard work paid off. It's totally adorable now. Don't blame you for keeping it!

    1. Thank you! I am so glad you can can relate with the struggle!! :)

  6. This is absolutely gorgeous. I am glad your hubby grabbed it for you. It was meant to be! Such a great save!

  7. Love, love, love what you did with the little dresser; I have one I am going to do something similar to after the first of the year, I really love the open space for shelves where the bottom drawer was and I love what you did to the top! I am a couple of rows below you at Totally Terrific Tuesday link party!

  8. I love a good before and after and this is a great one. Amazing what paint and creativity can do! Replacing the drawer for a shelf, adding the planked top and molding make such a difference. I can blame you for thinking about keeping it, I'd do the same.

  9. Beautiful. Love that you took out the bottom shelf. I'm bringing back my Monday link party @ DIY Home Sweet Home (first one will be Oct. 16th) and I would love for you to stop by and link up dresser or any new projects your working on!


I appreciate all of your wonderful comments :)