Sunday, March 11, 2012

Salvaged Dressers

Pete and I used to live in an apartment with an incredible view: the dumpster. Almost every day there was a new, or rather, old, piece of furniture sitting outside the dumpster waiting for someone to claim it. And since we had the best view in the place, we got a lot of awesome furniture. For free.

My favorite piece from the dumpster was this antique dresser:

The minute I saw it outside my window, I yelled for Pete to come with me to the dumpster. I had to have it! We ran at full speed to the dumpster, then slowly, very slowly, dragged it back to our garage. It's way heavier than it looks!

The dresser is made out of solid wood. Absolutely nothing artificial, which is hard to find these days (for free, anyway). And my favorite thing about it is the small drawers at the top! I never buy furniture when they have fake small drawers. It's such a disappointment when I see a desk that looks like it has a variety of different sized drawers, only to find out it's just one drawer to place boring old files in. So when I saw four real baby drawers, I hugged the crap out of it.

All that being said, it still needed a lot of help. Whoever had it before believed in placing stickers on the drawers. There was also no surface that went unscratched. But hey, nothing a little sander can't handle.

So Pete and I went to the hardware store and picked up some blue paint, pewter hardware, and sand paper. The first thing Pete did was sand the outside of the drawers while I painted the frame. It turned out way better than we imagined!

After we sanded the drawers, we decided not to touch them. We were thinking about staining them, but I really liked the natural look that they had.

We got a little excited about the success of this dresser and quickly moved to another dresser. We were given a dresser for free from Pete's parents. It was in his sister's room for a while, but now no one had a use for it. We really didn't know what we wanted to do to it, but I got in my head that I felt like stenciling something. We also knew it was going to be in Lucy's room (our future daughter), so we wanted it to be perfect for a little girl's room.

Over and over again I told myself that I would not fill up Lucy's room with pink stuff. In my mind, Lucy is not a princess. She's a fun, dynamic little girl who's going to love animals, the great outdoors, and all the colors of the world. Not just pink.

But somehow I ended up painting the dresser pink! I promise it will be the only girly pink item in the room (I think).

There was honestly no problem with the dresser before. We just wanted a project. As we took the dresser apart, we discovered that the hardware was not original to the dresser. The drawers had multiple holes in them because someone replaced the hardware. And as soon as we removed one of the drawer pulls, it bent in half.  So while the pulls look nice and fancy, they weren't worth keeping.

Now comes the fun part: painting it pink! We chose a watermelon pink and a soft pink for the stenciling. For some reason it's so hard to brush the first stroke of pink paint on natural wood. Some people will cringe at the fact that I did it, but life is about making bold steps. So I did it:

And I'm happy with the way it turned out! We first painted the entire dresser the watermelon pink. Once that dried, I covered the drawers with a stencil and used the light pink. I still question the drawer pulls we chose, but I think it works for now. And I think Lucy will love it!


  1. Very creative work! I am considering using chevron stripes for a nightstand, not sure though. I like what you did though.

    1. Thanks, Sonia! I think chevron stripes would look great as well! I'd love to see the result when it's done. :)