I normally just post recipes here for friends & family but I thought that since I’d done a couple DIY projects lately I would write about them.
First up is my dresser re-finish. Last spring I bought a dresser off Kijiji for $100. It was a huge, antique looking dresser that I thought would look perfect in our bedroom. I had priced new dressers from anywhere between 500 and 900 dollars knew I could do it for way cheaper. This project in total cost me $200 which I think is a steal of a deal! I drug it out over a few months because I was super busy this summer withweddings and work but I finally finished it last weekend with lots of help from my live-in handyman!
An electric sander - it will make your life much easier I promise
Sandpaper - different grades for the differentdetails
Paint- the paint we used had a polyurethane agent already in it to prevent scratches on the paint. The gentleman at Home Hardwaresuggested it to me when I told him I was painting furniture.I’ve noticed little dings on the top ofthe dresser already so I would probably add another coat of the pure polyurethane just to make sure it’s durable.
Brushes - I had a large paintbrush and a couple smaller brushes for the smaller details. Buy good quality brushes! Don’t cheap out!
Hardware - pulls are expensive. My justification was that I got the dresser for cheap so if I splurged on pulls that it was ok. I did compromise and got the crystal knobs I loved for the smaller center drawers only (at $6 each) and bought pewter handles ($3.99 each) for the larger drawers.
Draw liners - these are optional but the wood inside the dresser splinters easily and I didn’t want it to pick my clothes. I picked up a roll at Winners for $7.99 and I had enough to do all the drawers except one of the small drawers. Unfortunate, but I’ll deal with it.
First I got Jason to take all of the hardware off the drawers and dresser itself. They were ugly brassy pulls that I knew would have no place on my beautiful dresser.
Then the sanding began. This is by far the worst part of the re-finish. It’s SO tedious and wood particles get everywhere. I had to immediately shower after I finished sanding. Jason did all of the large, flat areas with his electric sander and I did the small details with sand paper and a sanding block. I got discouraged a lot because it seriously took so long but here is the finished product:
I can’t find my actual before picture because it was taken on my old iPhone but the finish on the wood looked like this:
After we sanded the dresser we realized it probably wasn’t even worth the $100 we paid for it. While the frame of the dresser itself is made with good quality lumber, the sides and drawers are made with thin chipboard that splits easily (as we discovered when trying to drill new holes for the pulls I bought.
After sanding Jason filled in the existing holes in the drawers with wood putty and sanded them down so they were level. Then the painting began! Yay!
I cranked some tunes and got three coats on the dresser in one sunny afternoon.
Then I hit a rut. Well to be honest, Mother Nature hit a rut. It rained and rained and rained all fall. So the dresser sat in the garage for almost a month, still needing another couple coats of paint and missing some hardware. My lovely man friend took care of the paint on a nice weekend when I was in NB and the dresser was ready for some hardware!
This part was tricky. Because we had filled over the existing holes with wood putty, we had a fresh slate to drill for our hardware. What we didn’t expect was that the holes we needed to drill would overlap with the covered up holes. Also the larger drawers had a bit of a wave to them, so the longer pewter pulls didn’t lay flat against the wood. After some cursing and lots of measuring, we finally got the pulls on the dresser. My advice? Keep the original screws from the original hardware. That way if the screws that come with your pulls are too short, you have the originals to either use as a guideline when purchasing new screws, or you can simply use the originals!
So very happy with the finished product!
Unfortunately the mirror that came with the dresser is tarnished and broken so I’m not able to use it. It will be going in the garbage pile for spring clean-up. I knew this when I bought the dresser but thought it could be salvaged. So now I’m on the look out for an antique looking silver mirror, which I’m sure I will eventually find at Winners or Home Sense!