Ugly Dresser Turned Swan

I am back! I may have been silent, but I have been busy and I am excited to share what I have been up to. Since I last blogged I found a really cool new job, which has really cut into my project time, but I suppoooose it’s a good thing.

We have been slowly but surely working on turning our bedroom into a place we actually like, instead of a perfectly fine, but not super functional spot. Part of that process (which I will share in upcoming posts) was finding a bureau that fit in the nook to the right of the fireplace. A simple task you might think, but no. I was even willing to buy something new! (Gasp) But alas, nothing I could find fit the dimensions. I wanted to get the largest bureau that would fit, and the deck was stacked against me, until I came across this monstrosity beauty at the Eastern Market flea market. In all her orange glory. Woof.:

Dresser Before

This was going to require some major surgery. I gathered my arsenal and got to work. Here is what I used.

  • Random orbital sander and tons of discs
  • Paint stripper
  • Gloves
  • Chip brushes
  • Scrapers
  • Empty paint can for nasty chemicals
  • Mask (no really, USE IT)
  • White paint/brushes
  • Stain/Brushes
  • Fine grit sandpaper – I like 220
  • New knobs
  • Jigsaw

First I took out all of the drawers and removed and chucked the knobs. Then I stripped the orange finish off, following the instructions on the can. Basically glop a good layer on, let it sit BUT NOT DRY and then scrape off the gunk. I let it dry by accident because I am a dummy and it was a whooooole thing. After a couple of rounds of stripping (breezing over what was a fairly laborious process) I sanded the whole thing down. I planned to stain the drawers and top, so I made sure no hint of the orange remained on those.

Dresser Drawers

Once I recovered and my nostrils stopped stinging, I used a large oval platter to trace an arc around all of the scrolly-business at the bottom. I jigsawed out the scrolly-pieces and sanded down the edges, leaving a pretty good looking bottom, if I do say so myself.

And with that, I was down to “blank slate” status. I painted the frame part with a couple of coats of regular Benjamin Moore Ultra White, sanding between coats. I stained the top and fronts of the drawers with several coats of MinWax in Special Walnut. Brush on, let sit, wipe off. Repeat. I may seal it with paste wax at some point, but it has a been a few months and so far it is holding up well.

The bureau needed 12 knobs and trying to find cool ones that didn’t break the bank was tricky. I found a few candidates at the usual sources, but the thought of putting over $100 in knobs on a $60 dresser just hurt. I finally found these at D. Lawless. They are actually my favorite and somehow they were on sale for $.50 each at the time (down from a whopping $1).

Dresser Knobs

So, all put back together, here she is!

Dresser AfterNot bad, eh? Here is a side-by-side for your viewing pleasure.

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 7.08.58 PM

I hope you like it! I will be sharing the other bedroom progress soon.

XO, Julia