For the past two years I’ve had a daily reminder of a project that I started, got overwhelmed with, and stopped. My husband and I have been using master bedroom dresser hand-me-downs for the past 5 years and one day I decided, “I can refinish these old dressers, easy peasy!” Sometimes my own thoughts are pure lies. I began refinishing the drawers on one of the dressers. Completely stripped the old finish, re-stained (applying too much), and it resulted in a thick bubbly finish … and too shiny (you’ll see). I learned quickly that I didn’t know what I was doing so I stopped. However, I wasn’t in a position to buy a new dresser to mask my mistakes and quite frankly needed somewhere to store my garments. So this is what I had been living with for the past two years:
With the delivery of a new bed it just simply made these dressers looks so drab, so I thought I’d take another stab at it. I found two inspirational posts via Pinterest that fit two very basic needs of mine: 1) this must be easy and 2) I need to find a way of removing clutter from the top of the dresser (media items).
Leah at California Callihans was my first inspiration with her Ikea hack on the Tall Hemnes dresser. Love the color, use of the painted wallpaper, and the beautiful and vintage glass knobs.
My next inspirationalist was Jamie at Southern Revivals. She redid a dresser and took out a drawer to accommodate open storage.
With these women and their projects as my inspiration my faith in dresser DIY was renewed. I began by taping off the drawers and painting over any finished surface with Zinsser Cover Stain. I figured if I could get around this project WITHOUT having to strip any stain I would mentally be in a better place. Notice that I didn’t bother painting over the cut-out panels on either side of the dressers.
Next I used a simple spray adhesive (Loctite High Performance Middleweight Bonding) and spray just within the cut-out panels on the sides. I then took a paintable wallpaper (Lowes, the same one that Leah used in her project) and slowly, starting at the top applied and smoothed downwards. When I was done I used an exact-o knife and cute along the edges. I completely disregarded the actual directions for the wallpaper and seeing how I wasn’t actually applying it to a wall I thought, no biggie.
Once the wallpaper was adhered I was ready for the real fun. Before painting I took the time to cut out two pieces of 1/4 inch plywood to fit into the top drawer section of the shorter dresser, creating a shelf. I also cut a hole, about 2 inches wide in the back for media cables. For the painted finish, I used Valspar semi-gloss in Rugged Suede (since I loved the color on the California Callihans Hemnes dresser). I applied two coats total.
I had originally planned on splurging at Anthropologie to get some really beautiful knobs for these dressers, but when I was on my way to the register to pay I literally turned around, mentally telling myself that if I planned to spend $120 on knobs I was out of my mind. Therefore, I stopped at World Market (where I remembered last minute that they sell really great knobs) and I spent $50 on 10 vintage glass knobs and 2 owl knobs. I thought why not, get a little funky. It’s all in the details, anyways.
Love these, they are a real hoot! 🙂
All in all I think I’m pretty happy with the project. I no longer have that constant eye-sore and daily reminder of a failed project. I have a new (to me) set of dressers. Oh yeah, and I think in total I spent about $100 for two new dressers and 6 hours in total prepping and finishing. I’ll go ahead and chalk this up to a success.
Check back Thursday where I am going to reveal the whole room. Drum roll please …
Here’s to giving yourself a second chance! xoxo ‘n lols, crystal