The Dresser Project – Part 1

Careful What You Ask For…

For years I’ve been admiring and drooling over furniture, especially dressers, that had been upcylcled from what appeared to be a Salvation Army reject to a truly amazing home decor accent.  I really wanted to try my hand at that but to my continued frustration I could never seem to find a dresser that fit the requirements:  cheap and “do-able”.   Do-able?  Yea well, it’s not like I didn’t find dressers, ones that would need a carpenter to actually “fix – up” all the areas that were broken – easier to build a new dresser in some cases.  Then there were the ones where a mouse (I’m giving this the benefit of the doubt) had crawled inside and died.  I mean there’s no getting that stink out. The disappointments just went on and on, it seemed I was doomed to never fulfill my fantasy of upcycling a dresser.


And then it finally happened.  Early this summer I went to an Estate sale and there in the corner of a Vintage man cave was THE DRESSER.  The size was perfect at  42″ x 19″ x 14″.  It was handmade, probably by the original owner of the man cave, and “fit the requirements”.

It sat on my deck for the summer while I finished up a multitude of other projects and all the while my creative muse pondered what form my upcycle should take here.  This is the part where it turned into “careful what you ask for” because when I was ready to go to work on this little jewel fate started playing her slight of hand.  This dresser went through more fashion changes than a runway model!  First I was looking at two panels of art Nouveau women, one per side with some coordinating scroll stenciling on the drawer faces; but no, I could only find one of the panels I had in mind.  Okay, next up: an incredibly adorable wallpaper with matching border; but no, money refunded because those papers are out of print now.  Okay, next up: a funky large crystal drop paper with coordinating border; but no, paper was definitely the wrong thing once I held it up to the dresser (after it took a week to get here by mail).  Okay, next up: The perfect border found on eBay, shipped, shows as delivered to my mailbox but never received. Seriously, what the heck was going on here?!?  Just typing this stuff irritates me all over again because, of course, there was plenty of other little twinks and twerps that spun off each one of these failed attempts like cotton candy getting rolled up on a paper cone.

I’ve taken a deep breath, it’s all right now.  I was able to redirect a great deal of negativity as I tackled the old dresser with an electric sander – quite therapeutic actually.



The missing border finally showed up (it was hiding in a neighbors mail box).  And I was right! It is the perfect border.  I took it to Home Depot, had a gallon of paint made to match the green in the foliage and the painting has begun.


I haven’t mentioned the cute accent cutouts this thing has, aren’t they darling?  I’ve got one coat on the main body already and the drawers are half way done.  Now it’s time to get back to work.  Till the next post, Craft On.

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