Tuesday, November 8, 2011

{The dresser is DONE!)

Continuing on in the nursery-decorating-maddness..... (YAY!)

Instead of using a standard changing table in our nursery, I really wanted to transform an old dresser into a fun, vibrant, stylish changing table/dresser. I just thought it would make more of a statement and would be more functional than open shelves with baskets, etc. I have seen a lot of this going on out there these days (I have shown you some pictures and have pinned several examples of some that I have loved), and knew that it was definitely something that I wanted for our little guys room. My hope is that it could transition into his big boy dresser someday too.

After searching for several weeks/months, I finally settled on this dresser that I found on Craigslist for $100...

(photo courtesy of the C.L. seller)

...kind of pricey, I know, but we don't seem to have an abundance of affordable vintage furniture around these parts like some of my FAVORITE people do, and this one was SUPER well made and had the straight, clean lines that I was looking for, so I pounced. Ali also pointed out to me that it had kind of an Asian flair, but my hope was that if it was all painted one color, that flair would go away, and it would just look stylish!

It sat in my garage for quite a while (longer than I planned on) before I felt like diving in. I was nervous. I really wanted to do this one all on my own, without the help of my Renaissance-Man brother in law who always ends up doing the hard work.

So....I began....

This dresser was definitely a fine piece of good quality craftsmanship -

engraved branding...

...and dove-tailed drawers...
(& I totally love the grandma contact paper - awesome!)

The first hiccup (that should have been a sign of doom) was that the little tiny screws that held the hinges on the cabinet doors were old and stripped, and I could not for the life of me get them off. UGH! So, the drawers would have to stay on while I painted which I knew was less than ideal.

The next true bonehead move I made was not going with my gut, but taking the word of a 20-something paint employee at Home Depot, telling me if I buy paint & primer in one, I shouldn't need to prime nor really sand anything. Um...DUH!! Was I just born yesterday?! He is dumb and I am an idiot for listening.

Here it is after 3 coats of paint (no sanding or priming of any kind). The bright yellow color had a greenish undertone due to the ugly brown color showing through. Also, the piping on every drawer made it impossible to get a smooth coat that didn't look stripey or clumpy in the grooves.....

I tried, I really did, but . . . .

*The rollers I chose had too high of a nap, so they left lint all over everything & the entire thing was a textured mess.
*The cabinet doors kept falling open and bonking the dresser while it was drying, causing dings the size of CA.
*Painted hinges are always pretty and functional, right??! :/
*I had no idea how I would paint the base of the thing, as there was no way I was going to be able to lift the thing up....!!!

It was a certified D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!!!!!! I wish I could have flown Cassie out, as she is an expert in all things painted, and she would have surely knocked this one out of the park!! Needless to say, I called my brother in law with a major SOS, and he came to my rescue. Not only did he have to sand off basically EVERYTHING that I had done (*sigh), he then primed it, and painted it from top to bottom...

My hero! (seriously!)
(side note: he was able to get the cabinet doors off just fine - of course.)

After poly-ing it, he helped me bring it in, but we still needed to spray the hardware, and let the drawers finish drying, so here it sat for over a week, waiting....
...until it was finally done and ready to go.

Here it is all shiny and bright :)

What do you think!!!?? I am SO happy with how it turned out and am SOOOO lucky to have such a competent, helpful brother in law in my life. This dresser was a pain from start to finish, but in the end it was worth it and I am in L-O-V-E.

I hope you like it too! I am officially hanging up my brush (can) and most likely won't be attempting to paint/re-finish anything again for quite a while. I need a skills class before I try again.

I will master it though - someday!

:) Happy Tuesday!



  1. Love it all! It's going to look so fab!! :)

  2. oh wow, lisa! it looks AMAZING!!!!!!!! give josh a high 5 for me! :)

  3. Yipppeeee!! Thank God it's DONE!!! Looks fab! xo

  4. I saw your dresser linked up on Cassie's blog. It is gorgeous and so fun in the bright yellow! I love that color! You and your BIL did a fantastic job!

  5. Oh wow love that color! Your brother is the greatest! My brother is pretty much useless when it come to this kind of stuff so he wouldn't have been much help! You did a great job :)

  6. I think yellow can be so tough, but I love the shade you chose. What a great piece to use as a changing station.

  7. Oh you know what I'm thinking right now....I LOVE it!!!! It came out awesome and I love the yellow. His room is going to be adorable. Did you see the last link in my post today, hello yellow dresser.

  8. WOW! I absolutely love it! You are going to have such a cute nursery. I miss you guys so much! I wish I was there to help out with all these fun projects! You are going to make and amazing momma.

  9. This is gorgeous! I love the yellow. Your BIL is awesome!

  10. The yellow is very refreshing. andrea@townandprairie

  11. It looks amazing, cudos to Josh!
    it's going to look fantastic with all the crib bedding and the crib and the rocking chair you picked out - can't wait to see the whole room come together :)

  12. This is awesome! Great choice on the color and the bedding and crib will all look so wonderful together.....Great job!

  13. I love it, Lisa! The color is beautiful!

  14. The dresser, crib, bedding and glider are all beautiful! (I've been catching up on some blog reading this morning ;) I'm sure you guys are so excited for little Oliver to arrive! And he's going to have a very chic place to lay his little head at night ;)

  15. Wow, this looks incredible. The the vibrant color.

  16. Really impressive to see all collections of dresser.Love all these dresser.Great choice on the color and the bedding and crib will all look so wonderful.