13 Aug 2012

Free Dresser Finds a New Home

A couple of months ago I was perusing Kijiji (like Craig's List) and ran across a dresser that someone was giving away for free.  I asked Mr. Swell very kindly if he would load Fin up and go pick it up for me (he was still on parental leave and I was at work).  Thankfully he said yes, and when I got home from work that night I found this sitting in our garage.

The colour was horrendous, as was the state that the little dresser was in, but I loved the lines of it.  It was clean and simple and small enough to fit in a multitude of spaces.

I think it had been used in a garage to store tools and the top was pretty beat up.

The dresser sat in our garage for quite a few weeks before I had a plan for it.  When I decided to do the mini-revamp of the guest room (with the crazy framed fabric), I figured it might also be nice for my Mother-in-law to have a little dresser to stow away a few necessities when she stays with us.  

The first order of business was to remove all of the random stickers and sand the guy down.  I sanded, and sanded, and sanded until he looked like this.

I love when I start sanding and find a few more colours of paint underneath.  That's when you know the piece has a story.  This guy had a story of neglect.  I filled in a few of the really deep divets with wood filler and then sanded again.  The back is made of MDF, so I also added some more staples along the back edges to reinforce things.

Then I used my favorite Zinsser 1-2-3 primer and gave the top, sides and drawer fronts two coats of primer.

And then two coats of Benjamin Moore Advance in White Dove, using a foam roller and a small angle brush for the corners.

I picked White Dove for a couple of reasons.  The first, is that I do really like white furniture.  The second reason is because I painted this guy at the same time as we were painting the cabinets and the island.  That meant the same brush and roller could be used, which meant less washing. Sold!

That's a heck of a lot of white paint!

Anyhow, you know I wasn't going to leave it plain white. That's too boring for a guest room that has crazy orange fabric on the walls. I picked up a stencil kit at Michael's that had a bunch of retro looking stencils in it.  I figured one of them would work with the fabric. It turns out that one of the patterns matched the fabric exactly.  Love it.

So, with the help of my Mom one afternoon we got stencilling.  Sorry, no in progress pictures. We were too busy concentrating on stencilling to take pictures.  I used a colour of paint that I had hanging around - Martha Stewart's Crevecoeur.  It's a discontinued colour and The Home Depot was selling the sample pots for $1.

Here's how the little dresser looked after the stencilling.

See why it took concentration?  We had to line up the stencil on each drawer so that it looked like it was continuous.  Lots of concentration, but I love how it turned out.

We moved it into the guest room, and it fit perfectly between the bed and the wall.

You can see here how the stencil matches the pattern in the fabric.

Custom Stencilled Dresser

How about a little before and after???

Custom Stencilled Dresser: Before & After

What do you think? Pretty good for free, right?

Linking to Southern Hospitality, Primitive & Proper, Miss Mustard Seed


  1. I always love getting something for free! The stencil turned out great.

    Are the drawers staggered like that in the cabinet, or are they pulled out just a little for effect? They look pretty neat, either way.

    I found a little something on C/L myself this weekend that I hope to go pick up tomorrow afternoon - not free, but it did go down in price [40%] over the week as I watched it - so yay!

    -Erica F

    1. Thanks Erica. The drawers are staggered like that, thats what I loved so much about the cabinet. It has a very mid-century modern feel to it. Gotta love a good CL find!

  2. Oh, I love that stencilling, great job! So cool and so awesome it was free!

    1. Thanks so much! Thank you for stopping by.

  3. adorable! i love the design- it totally suits that dresser!

  4. This is beautiful! Great job :)

    I just hopped over from Roadkill Rescue

    1. Thanks for hopping over, and for the nice compliment!


Your comments make my day. Seriously, they make me do little dances of joy (usually in my office chair - so its a chair dance of joy). If your profile is connected to your email address then I will email you back, otherwise please check back for a reply.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover