Adventures in Garbage

Posts tagged dresser

Dresser redone

I found this dresser in an alley with the garbage last Monday.

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Having sat through the rain and missing several drawers just means a little extra work.

Thankfully it’s solid wood, so the water damage was minimal and nothing a little sanding wouldn’t fix. But first I had to rethink the structure because of the missing pieces. I caught a break being able to just move the one drawer down since they are the same size.

First I knocked out old drawer supports, leaving the ones I wanted to turn into shelves.

First I knocked out the old drawer supports, leaving the ones where I would want to add shelves.

Next I dropped in some plywood onto the drawer supports and tacked it down.

Next, I removed the hardware and gave everything a good sanding.

Next, I removed the hardware and gave everything a good sanding.

Then stained inside and out. I used PolyShades Antique Walnut - because that's what I had on hand.  :)

Then stained inside and out. I used PolyShades Antique Walnut – because that’s what I had on hand. :)

A little upgrade in hardware.

A little upgrade in hardware.

Last, drop in a couple of baskets to prove its new functionality!

And last, drop in a couple of baskets to prove its new functionality!

Dressers that are missing drawers are a common occurence in the trash game. Much of the time, metal scrappers will take them if they have steel tracks or drawer pulls. But with a little extra time and some reimagining, even just the frame can still be quite useful!

(total reno cost about $6 for hardware and stain – the plywood was free)

No Drawers. No Problem.

One of the pieces I picked up on my trash hunt this week was this mid century dresser.

It looks as though The Scrapper beat me to this one- taking all the drawers with him.

It looks as though The Scrapper beat me to this one- taking all the drawers with him.

Scrapper may take our drawers, but he can never take — OUR BAZAAR AFFINITY FOR OLD CRAP!

These drawer dimensions are just a little too narrow for good functionality. So my first step is to open it up a little bit.  I removed the rails, knocked out the middle shelf (reusing the wood to reinforce to lower shelf).

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The outter shell of this dresser is laminate. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause! With a good primer, it will take paint beautifully.

Here we are after a coat of primer on the outside. And brushed on black on the inside.

Here we are after a coat of primer on the outside. And brushed on black on the inside.

Next I’ll tape up the inside and add some color.

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I’ve been seeing a lot of design ideas with rich greens and gold accents. So, I thought I’d try it out on this experiment.

And so, after a coat of enamel, we’re done!

From useless to unique for $15.

From useless to unique for $15.

Refinishing a dresser.

I picked up this great green dresser around the corner from my sisters house about 2 weeks ago.

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It was only a matter of seconds before The Scrapper and his minions came for the precious hardware. Thankfully Greenie and I made our escape and he shall live to see another day.

Apparently this thing was used as a work bench / storage spot in a grease monkey garage. The whole thing was coated in an film that smelled like someone had frequently dumped used motor oil into the drawers. As much as I’m sure potential buyers look for a dresser with “the fresh scent of Jiffy Lube” built right in, I decided to clean it out.

First step – remove the hardware and get it ready to sand.

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If you’re hoping to stain a piece of furniture, you’ll need to sand down to absolutely bare wood to get a clean finish. I am planning to paint, so I simply need to get it to a smooth clean surface. Another fun loop to jump through is when furniture is riddled with surprise stickers under the paint!

Like a good neighbor State Farm is--- GONE. (just kidding. We love State Farm. Steve Horning is awesome!)

Like a good neighbor State Farm is— GONE.
(just kidding. We love State Farm. Steve Horning is awesome!)

Now we're ready for paint.

Now we’re ready for paint.

Here I’m going to use Rust-Oleum brand spray paint. In general I have found that I get better coverage per can when using Rust-Oluem. But, the color selection is much more limited than that of Valspar or other brands. Especially with Rust-Oleum, light even passes are the way to go. Heavy or slow handed-ness = immediate drips. Which means more sanding and touch up paint.

Here we are after the first coat.

Here we are after the first coat.

While waiting for that to dry, I turned my attention to the hardware.

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This is a very classic hardware style and since all the pieces are accounted for I definitely want to reuse them. Even when I find  something missing a few handles, I usually save the few it does have to hopefully match it to a future project. Almost anytime I am repainting hardware black, I choose the Oil Rubbed Bronze finish spray paint, also by Rust-Oleum. I really love the effect. I have also used it on things like lamps and trashcans and been very pleased with the result.

I let the 1st coat sit over night because of the crazy humid weather. Then did a quick 2nd coat the next morning.

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Second coat complete and hardware returned

The final step is to do one last protective enamel coating and BOOM.

DRESSER

From greasy to gorgeous for $9.

One of the best things about working with “garbage” is, it’s garbage. You can’t ruin it. If you’re looking to try your hand at refinishing furniture, I totally recommend starting with garbage. Worst case you just throw it out! (And then I come and swipe it from the end of your driveway).

Ghosts of Projects Past #1

To build a little bit of a base, I am going to share a few of my past projects. These will just give brief descriptions rather than details and how-to’s since I didn’t take pictures along the way. Also excuse the poor quality, most of these are phone pictures.

Maryland Table

This sad beat down table was leaning against a telephone pole, about to get rained on and then sent to the dump. Once I brought it home, I went ahead and put the wicker center out of it’s misery.

Is there such a thing as 'good wicker"?

Is there such a thing as ‘good wicker”?

 I created a new one by covering plywood with material and then topping it with plexiglass (useful tip- most home improvement stores offer glass cutting at no extra charge. All you need are your measurements). So anyway, with a fresh coat of paint to match, the table is now sporting some sweet home town flavor.

What up 410!!

 

 

The Twilight Dresser

Because who DOESN’T think “Oooh, I know what will improve this piece of furniture! Gluing on pictures of Twilight characters!”

 Ok, I admit it. I stuck stickers on my dresser when I was a kid. And that was probably my least destructive endeavor… Anyway, this here green dresser was hanging out in the alley. (which, according to all of the D.A.R.E pamphlets, is the wrong place to be!) I passed by it quite a few times, noting that the top was made of fiber board, and didn’t pick it up.  It turned out to be a slow trash day so I eventually went back for it. After a light sanding, patching one hole with copious amounts of wood filler, sanding again, adding a rail on the top to repair other damages and painting, it was starting to look alright! Then I ran out of the off white paint before the drawers were done. Because I’m always anxious to finish jobs quickly, and Lowe’s is 25 minutes from my house and any “simple” shopping trip with 2 preschoolers tends to take about 3 hours, I opted for a totally different color for the drawers. One that I already had on hand. I was really pleased with the result! The piece sold for $50 the very next day.

 

Money saving tip for hardware- REUSE IT WHENEVER YOU CAN! Hardware is expensive, but it also makes SUCH a big difference. Because this dresser had so many pieces, I chose not to spend the $35-40 on new knobs and instead bought a can a black spray paint and reused the existing pieces plus some new handles which were on sale for $1.99 a piece.

 

 

This last one is still one of my most challenging restorations to date.

Who in their right mind pulls a you-ee in the middle of an intersection for this pile of confusing garbage!!?   Me.

Who in their right mind pulls a you-ee in the middle of an intersection for this pile of confusing garbage!!? Me.

Firstly, I did not even know what I had picked up until I got it home and sorted through the pieces. Amazingly, it had all the legs and was only missing one additional drawer. I was able to identify that it was, in fact, supposed to be a drop leaf table which looked as though someone had once or twice decided to redo it but never finished either time. After more sanding than I have ever done in my life, I found bare wood. It was still a little too beat to stain nicely, so I went with painting and distressing it to play into it’s cozy tiredness.

I added iron key-style drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby to class it up a notch.

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3 days, and so many sanding discs later, I had a clean new table which I sold on Craigslist for $75 (to a fellow crafter who planned to use it as a sewing table).

So to sum up, and quote some Paw Patrol – “Don’t lose it! Reuse it!”

~ Jodi