$30.00 Thrift Store Dresser Gets Shabby Coastal Makeover

4 Materials
3 Hours

I wanted to share a project that I have been working on for the last two days. I decided to enter the General Finishes Design Challenge 2018. This will be my first time entering the contest, so I was a bit stressed but also excited! Out of the numerous categories, I could enter, I chose to enter the "Secondary Purpose" category because this is what I love to do, give a piece a new use! And secondly, the "Coastal Blue" category, because I have always loved blues and the calmness they reflect.

Here is the dresser. She was pretty beat up. The top was in horrible condition, with pieces of the molding damaged severely. The bottom molding pieces were in bad shape as well. However, the drawers were all functional and were in pretty decent shape. She was missing a piece of hardware, but that's an easy fix.
Dresser Before
After staring at her for a day or so, I knew the dresser would be a perfect candidate for a faux card catalog look because of all the drawers, and the different sizes.  I knew this would be a great piece for the Coastal Blue category.  
I chose Summertime Blue, by General Finishes ( get it here).  This is a very light blue, calming, ocean like.  When I opened the can I could hear the waves hitting against the rocks.  Well, maybe not, but one can dream!
General Finishes Summertime Blue
Before I started the makeover, the Hubs did a few repairs for me (gotta love him!).  He removed the old molding on the bottom and the sides and replaced it with new wood.  What a difference already! 
New Wood Molding
He then, with his woodworking superpowers built a new top for the dresser.  He added the new top right over the existing one.  He also had to cut thin strips to go along the outside of the new top and added a piece to the back.  He is such a genius!  Here is what it looks like, I am so googly-eyed! 
 This is what the dresser looked like after he finished his repairs.  
I then decided to add feet to the bottom to lift it off the ground slightly.  The Hubs constructed wood squares out of 4x4's that we would attach the feet too.  I chose small bun feet.  I did not want extreme height, just a slight rise off the floor.  
Here is the dresser with the feet added.  
I gave all the new wood a good sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out.  I gave the dresser a good cleaning using my Dixie Belle White Lightning Cleaner ( you can get it here).  This stuff is amazing at removing all the grime and grit.  Just follow the directions on the container.  
I decided to use English Chestnut as my stain choice for the top.  I did not want it too dark since I was going for the coastal look.  
While waiting for the stain to dry, I removed all the hardware from the doors.  The hardware I chose I found at  D. Lawless Hardware.  They have amazing prices and an amazing selection.  I chose the card catalog hardware and four of the pumpkin bronze knobs.  These only come in a dark color, so I painted all the hardware white using General Finishes Chalk White.  
I gave the dresser two coats of the Summertime Blue, allowing 24 hours to dry in between coats.  I then lightly sanded and distressed around the drawers and sides.  I attached the hardware and was super excited about the way it turned out!  I gave the dresser a coat of Flat Out Flat Waterbased Top Coat From General Finishes. I am so in love with the way it turned out!
The card catalog hardware really makes this piece so adorable!
Here is a side view.
And the top just adds more beauty! The Hubs really hit it out of the ballpark for me this time! To see more projects, tutorials and fun how to's head on over to the blog at www.christinafayerepurposed.com.

Resources for this project:

General Finishes Summertime Blue
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Christina Faye Repurposed

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Dorothy Sittler
    on Aug 11, 2019

    It is beautiful but what do you store in it with that card hardware? I would want the feet to be higher so that I can clean under it. How do you deal with that issue without having to move it everytime?

  • Janice Enix
    on Aug 11, 2019

    I love what you did with this piece! I don't understand how you open the drawers with the card catalog hardware. Am I not seeing the drawer pulls?

    • Mary Russell
      on Sep 7, 2020

      Good job,especially moving the 'divided 'drawer up.My only comment is that personally I don't think the card catalog hardware makes much sense on the lower'undivided'drawers.Just my opinion,and you know about those,right?Ha.

Join the conversation

2 of 31 comments
  • Veronica Jones
    on Sep 8, 2020

    Wow, what a big difference, looks great!

  • Bob Schulenberg
    on Sep 8, 2020

    It looks nice but I’m kind of at a loss wondering why it was necessary to get it to look like a faux card catalogue piece! It would have looked great as simply a dresser with functioning drawers!

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