Chest Goes From Drab to FAB

2 Materials
7 Days

This is the tale of an old dresser made new again…

I had purchased a dresser at a consignment shop when I furnished my apartment. For about a year prior to our recent move, we lived at the coast and I worked in the western-central part of the state. I had rented a local apartment to stay in when I was working, and I went home in between. It was a difficult time for us as a family, especially after the COVID restrictions meant my children would be at home 24/7, and ultimately led to the decision to move across the state for my job. But, during that year, I had to have some furniture… so I hit up my favorite consignment shop here and hunted through the aisles at intervals and brought home the furniture piece by piece.

I started at the top of the dresser and worked in rows. I removed the existing hardware and cleaned the drawer fronts thoroughly, and then used wood filler to fill the holes left by the hardware (hint – put a piece of painter’s tape over the hole inside the drawer; this contains the wood filler). When the wood filler was dried, I sanded the drawer fronts smooth and wiped them down with a tack cloth.

I have a huge collection of chalk paint – by far my painting medium of choice these days – and I randomly selected colors to paint the drawers. In general I did about 3 coats of paint in the chosen color, and then a coat of clear wax. I went back with a dark wax afterwards, applying it unevenly and randomly to give the appearance of dirt and wear, and then buffed it to my liking.

I had collected used drawer handles from local thrift shops, and purchased some additional ones from Amazon – black and brown leather strap handles and large plastic suitcase handles. I had also ordered brass upholstery tacks and a multitude of different clasps from Amazon. These I applied to my liking, striving for variety.

The following pictures show a few of the drawers in progress -

Paint and furniture tacks...

Painted on “stitching” on the edges...

With the clasps and handle added...

Butterfly clasps, a brass lock and leather handle...

Top of the dresser when finished.

I chose black as the base, and painted the tops and sides, and around the drawer facings in black; these I sealed with clear wax, but didn’t try to add the dark wax - it wouldn’t have shown up much anyway.

The final product. I just LOVE it!

I purchased a second, similar, chest a few months ago and have just started the process of turning it into a stack of suitcases. I’ll post pictures when it’s done.

Check out my blog post for more details and many other projects.

Resources for this project:

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