Waterfall Dresser Make-over

by Reggie
7 Materials
3 Days
My husband and I are avid DIYers. I bought a waterfall dresser at a local flea market for $20. The veneer on the top was peeling off, the veneer on the drawers and side was chipped and some was peeling off, but the dresser was sturdy. . It set in the garage for about 6 months.

My husband saw some cork upholstery fabric flecked with gold at Hobby Lobby. He thought I should be able to do something with it, so he bought 3 yards. I knew I could not upholster a chair with it, so it went into the closet for a while.
While cleaning out the garage, I decided that I could cover the waterfall dresser with the cork fabric.
I don't have a picture of the dresser before we started working on it.
The first step was cleaning off the spider eggs and dirt. Then I peeled off the veneer on top. This was easy because water damage has loosed all the glue. Next, my husband repaired all the damage to the drawer fronts and sides using Gorilla Wood Glue and Dap Plastic Wood.

You can see from this picture that some of the drawers were missing big sections of veneer. He glued and clamped the loose veneer, patched the missing spots, and sanded everything smooth when it dried.

I sanded the dresser lightly and painted the trim with metallic paint. I used artist bruses to get into the crevices and a angled paint brush to paint the rest. I was not happy with the brush strokes showing after two coats, so I put a third coat on using a piece of an old t-shirt and my fingers.
Once the paint was dry I polished the paint with another piece of -thirt. Then I sealed it with wipe-on polyurethane, 2 coats.
I cut cork fabric to fit the top, sides and drawer fronts. I cut the fabric for the drawer fronts a little bit bigger than the fronts. Once they were glued on, I used an exacto knife to cut them to size. Glueing the fabric on to the drawer fronts was easy. I sprayed the drawer and the back of the fabric, let it get tacky and smoothed it on using my hands and a plastic putty knife. The top and sides were harder. I tried spraying the entire top at one time. The glue dried too quickly (working outside when the temperature was in the 90's). I had to respray several times. Next time I will wait till I have cooler temperature to spray. The sides were a bit easier, but I had to reglue several edges before everything was firmly attached.
We had bought several sets of knobs at Hobby Lobby when they were on sale for 50% off. I was happy that these looked great with the cork fabric.
Now she is ready for a new home.
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3 of 4 questions
  • Sue Sue on Aug 25, 2018

    May I ask how many yards of cork fabric did you need for this dresser? It's gorgeous!!

  • Gail Gail on Aug 28, 2018

    So this was fabric, not Rolled cork like for walls? Did you roll over the edge into the drawer or cut at the edge. I think wrapping the drawers would make them stay better as they will get pulled in and out. I love the funky look of the drawer pulls. You make a great team.

  • Judy Smith Judy Smith on Sep 19, 2018

    Where did you get the cork fabric? What is it made of cotton or other?

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