5 May 2014

Salvaged dresser to shelves

Three times I passed this old, broken chest of drawers that had been dumped on the side of the road along my walking route. I inspected it as I went past, noting that although the sides were thin plywood the rest of it was wood.

The drawers were missing and the paint was peeling. It had clearly stood in the sun when in use, and lay in the rain after being dumped. I had to have it.

Much to Grant's dismay I drove to the spot, loaded it up and brought it home. I knew what it could become! But at the same time I could see his point. It looked like junk.

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The first thing I did was address the peeling painted top.

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I first tried scraping the paint off, but soon took the belt sander out and went to town on it. I loved the look of the wood beneath - a rustic sort of taupe colour, almost like driftwood.

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The next thing I did was knock out the side drawer supports.

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Then we moved it into my craft room so that I could finish working on it. I varnished the top with water-based matt varnish ...

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... and primed the rest of it.

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With 3-4 coats of paint, some MDF shelves, and some antique copper label holders from eBay, it was finally finished.

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In the interests of keeping it real I will say that the above photos are staged and that it will actually be used for Nerf gun storage. I didn't really need the extra storage there and the boys need somewhere to stash their arsenal. But I'm sure it will be used plenty in future, for all sorts of things (I kind of need somewhere for more shoe storage as my shoe cabinet is overflowing *sheepish grin*)

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  1. Wow Jen, it is fantastic! Oh to have this sort of vision! It is utterly gorgeous :)

  2. You did great. Trash to treasure!

  3. You are amazing. Often you to gross to glam!!

  4. I love what you did with the old dresser

  5. Oh Jen you did amazing !! !! I do not have this sort of vision at all

  6. Looks fabulous Jen. The varnished top looks stunning. The antique copper label holders add that extra final touch. You definitely have an eye for seeing a treasure in the making.

  7. Haha I love that it's going to be used for nerf gun storage! You're keeping it real ;) Congrats on making it so beautiful, great work.

  8. That is great. You have done a great job with it!

  9. Oh. my. goodness. Looks beautiful. Awesome job!

  10. Amazing - I love how this turned out.

  11. Oooooo I love this! I always admire people who have an eye for turning junk into something lovely.

  12. Bravo c'est une belle création.

  13. Hi! I love this project. I have an old dresser that I am planning to repurpose. But I was wondering what wood you used for the shelving? I would like to shelve the top half of my dresser and leave two drawers on the bottom.

    1. I just used MDF and it worked out fine. Any wood would do - that was just the cheapest. I would think twice about plywood only because the raw edge is difficult to paint. Have fun!

  14. To be a complete nerd about this...how did you secure the shelves. Are they simply fastened to the front and back drawer supports? I want to do this same thing, but don't want to put nails through the sides of the dresser.

    1. The shelves are just resting on the front and back drawer supports, no nails through the sides.


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