Sunday, May 6, 2012

Before and After: Craigslist Dresser Reno

A few months ago, inspired by so many creative furniture restoration projects I'd seen online, I decided to re-do a Craigslist dresser. I had visions of it in the little's room, but ultimately decided its feminine curves make it a no go for boys. So I get to enjoy it instead!

Here it is, before: 

This little dresser was a great learning experience. It has excellent lines and good bones, but lots of water damage on the top and a bit of warping on the drawers. Quite understandable at around 80 years old, and having been stored in someone's leaky garage for the last 10. The start of the dresser reno was sanding. The drawers just needed a little encouragement to get their glide back (and by a little encouragement, I mean an hours worth of rugged sanding!). The top was another story. Just straight sanding didn't fix it- it required lots of layers of wood fill to get it smooth before it could be primed.

(Don't be jealous of my painting jeans, people.)

Here it is after sanding:

 And after priming: 

More fabulous painting attire in this action shot:

And 3 coats of yellow paint, it started looking much brighter. One of my favorite parts of this job was re-lining the drawers with paper. Three pieces of handmade paper from the art supply store were just wide enough for the long drawers to line them perfectly. 

I flipped the drawers upside down, and used a bone folder to trace the curves of the drawers. Once folded, the paper was easy to mark and trim to fit. 

 After a little more trimming, the drawers are much improved:

Finally, after three extra coats of Polycrylic to protect the paint and going back and forth over knobs for an embarrassingly long time, here is the finished product:


After a thorough inspection, Miko approves.

And so do we!
The mellow yellow dresser is now doing the important job of storing everything that belongs to our kids - including tons of amazing hand-me downs from our great friends, their first stuffies from their future Gran, and some amazing wooden blocks on sale from

More furniture renovations are ahead, I predict. 




  1. Caitlin! I love this! Way to go... can I just say that I also love the lock holes on the dresser. Such a cool little find!

    1. Thanks Malia! It is a sweet little dresser. I only wish there was a working key for those locks!

  2. I love what you did with this dresser. Thank you for sharing the steps you went through. Do you remember what shade/brand of yellow you used? I'm dreaming of yellow for a bench I have and I know yellows are tough!

    1. Hi Darlene, thank you so much! Yes, the paint color is Glidden from Home Depot, and its called Warm Gold. It looked far too dull in the store, so I was almost sure I wouldn't choose it - but the other yellows looked borderline BigBird on the dresser itself! So the slightly-toned down shade won out. Good luck with your yellow selection!

  3. lovelovelove! great job friend :)



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