Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Breathing New Life into a Craigslist Dresser Set!

At the start of this year I was in my 3rd trimester with Ruby and in some crazy nesting mode. I felt the urge to manage Penny's bedroom and actually put an effort into making it her own. Because of the perpetual state of renovation we just hadn't gotten into making any room feel homey and I wanted to finally put Penny's clothes into real drawers (instead of laundry baskets) and also begin to prepare for the day when our daughters would share a room.

So I started to scour good old Craigslist to find a cheap dresser set thrift a fabulous dresser set in need of love and to finally have a project of my own.

Then I found this lovely.
You might be thinking.. hey, that doesn't look so bad. And it didn't...from 5 feet away. As you got closer you could see that the black was one of many coats of paint, including missing or thin spots and runs. And let's not start on the night stand. So I got to work with a sander and brought it all down to an even layer.
On the account of being pregnant and all, my handsome hubby offered to take over on the rest. I initially really wanted to do an Annie Sloan treatment, but the hubs saw the price tag on the paint and put a nix on that. Instead he primed the pieces and used high quality furniture spray paint. Hold back your laughs, I know you think that sounds cheap but I can assure you that the effect was awesome. And yes, much less expensive.

While the primer was drying, I waffled between these designs..

And here's what we got!

...Still working on finishing the night stand and the mirror, but hey, it's a start!

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!
Find my sources of pinsperation for this French Provincial dresser


  1. I love it! I really want to do this with my son's dresser, which is a hand-me-down that my dad actually had in his room as a kid. But I'm a total ignoramus about this stuff: can you tell me what kind of sander you used and how you picked a good paint? Also, how long does it take to dry? We don't have a garage, so we would have to do this outside and hope temperamental WA weather doesn't decide to rain. Better take advantage of what's left of our good weather!

    1. Amber, it was honestly very easy!

      I hand sanded the entire dresser. It took a couple hours. I didn't sand it down to the bare wood; I just made sure that everything was even and didn't have any residual paint drips or bubbles from the previous owner's work.

      As far as picking everything out goes.. we did it by the seat of our pants. We usually take the time to over research everything when we are doing a project on our renovation, but this was the first piece of furniture we've ever painted so we decided to go the less expensive way and see what kind of results we got. And for what it is, I think it's great!

      After sanding, we used a standard water based primer (the kind that you'd use on painting walls) because that's what we had laying around. The primer covered up the black and made the dresser a blank slate, if you will. I gave it 2 weeks to dry and fully cure. We have a nice big shop that allowed me to leave it in there without being exposed to the elements. I think you can probably give it as little as a couple hours though, but maybe 48 hours would be best.

      Then we spray painted the color that I chose. You can find it at Lowe's. My husband did that part and you have to be really careful about overlapping well; he has a fair amount of experience with spray painting so he was comfortable with this. Perhaps rolling on a paint would be easier for another person instead. We did several coats until the color was solid. At that point I left it for another couple weeks, with nothing on it. If you put anything on it too soon, it'll stick or leave rings. So I wanted to be sure that there was no more spray paint smell and that the paint would fully cure.

      I also live in "tempermental WA," which is why this took almost 5 months to complete! ;) Like I said, we are fortunate to have a space to let our projects fully dry and not be in our way even if it takes a couple weeks.

      I recommend going to go talk to a paint store rep (like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams) to discuss your paint options, but for the colors I was looking at it was going to be like $70 for a can of paint. Instead I think that in total we had under $20 in supplies into this project. I know that it's not necessarily the "right" way to do it, but it worked for us and I'm curious to see how long it holds up. We're project people so if we have to redo it in a couple years, no biggie. I bet by then the girls would want a different color and we can accommodate that anyways.

      I have a lot of tutorials and other info pinned on my dresser board too:

    2. Thanks so much for the tips! I've always wondered how to get a nice repainting done on the cheap. My husband and I are not handy, DIY people. I have huge respect for people who are. You did really well for the first furniture painting project! Hope I have the same luck.

  2. It looks so good and I never thought about using spray paint. Now I may have to pick up furniture from the thrift store to try this on.

  3. I had this exact set when I was a kid.. White french provincial. And I had a canopy on mine as well. I have actually had my eyes out for this same set for a redo for my little girl! <3

  4. you did an awesome job. i struggle to find the furniture to do this.



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