I have been feeling very inspired lately to refinish some furniture pieces. Our bedroom is the last room in our house that hasn't really been touched as far as decorating goes, so I decided it was time to turn our neglected bedroom into a peaceful retreat on a budget. I wanted to start by refinishing an old dresser and building the rest of the room around this.
I had been looking on Kijiji for a while for either a really cheap or free old dresser that could be transformed. I saw this one and had to have it! Although when I called I was so disapointed to find out it had already been claimed (the add had only been posted 5 hours earlier, you have to be fast when it's free!), so I eagerly left my name and number and asked them to please call me if the guy didn't show up. He said he would let me know after 7pm if it was never picked up. He never called that night. The next morning I couldn't stop thinking about the dresser so I put my dignitiy aside and called him again just to check if it had been picked up and to my surprise it hadn't!!! I asked him to hold it for me until we got there to pick it up and that we'de be right over (and by "we" I mean Morgan....). Morgan willingly (meaning I dind't have to beg too much) drove to the most Southern point in Calgary to pick it up for me. He had to drive 30 minutes home with his seat tilted forward so much that his chest was an inch away from the horn (of this he made certain that I know and understand and appreciate). He had a pretty sore back after the drive home athough it was worth it to him now that I was able to concentrate on my project instead of talking to him about my plans for it for another week.
The dresser is solid wood, a very nice size and the drawers are still functioning perfectly. I just sprayed two coats of primer and two coats of "blossom white" spray paint. I was debating whether or not to distress it and give it more of a cottagy feel, but decided to go with the advice of my sister and keep it the way it is - I can always do it later if I want to change it up a bit. I decided next time though I will rent a large paint sprayer (aparently they are really cheap for an afternoon) and get it done much faster and it would probaly do a better job. My spray paint job left some blotchy areas which bug me, but for now it'll do.
I replaced the harware which turned out to be a bit of a headache. I guess the dresser is so old that it doesn't match the standard hardware sizes anymore, so I had to fill the old holes and redrill new ones. The exciting thing about this though was that it left me the option of whatever handles I wanted!!! I had my heart set on the upside down cup shaped ones but found that they were so expensive (about $10 a handle) so I was almost ready to settle on a cheaper style when I found the ones on the dresser at a local hardware store for $3 each! Yay! With a savings of $7 for 6 drawers, that's a total savings of over $42! Though I did splurge on the crystal knobs, which were $8 each - but it was only for 3 drawers, I would never have spent that on all 9 drawers.
The before dresser also had a very interesing flower carving on the top three drawers. I originally was just going to leave it and paint it out white so it would be more subtle. I actually think it would still have been pretty, but I guess I didn't want our bedroom to start going in such a french country direction, so I bought a sheet of wainscoting at Home Depot and they cut it for free to the size of the drawer faces. I grabbed some "no nails" glue and slapped them on - pretty easy!
The dresser isn't perfect but i sure learned a lot along the way. I spent:
$30 on spray primer and paint (if I was using a real paint sprayer and bought a gallon of paint it would have been half the price)
$42 on hardware
$10 on the wainscoting detail
So my dresser in the end cost $82 dollars, not bad since the originaly dresser I wanted for our bedroom (Ikea Hemnes long dresser) was $400.