Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thrifted Dresser: Before and after

I mentioned way back in September that I found a dresser at the thrift store to replace Libby's damaged, dangerous, falling apart dressers. Thank goodness she hasn't hurt herself on the broken dressers in the extraordinarily long time it's taken me to finish the new one. 



I realize the "after" pictures are blown out, but they represent the true color best and I was too impatient to wait for better light.

Here's a rundown of what I did:

  • Removed the existing hardware and drawer pulls. The top 3 drawers had dingy metal pulls which I chose not to reuse. The bottom 6 drawers had an overhanging piece of wood with a lip underneath that functioned as the pull. (See below.) Once removed, I sawed them into smaller pieces and used them later on. 

  • Repaired broken drawer with gorilla wood glue. See top right drawer in "before" picture.
  • Sanded. And sanded. And sanded. For about 20 hours. Maybe more.
  • Jimmy rigged a way for the drawers to align properly. After I took off the overhanging wood pieces on the bottom 6 drawers, I realized that they now sunk in about 3/4" deeper than the top 3 drawers. I basically just screwed small pieces of wood to the frame of the dresser in less-than-scientific locations. It works. 
  • Installed homemade safety stops so the drawers wouldn't fall out. Wanna know how?

DIY Safety Stops
The idea is to use a small piece of sturdy wood (here's one place where I reused the old drawer pulls) and screw it to the back of the drawer, tight enough that it stays put, but loose enough you can still turn the wood piece by hand. 

Turned horizontally, you can insert and remove the drawer as needed. Turned vertically, the wood piece sticks up over the back edge of the drawer, eventually being blocked by the frame of the dresser. You can slide the drawer in and out, but it won't fall out!


  1. Those drawer stops are brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing. Also, I adore that blue color on the dresser. Good work Jenn!

  2. Wow! Jenn. you really can do Everything! It's amazing!

  3. is Jimmy rigged a technical term in the biz of being AMAZING? like you had anything else to do out there in boonies but sand? =) really, i'm way impressed and love the color with that fuschia above it!

  4. Holy handywoman! That looks awesome. I love seeing before and after pictures of updated furniture. I think you did a great job. Not a project I would have tackled all by myself. In fact I would have left it completely up to Kyle. I'm totally impressed!

  5. you are amazing. way to go bold with that blue. i have a dresser that i want to fix up but can't decide on a color. thanks for the inspiration

  6. I love the blue! Such a bright and bold shade, it looks fabulous, especially against that great curtain. Well done Jenn!