Wednesday, January 22, 2014

$30 Craigslist Dresser for the Win

Last year I had been on the look-out for a buffet for our dining room. We have only one small linen closet in our house and I needed some place to put all of my table linens as well as those awkward sized decorative pieces that you just can't find room for in your kitchen. After stalking Craigslist for a few weeks, I finally found what I was looking for and it was only $30! Fortunately, I caught it fast and was the first one to call the poster and made an offer right then, sight unseen. I went ahead and said I would buy it because the price was too good and I knew it would get snapped up in no time. So I was willing to take the risk of not seeing it (or talking to my husband) before I bought it.

Isn't it lovely? I love that curve. But you can also see some of the nicks and scratches along the front and the top was very scratched and even had some old crusty junk on it.

Here's a close-up of some of the damage on the bottom.

As you can see, some of the veneer (?) was coming up and in some places it was completely missing. I (briefly) considered doing something to replace the missing veneer, but thought that it wouldn't be that noticeable once it was covered with paint. I used some Gorilla glue to glue down that one piece that was coming up and that worked great.

I took out the drawers in preparation for painting and noticed that they had a faint musty/smoky smell, so I wiped them out using a vinegar/water solution and left them out in the sun. It worked like a charm, no more musty smell.

Obviously this did not happen recently. I haven't seen the sun in days!

Since this was my first time attempting to paint a piece of furniture, I didn't want to be too ambitious, so I decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The good thing about this paint is that there is virtually no prep work involved. I didn't have to do any sanding and I was able to paint directly onto the wood. I did have one exception, because of that crustiness that was on the top of the dresser, I decided to sand just the top using my little palm sander. I wanted to make sure I had a smooth surface once the paint was on.

After much deliberation, I decided to go with the 32 ounce can of the French Linen.

Annie Sloan chalk paint is not cheap and you also have to buy the Annie Sloan wax to "seal" the paint after it has dried. But even with having to wax the entire thing, the amount of time I saved from not having to sand the entire dresser, made the price well worth it. Also, a little goes a long way. I put on three coats of paint and I might have used 1/3 of the can and I barely made a dent in the wax. I'll definitely be able to use the remainder for more projects in the future.

The hardware had kind of a tarnished gold look to them that was not pretty, so I just spray painted them with some oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.

So here's the after! (The lighting was kind of wonky, but in real life, the color is pretty true to the second picture below.)

I lined the top 6 drawers with a pretty watercolor wrapping paper (I think I got it from Target?). I've heard of some people using Modge Podge to glue the liner down and to make it more durable. I didn't want to do something that permanent since I might want to switch out the liner in the future, so I just taped it down for now. So far, it has held up great.

And here it is with some linens inside.

All in all, I am very pleased with how my $30 Craigslist dresser turned out. Next on my to-do list is hang some shelves above the buffet to display some of my white serving dishes. I'm embarrassed to say that the shelves have been half-done for the last 6 months. This weekend will be a good time for me to work on them and hopefully, finally get them finished.


  1. Did you use spray paint or was it brushed on?

    1. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint, it's a brush on paint.


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