Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DIY: The Tale of Two Dressers

Contrary to the side I present of myself on here where I negligently talk about clothes as if I buy everything I covet, I am actually a pretty thrifty shopper. I splurge on things I deem necessary but for the most part, I won't splurge unless I've looked at other alternatives first.
This played out as I moved into my own space a couple weeks ago. Though I already had a TON of stuff to fill my spot, I still knew that it was going to cost me a lot to furnish an entire place all by myself (from cleaning supplies to shelves). Some costs were going to be unavoidable (i.e. a couch) but some, I could work around and save money.

Such is the deal with my dresser. The dresser has been in my family since 1996. It came to us as an utter piece of crap but I still used it for many years in that condition: 
{The only picture I could find of the dresser in its original blech condition}

After years of dealing with that, I finally decided to paint it white a few moons ago. BUT, I didn't do any prep work because I was 21 and lazy so the paint always chipped and the knobs were pretty shoddy. Regardless, the white was a vast improvement from the original condition. 
{My white dresser}

However for the 2011 makeover, I decided to do it the right way. First, I cleaned off the entire dresser with a damp cloth. Immediately following I sanded it down to its original wood (a PAINSTAKING and boring task). I then patted it down with a cloth again and let it air out a few days. 
{Sanding is for CHUMPS. I was bored and exhausted at the same time doing it.}

After a few days, I put two coats of white primer on the wood and then again, let the dresser dry for a couple days.
Finally, when it was time to paint, I took off (and threw away) all of the knobs and painted three coats of Behr paint. I then purchased knobs from Ikea (about half the price of any other place for knobs and I put them on myself thank you very little), and viola, a dresser was born!

Oh, and who can forget the knick-knacks for the top.

{Dresser embellishments- lamps, jewelery, flowers, etc.}

All in all, the DIY method was very cheap (Paint - $15.00, Knobs - $25.00, Primer - $8.00. Total project = $48.00) but I'm most proud of myself for being resourceful and finding beauty in something old instead of wasting my money on something new - can't wait to show you how it plays into the room once I get it all set up (room still very box friendly).

PS - if you noticed, the dresser is sliced on the very top. I like this trait about it (always have),
just looks different to me.

Ikea knobs here
Behr paint via Home Depot here.



Anonymous said...

I love how it turned out! Our guest room chest of drawers is a DIY paint job but I didn't go about doing it the right way. Definitely should have.

| C AND C | Sarmin said...

Love it! Great job! The new color is pretty too. Your lamb on the dresser, that's too cute. Where is that from?

& where did you stay in NYC?


Unknown said...

I would never have the patience to sand that whole thing back, or wait for any of the layers of paint to dry for that matter!
nice job.
love the colour :)

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Great job, Caitlin!! I love DIYs like that, to me, taking an old object with history and turning it to something contemporary is always a great idea - such an object would always be unique and truly have a personality. Plus, it would always be a reflection of its owner! Love love love your drawer!

Tina said...

yay! im so proud of you for tackling the dresser and bringing it a new life :) i do that bullshit all the time girl i KNOW it is a pain in the ass lol but it looks AWESOME!! and im sure it looks great with the rest of your room :) and loooooove that lamp!!

Alison Kinsey said...

it looks adorable!!! i agree w/ the comment above, you have so much patience :) but it was so worth it in the end because now you have an insanely cute dresser.

Bonnie said...

I can't believe how gorgeous this has turned out. I really want to do something like this to one of my dressers now. Mine look so plain and boring.

Twitter: @GlamKitten88


Great job. Thanks because I'm thinking of doing a home project myself.

Leia said...

Oh my gosh you did an AMAZING job! The dresser looks FAB now!


lifeisamaze said...

It looks very good !

Gracey Williams said...

It looks great! That is such a gorgeous color

Jaime @ laviejaime said...

Nicely done- Love the color you chose!

Anonymous said...

Oh I love this! Like the other readers have said, I wouldn't have had the patience to do this. You're amazing!

I love your opener about being frugal. I'm the same way!

Dirt On The Rocks said...

oh i love it! i don't know if i have the patience to do projects like this, but It's something I'd love to try. I also love the color you chose!

happy hour 24/7 said...

wow, you hard worker you! i'm sorry, me sand a furniture?! heck no, unless you bribe and there's a party after! haha i love white dressers! it's so cool that it's been with your family for years and i like the fact that you are a smart shopper and look for alternatives - me, not so much. well, i am, but my laziness usually drives me to pay more than i should. bad habit!

bananas. said...


sanding is a bitch so i give you MAJOR props!!!

Mandy @ In the Fashion Lane said...

Dang girl! Look at you all crafty and ish! Love the color. You are a great DIYer!

Anonymous said...

wow!!!! im quite impressed! i wouldnt have ever thought to sand something LOL!!! anyways it looks great and im sure it adds some nice color to your new place!

Caitlin C. said...

I loveee how it turned out! You did such a great job and it's such a pretty color of blue! I did the same thing this year with a bookshelf and was so proud of myself haha.

naghmeh said...

wow Caitlin that looks sooooo good! I'm sure the work you put into it was hard and long, my mom does a lot of stuff like that around the house, she's crazy for interior design related projects.
I am in love with that colour and that lamp!

great job :)


Anonymous said...

Good for you girlie! I'm still working on my armoire! I'll keep you posted!!

Kara said...

I am STUNNED by this transformation! It's so chic and beautiful!! I can't wait to see more pics of your new place...I'm so excited for you :)