Consignment Shop Dresser: A Makeover Story
The Burrow was built in 1929 and I am obsessed with it. I want to keep the historical integrity of the home intact while also keeping the whole thing timeless and simple. So when furnishing the place, I kept the same ideas in mind! I eventually needed a dresser for the spare bedroom, but I didn’t just want a plain old something picked up from a box store, you know? To paraphrase my home girl Joanna Gains, I wanted something “found.” I scoured antique stores, thrift shops, and consignment stores until I found the perfect piece: an old dresser with an attached vanity mirror. I was SOLD! Still, it was $160, a bit of a hefty price tag for a young teacher (who is notoriously stingy…), so I left it where it sat in the shop.
I pondered for a few weeks while I saved up and I realized that I would never find something that perfect, for that price, again. So back I went to the shop and pulled the trigger. Because when I made this purchase I had a very tiny car, the owners of the shop delivered it for me and placed it in the garage! That’s when the magic began. The dresser was in ROUGH shape, but I knew it would have an amazing second life with some work. I mean, check out the detail on the legs! The side supports of the mirror, it is just so beautiful!
I started by sanding down the top and stripping the original stain.
Then I moved on to the drawers, removed them, removed the old icky knobs, and started to sand them down, too. Once everything was sanded and smooth, I got out the trusty dark walnut stain (my go to color!) and went to work. It was really, REALLY humid, so it took awhile for the stain to set, but once it did I followed up with a clear wipe-on polyurethane. It had more of a matte finish, definitely no high gloss for this project!! It sealed everything nicely and will protect it for years to come.
If you look closely in this next photo, you can see that once I removed the drawers, I found some treasures! A photography award from years ago, a bunch of French coins, a couple of old bills, and -not pictured- a…a pack of VERY inappropriate playing cards from the ’80’s that were promptly thrown out…(I definitely giggled first, though, a lot). That was an interesting find, to be sure!
After the outside was more-or-less satisfactorily finished (I’m still not happy with a portion of the middle drawer…I shall return to fix it later), I decided that the interior of the drawers needed some sprucing up as well. I had a beautiful dark teal color from a previous project and painted the inside of each drawer. It cleaned everything up while providing a muted pop of color when you open the drawers!
Now that all of the painting and staining was finished (I mean LOOK at the top of that bad boy!!), I had to do SOMETHING about the gross knobs. So, I purchased some glass knobs from good ol’ Amazon.
They fit the dresser and style so well it was like they’d always been there. The bolts that came with the knobs were just BARELY too short to attach properly; instead of spending more money on new bolts, I got out a spade bit and made some deeper holes in the dresser drawers. The drawer faces were so thick, it didn’t mess with the integrity of the piece at all. After that, the bolt and washer fit like a glove and the knobs set perfectly!
I am incredibly pleased with how this piece turned out. It fits the period of my house, provides extra storage, and has an amazing attached mirror. The next time you’re in the market for a new piece of furniture, check out companies like Mills Hart & Co that restore amazing pieces. Check out your local Consignment Shops, check out antique stores! Sometimes, giving an old piece new life is the absolute best way to go, no matter the price tag!