This is the dresser I picked up at a yard sale for only $5. It didn't look like much, but I thought some TLC would fix that!
The drawer glide on the second drawer was broken, so we took the one from the top drawer and moved it down to the second, attaching it in the same place. (in this pic the second one is taken out and the top one is ready to be moved down) That way we could eliminate the top drawer altogether and leave it open as a shelf instead.
Then I attacked those little bows. I pried them right off with a screwdriver. It turns out they weren't even wood, just plastic.
Then I sanded where the bow had been to make sure everything was nice and even. Much better! :)
Then we got to work installing a shelf in place of the top drawer. We just attached pieces of 1x2 to the sides of the dresser (using glue and a couple screws) to support the shelf.
Then we cut two strips of 1x8 and ran them across the 1x2s. They filled the space perfectly!
We reattached the loose trim piece that came with the dresser to make it a little more decorative.
Whew. Looking better already! We (mostly my husband, N, while I played with Baby B) made all the improvements in one evening. It probably took about 2 hours.
But there was one more problem. That hardware wasn't doing anything for me.
I picked up this hardware at Lowe's for about $3 each (I spent more on hardware than on the dresser!) and I love it! But it turns out I should have measured how wide the hardware needed to be because these guys came in a little short. Oops!
I decided it was worth a little work to use the hardware I liked so much, so I marked how wide the new hardware was, drilled some holes, and then filled the old holes. I let it dry overnight, then sanded it down before painting.
I picked out Valspar's "Honey Pot" and had it color matched in Olympic's no VOC semi gloss paint. I wanted a nice bold color that would contrast the rest of the room and be a focal point. I started by running over the whole dresser with sand paper because it was covered with a veneer and I wanted to make sure my paint would stick. Then I did two coats of paint using a small roller to get a nice even finish.
Baby B chilling on the patio and watching Daddy work. You know you wanted to see him. :)
Once it was painted I used some of the wallpaper I got at a yard sale earlier this summer to line the drawers for a nice little surprise every time I open them!
I bought a light colored basket for $0.50 a few weeks ago that fit perfectly in the top of the dresser. I removed the handles and stained it a darker brown using Minwax Dark Walnut (my fave! I pretty much always have some in the basement). I used a super cheap brush to work the stain into the weave and had a paper towel handy to wipe up any drips.
And that was it! Did $5 ever look so good?
It fits perfectly between the kitchen doorway and the door to upstairs. It's also close to the dining table so we can use it to hold table cloths or extra dishes and I plan to run a power strip into the shelf space so we can charge cell phones & ipods in the basket.
And for a quick comparison, here's a little before/after action for you:
I actually haven't put anything in the drawers yet, but I'm excited to get it all organized. It's going to be great storage for an otherwise unused space!
p.s. There's still time to enter to win this handmade reversible tote:
If you haven't entered yet you can find the details and join the fun here!