When my oldest son and his wife moved into their first apartment, this dresser accompanied them. When they then moved into their first home a couple of years later, there again was this dresser.
It could be from the 70’s, but my bet is on the 80’s. Could this dresser be from the same generation that brought you carpeted bathrooms, laminate and oak kitchen cabinets, floral wallpaper borders, popcorn ceilings…You may say that this dresser doesn’t look that bad, all it needs is a few new handles. Well, you’d be wrong. There is no real wood anywhere on this piece. The majority of the dresser is particle board covered with some kind of wood looking paper. The sides of the drawers are plastic and the back of the cabinet is cardboard.
So it must have a family history and so it would be worth saving. No, not really. My daughter-in-law pulled in from a dumpster in college, used it in her dorm room and somehow it made it to their first home. She would be the first to admit that it should have gone back into the dumpster.
So what does this dresser have going for it? It has nice drawer glides, yes, the drawers glide very smoothly. That’s about it.
Being a pushy mother-in-law, I saw a challenge and talked my daughter-in-law into giving it to me for a makeover.
Of course, there was a time when I considered throwing it in the dump and buying an all wood dresser from the local goodwill.
While I couldn’t change the bones of the piece, I could fix this guy up. He first got a couple of coats of a semi-gloss white paint. The hardware was discarded. Holes for the handles were filled and sanded. The curved edges of the top drawer were screaming…DATED! That was trashed too.
A ledge was attached around the inside of the dresser to hold a shelf with baskets. This was actually the first real wood this dresser has ever seen.
A shelf was cut to size to fit over the ledge and nailed into place. A trim piece was added to the edge to hide the plywood. Nail holes were filled and sanded and a paintable caulk was applied around all the corners. The entire nook was also given two coats of white paint.
I wanted a diamond pattern on the sides with a border so the border was taped off. Determined the size of the diamonds by measuring the width of my frame area. It was 12 inches. So, if I wanted 4 diamonds..12 divided by 4, each diamond would be 3 inches in width. The same goes for my height. I had an overall height of 42″. I wanted 6 diamonds, 42 divided by 6, each diamond would be 7 inches in height.
With a paper pattern to start me off, I drew the diamonds on the side of the dresser. These were all hand painted.
To give my diamonds a little dimension, a swoosh of slightly watered down white was added to the upper left hand corner. A drop of black in my diamond color made a nice gray, that was added to the lower left of my diamonds.
Moving on to the front. Used painters tape to mark out three wide stripes just on the front of the drawers.
Added numbers, knobs and baskets to finish off the dresser.
The numbers were left over from their doorknob table numbers we had used at their wedding.
Knobs are from Hobby Lobby and the baskets from Home Goods.
As of this writing, my son and his wife have not seen the dresser, I hope they like it.