Abandoned, Neglected and Ready for a Makeover


Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Normally when you think of curbside rescue you picture a piece of furniture sitting in front of someones house or at least next to a dumpster. This lonely looking dresser was plopped down in the middle of a parking lot.  He looked so sad and lonely I knew I had to bring him home.
Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Look what I found honey, can I keep him? He was  neglected and abandoned on the street, he has no one.  There were thunderstorms approaching  (this is actually true) and I couldn’t just leave him there.  I’ll take care of him, I promise.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

I wrestled the guy into the back of my car. I had forgotten it was already kind of full with a few items I was supposed to take to the dump for my son.  That stuff would just have to move over.

The dresser was not in the best of shape but with dovetailed drawers and solid wood my little orphan was worthy of a makeover.

This side looked like he’d been run over by a truck.
Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

And this side  had some serious veneer problems.
Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Most of the drawers were intact and solid but this one may have been attacked with a hatchet…I seriously have no idea how you could damage a drawer like that.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

I always like to start my projects with the easiest part so it looks like I’ve actually accomplished something.  This time it was the top. A nice coat of paint stripper, a 15 minute wait while I ate breakfast and that paint was bubbling away.  

A little cleaning, a little sanding and the top was beautiful again.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

The  hatchet drawer needed several coats of plastic wood and a good sanding to cover up all the dents and dings.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

The side that was the biggest challenge was the bubbly veneer side.  

Turns out that it was not just the veneer, the plywood underlayment  had serious damage.  If I had looked inside the dresser I would have had a heads up and seen that the damage went all the way through. 

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

I cut out the remaining veneer then pried up one layer of plywood just where it was bubbled.

I’m leaving everything that hadn’t bubbled on the plywood level intact and the last layer, even though it has bubbles too, so I have something to attach to.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Cut a sheet of thin plywood, the exact width and length of your opening to cover up all the ugly.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Use builders adhesive to attach.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

I added some heavy books and let dry for a few hours. If you have any edge gaps that can’t be covered up with paint, fill those in with a paintable caulk.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

The side that looked like it had gotten run over by a truck got a nice sanding…that was just surface stuff.  

An overall final sanding with fine sandpaper and the dresser was ready for painting.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

I stained the top a dark walnut and let dry overnight finishing with a couple coats of varnish.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

The drawers were painted with a linen chalk paint and finished with wax.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

I originally thought that one of the knobs was missing but I found it hiding in a drawer.   Sometime in his life someone had painted the knobs gold.  A lot of the gold was worn off but the remaining gold was sanded down. The knobs were finished with a dark walnut Varathane, stain and poly.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

The top drawer that looked like it had been attacked with a hatchet is perfectly smooth now.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

This was the side of the dresser that looked like it got ridden over by a truck.  All it needed was a little sanding.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

This was the lumpy, bumpy side.  Looks as good as new now.

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

Curbside Rescue, Chest of Drawers, Dresser chalk paint makeover

So fun to give new life to my  sad, abandoned dresser. You may want to reconsider your Grandma’s furniture 🙂

Stay inspired and have a great week.

Shared at Salvaged Junk Projects,

Talk of the TownMetamorphosis Monday,

6 Comments

  • Cecilia says:

    Aw, he needed you to rescue him! Looks great! What a happy ending…I love a good rescue story!

  • Peggy says:

    Wow what a great rescue. You are amazing.

  • You did a fabulous job! So many of us would have kept on walking but you saved the dresser and made it beautiful.

  • Patty Soriano says:

    Wow! I would have picked up that dresser, too! You did a great job refinishing this! I never would have thought about putting a new piece of wood in place to cover the damaged bubbled side. Wonderful idea! So, is this a piece you keep in your own home ? Or do you have a store ? So many people on blogs that re-do furniture are selling it somewhere. Just curious.

    • Joan says:

      This dresser doesn’t have a home yet. Many of my projects have found themselves in the homes of family members. My sister has a booth at an antique store and any extra stuff I have I send to her. When you do a couple projects a week it’s very easy to have extras. 🙂

  • Mary Barber says:

    Proving once again that just because it looks like it is ready for the land fill, a little imagination and lotsa work can bring an old sad piece back to beautiful. I have had many challenges similar to this. You did a great job!

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