Dresser ReFab


Exhibit A: ooogggleeee dresser.


Apologies for the before pic y’all…I know I took  a good one, I just can’t find the durn SD card it’s on.

Anywhoos, this is a dresser I have had going on 10years. I picked it up at a yard sale in Virginia Beach almost 10 years ago. It holds Mr. R’s clothes (thank goodness since no one else in my household would be tall enough to see anything past the second drawer from the top.)

Can you  believe it has lasted this long in my hands without some sort of re-do? Yeah, me either.

I finally got sick of looking at it in all its naked-raw-wood glory and decided to do something about it.

All it took was a can of my favorite Gel Stain, General Finishes Java, and Annie Sloan Wax. Like so:

Lightly sand and wipe down the piece of furniture.

I applied one coat of gel stain with a foam brush.

Here it is after one coat:


Got that? 1 Coat.

Normally I would do 2-3 coats for a more opaque finish, but because this was raw wood, the stain went on very richly. It still had some red undertones, but I decided I liked the red undertones and the way the texture of the wood peeks through.

(I’m sure that being tired and pressed for time had nothing to do with that decision, hhhmmmkay?)

After the stain comes the wax. I cannot say enough about this wax.


It is definitely a splurge at almost $30 a can, but it is well worth it. I considered cheaping out, but after wasting a day (or 3) researching alternatives, I bit the bullet. So glad I did. Unlike some of the other so-called furniture waxes at your local big-box, this one has not been watered down beyond recognition with mineral oil. It is a thick luscious wax that goes on thick and buffs out smooth and velvety.

I have used this same can for multiple projects, and I’m yet to run out. I have found it be a great substitute for Polyurethane, with just as good waterproofing property and the added bonus of eliminating the horrible drying time of Poly.

Schmeer it on like so, and then buff it in just like spit shining your chukka boot (minus  the spit, duh!) My fellow military folks, you know what I’m talkin’ about!


I mean, just look at it! The wax brings out the richness of any finish it coats, provides a water proof finish and a velvety soft touch.  On the right you can see where I’ve applied the wax, and on the left, not. (ps, I was not paid to endorse this product, I just really like it.)


And so of course, my dresser redo would be incomplete without a fabulously stylish but not overly feminine drawer lining for The Mister’s unmentionables.

I think you all already know about my love of stylish contact paper. And if you don’t know, well now you know.


All done!


Re-Styled Dresser

Here I am again with another before/after. This dresser is one of the first pieces of furniture. I purchased when we first moved to Ohio in 2007. The place we were renting was short on storage, and we needed some furniture, STAT. I found this dresser and it’s larger sibling at a yard sale. They have survived lots of repurposing despite my not liking their appearance. I recently removed this smaller dresser from my daughter’s room since she didn’t need it anymore. I decided it should go in my craft space/living room/oversize foyer. It wasn’t going in there looking like it was though!

I dove right into repainting, since it would be relatively easy. I wasn’t even going to blog it, since it was just going to be yet another chalk paint redo, and hey, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. Of course as soon as I had that thought, inspiration reared its head, and I immediately regretted not taking a good before photo. Once I realized this would get blogged after all, I dove for my camera and captured what wasn’t already painted, bowl and all:


As you can see it has that hideous faux wood/formica finish. I was just going to paint the whole thing white and be done with it. Then I thought it might be nice to do something interesting with the recessed fronts of the dresser drawers. I decided to decoupage the hell out the top and the drawer fronts.

I headed to Tar-Jay for some swanky wrapping paper. I was not that impressed with what I found. Ditto for the drawer liners. I almost caved in and got the uber-trendy damask printed contact paper, but I decided against it. I also didn’t want to use contact paper because it’s only a matter of time before it would start to peel off, and I didn’t want that. I roamed the aisles of Tar-Jay for the next 20 minutes, till my eyes landed on these gorgeously bold graphic plastic placemats. And I love me some bold ethnic prints!


My first inclination was to cover the table top (as a way of protecting the surface) and the fronts with the placemats. I wasn’t quite sure how this would happen, since plastic just laughs off Mod Podge. I wasn’t sure hot glue would be the way to go either, but after hemming and hawing a few more minutes, I left the store armed with 3 placemats @ $1.99 a piece. Once I got home and started cutting up the placements, I realized how easy it would be to do the fronts. Since the fronts have a recessed panel, all I had to do was slide the plastic pieces in there. No glue required, and Voila!


As you can see, I decided to forgo doing the tops of the dresser, since it might be overkiill.

Thanks to chalk paint + pearly paint top coat and some plastic placemats, I have miraculously transformed the dresser into something that adds interest to my front room. Here it is in its new home in my craft room/living room/oversized foyer: 


The moral of the story? There is inspiration everywhere. If you love something enough, don’t be afraid to take risks and find use it in a way it wasn’t originally meant to be used. 



So what do you think? Have you used something for other than its intended purpose? I’d love to hear about it.