Sidewalk Dresser Re-vamp

Yep, thats exactly the situation!  While driving in the neighborhood last weekend, my mom and I found a free dresser on the sidewalk at someones house and decided it was fixable.  Matt and I immediately rushed back and picked up the dresser immediately.  It was actually a nice, old wooden dresser that someone decided to ruin by painting it white!  But since it was in decent condition, I decided I would try to make use of it since we were in need of a dresser in our guest room.

Our guest room, along with much of the house, is in a state of progress and slowly I am fixing it the way I would like it to be (within reason since it is a rent house).  But the guest room is going to be the black and white room.  For a while, I have been collecting lots of black and white antique glassware and I am pumped to finally be able to use it the way I inteded to. 

Now normally, I would not want to take a piece of furniture and “antique” it by sanding it in a random fashion and leaving it that way.  But this time, I think it works and it was the easiest solution to fixing up this dresser with minimal energy and funding put into it.  And since it was already white, it would fit in perfectly with the theme of the room. 

So,  we bought a mouse hand sander (the non-electric kind), some clear water based sealant, a paintbrush and some new door knobs and began the project.  I have never done this before so I dont know if this is the proper way or best way but that didnt stop me 🙂

The dresser must have been in a kids room before because there were stickers, marker and crayon marks, melted wax and other stuff on it.  So after cleaning it, I began the sanding process.  The hand sander came with 3 different grades of sandpaper and I used the thickest grade which was a 50 grit.  I pretty much just sanded all over in a random fashion but along the grain of the wood until it looked roughed up enough  all over giving it that “aged” look.  Another reason I chose to do it this way is to help the cover up the current blemishes but not have to sand it down to the wood and paint or stain it again.  That is waaaaay more work than I wanted to do. 

Then, we sanded again with the finer grade sandpaper which was a 120 grit on all surfaces to make sure it was nice and smooth on all edges.  Matt wiped them all down with a wet cloth and then put a clear coat of the sealant on all pieces of the wood.  They suggest that you re-sand after waiting for 2 hours with a 220 grit sandpaper and put a second layer of sealant on but we didnt do that because we didnt need to put that much protection on it since it wasnt going to be used much. 

Finally, we added the new nobs and voila, a new “free” dresser!!!

Before pics:

Beautiful gold handles eh?  I guess I didnt get pics of the stickers and marker marks.

(this is the little sander we used, the sandpaper velcros to it)

Matt is a great helper!!

After pictures:

distress marks everywhere!!


I havent arranged the decor in the room but just put some on the dresser for pics.  I think I will mix up the black and white better when it is all said and done.


One thought on “Sidewalk Dresser Re-vamp

  1. awesome!! Can’t wait to see the whole room when it’s done! Maybe when you visit you can help me refinish our buffet since I ironed on top of it and somehow screwed the top finish up…whoops!

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