Playing Dresser-Up

One of my favorite finds this year has been a dresser, bought on Craigslist for $20. I could tell from the posted photo that is was in a bit of bad shape, but I loved the shape and the style so much that I figured I could work it out.  Well, here she is:


Dresser - CL Posting

Dresser - Before

Drawer - Front Detail

I love the curved, serpentine front and the beautiful wood spanning the drawers.  It does have claw feet, although one needs to be repaired, thankfully the previous owner still had all the pieces.  Not all of the hardware was still attached, so I may be searching for new pulls as well. But I just new I loved it as soon as I saw it. SOLD!  

Side Panel Damage

Now that I have it home, it is going to be a daunting project. The side panels are really destroyed at the bottom, so I fear I may have to replace them.  Getting new panels will make it difficult to match the original color of the wood. My initial game plan was to replace the side pieces, and paint the exterior ‘shell’ of the piece.  I really want to keep the wood grain and color on the front of the drawers, because it is too beautiful to cover up. I realize that many of the current, popular decorating styles would tell me to paint it a cream or white, and distress the edges…but I just can’t bear to do it.  So back to the drawing board. I was able to bring back some of the former glory last weekend, when I tried a recipe to refresh the wood.  It was made from supplies I already had in my pantry, so I wanted to see how much of a different it would really make.  The results were pretty incredible, and I am really excited to see the wood look so beautiful again.  In a recycled, glass jar I mixed 3/4 cup of olive oil, and 1/4 cup of white vinegar.  Shake it up to mix, and wipe on with a cotton cloth. Below you can see the before and after of the drawers, and the flash on the camera really shows how dusty and dirty the dresser was before! 


Drawers - Before & After


Refreshed - Top Drawer Only

Now I really do have a great decision to make, because I am definitely keeping the drawer faces wood, but should I replace and paint the exterior frame?   

Dresser - After


If any of you are woodworking experts out there, and feel like throwing me some free advice…I’ll take it!



  1. Wow – that is amazing! Just oil and vinager!! I love the wood – is the top in nice enough shape to keep as well? Some fancy drawer pulls will really pop this – I would just push the damaged side up agest a wall….and thats why I’m no expert!

    Good luck!

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