Vintage dresser makeover for a nursery

Some people like friends with money. I happen to like friends with garbage. And a friend who is willing to garbage pick for you, well, that’s the best kind of friend of all. Can you imagine my excitement when one such friend – the Super Awesome Jeri – called to tell us that her neighbor had put this dresser out on the curb?


Stately, no?
Being as awesome as she is, she offered to have her husband snap it up and drag it into their garage for us, neighborhood gossip be damned! Thanks, Jay & Jeri. Your reputation on your block may have been tarnished, but you will always be golden in our book. : P
As you can see, Jeri has great taste. She knew it could be fabulous. I mean, really? Why would anyone throw this out? Look at the gorgeous details…

Oh so groovy and scroll-y!
Ok, sure, it was missing some hardware. But other than a lot of scratches at a few dents, this dumpster-bound cast-off could really be something special.

We really loved the original hardware. But it was missing some, so we had to take it all off. Bummer.

The top was covered with scratches. What the heck happened here? One will never know…
It just so happened that we were in the market for clothing storage in #5’s nursery. We had hoped to find a tall chest of drawers for space just by the window, and sure enough, this baby fit perfectly.
As we were working a serious vintage vibe in the room, we tossed around a few ideas of how to approach the makeover. Painting and stenciling? Decoupage vintage maps or perhaps children’s storybook pages on the drawers? Shabby-chic it to the max? Many options to consider…

But after doing some other decorating in the room none of these seemed to fit the bill for the sweet, pastel-y, girly space we were crafting. So we decided to go a delicately simple route. Here’s what we did to transform it to vintage perfection:

First, we had our “should we sand this?” conversation. As usual, the answer was “of course not. Who are we kidding? We have 5 kids and 0 time.” We wanted it done in a day. And yes, it is totally possible. Especially when we use our go-to champ: Behr Paint Plus Primer. It coats, it covers, and it dries so very fast.


Such a pretty blank canvas to work with.
Two coats of paint + primer and an hour later – it was already a different piece of furniture.

Next we selected two shades of color. One for the base cabinet – Faint White, and one for the drawer fronts – Summer Breeze. Both colors are from Sear’s Easy Living line. We usually stick with Benjamin Moore paint, but Sears was closer to us and we were able to match the color of a vintage baby dress we have perfectly to the “Summer Breeze” shade.

So, on went the paint. Two coats of each color. Here are the drawers wearing Summer Breeze:


A very soft pale pink. So, so pretty.
After waiting for about three hours for the paint to dry, we started on the antiquing process. We only wanted to mildly distress this piece, so it didn’t take very long. Using a sanding block, we just sanded paint from the corners and the sides of all the drawers to create a well-loved look.


Pretty. Loved.
Lastly, we gave it the Karate Kid treatment – wax on/wax off with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax .


This step is another quickie. And it’s so worth it.
Now, what to do about the hardware? We didn’t have the patience to start shopping around. The kids were getting antsy and we had friends coming over for dinner. But then inspiration struck us like a bag of fabric scraps (softly). Quite literally, I was hit by a bag of fabric scraps when I opened the doors of our craft cabinet looking for extra hardware.

We had a ton scrap left over after making the valances for the nursery a few weeks ago – why not use them as pulls?

So we tied one on. Then another, then another. Until we were drunk with the craft-nerdiness of it all.


Could it BE any cuter? (Say that like Chandler from Friends.)
And that was that. Dumpster-bound to darling in a day.


Can you imagine throwing this out?

The newest addition for our newest edition.

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