Gavin's Dresser Remodel

This is a project I've been dying to do for quite awhile! As in...since I was pregnant with Gavin. 
I wanted to find a good ol', solid wood dresser- and fix it up.
The problem was- I couldn't find a dresser that I liked.
We searched everywhere too- Craigslist, thrift stores, GoodWill...etc. No luck.
Since Gavin's due date was quickly approaching, we ended up buying a super cheap dresser from Target (I think it was Target??), yes, it even has plastic handles. CHEAP.
We figured it would get the job done until we found a nice dresser we liked (and it has).

Finally, Spring, otherwise known as Thrift sale season, rolled around and we were crossing our fingers for a nice, solid, wood dresser for cheap!

What do ya know, we finally found one!!!

Based off the tag on the back- it's a dresser built sometime pre-1950's! So it's a good ol', real wood, sturdy dresser!!
It needed a lot of TLC, but that's just what I was looking for! 
I was truly, pathetically excited to give this old dresser new life!
It had a lot of scratches... all over... everywhere
The top of the dresser had some chipping
on the edge, as you can see in this picture

Decently deep scratches... EVERYWHERE.

I wasn't worried about the scratches- they're nothing a little A LOT of sanding can't take care of!

And that's what I started with. A LOT of sanding.

 I took out all of the drawers, took off all of the drawer knobs, and got to work sanding...

I used my electric sander and 100 grit sand paper, and sanded the crap out this dresser.
I did not want ONE scratch left over.
(I wanted this dresser to look brand-spankin' new for my little boy!)
Buh-Bye scratches!!! Hello gorgeous, fresh, smooth wood!!
I sanded until I was all the way through the old lacquer and finish, until I was down to the fresh wood. Some scratches were deep enough that I had to sand them down quite a bit to get them to disappear. But let me tell you- there is not ONE scratch left on that dresser! 

My arms were so sore, and I sanded long enough that when I would turn the sander off to go do something else for a minute- my hands felt like they were still vibrating from the sander.
It's a LOT of sanding. But worth it, because it looked brand new!

In these next photos I wanted to show how amazing the wood looked after I sanded out all of the scratches and surface stains!
(...and that's just ONE little looked amazing)

So here it is after all the sanding was done.
I also sanded all of the dresser drawer fronts.
(I didn't paint the insides of the drawers- because they're a very nice looking wood- so that was an added plus, and saved me a lot of work!)

Now it was time to prime!!
I decided I wanted to paint everything except the very top of the dresser- I wanted to stain the top a nice, dark walnut color.

I used painters tape and newspaper and covered the top of the dresser to make sure no paint got on the wood that I would be staining later.

I rarely use spray paint to paint furniture- but I guess I had a wild hair, and decided to give it a try! 
Why not right?!
I really just wanted to try it and see if I liked spray painting furniture better than painting with a brush...
Which I do have to say, I might like spray painting better. 
The finish is flawless- if you take your time and do it right.
It's also way easier than trying to use a brush and get in all of the corners, cracks...etc.


I used Rustoleum's spray primer.
I did 2 coats- which it said you can do a second coat as soon as the first coat dries- so pretty much right away (which was really nice!).
I used a total of 3 spray cans of primer for the dresser and the drawer fronts.
(sorry, no pictures of priming because priming is boring and I guess I didn't think to take any...)

I used Rustoleom's Heirloom White...a very nice, off-white color.

This was my fancy workspace for the drawers...
yup, out in the yard.
I did 3 coats of Heirloom White. 
In between coats, if there were any rough spots I noticed once it dried, I would take fine/finishing sand paper and sand it smooth...I also made sure to wipe the dresser and drawers down every time with a clean, dry cloth to make sure the surface was as clean, and smooth as possible!

What about the drawer knobs??
I opted for just painting the original drawer knobs with my Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, instead of buying all new ones.
I did 4 coats of spray paint (following the dry time instructions from the can), then finished them off with 1 coat of "crystal clear" Rustoleum Polyurethane spray just for some added protection.
You would never know that these were the original WOOD knobs!


I used Rustoleum wood stain (from Michaels) in Dark Walnut.
I only did one coat- because I loved the color.
If you want a darker color- you can do more than one coat of stain.
This was my first time staining anything! I was so nervous- but I quickly realized it's the easiest thing in the world. 
Wipe on.
Wipe off.
Repeat...a lot of times, until you're done.
There it is all painted and stained!! Only a few more things
left to do!
I used Rustoleum polyurethane spray, "gloss" finish, to seal and finish the top where I stained. 
I used two coats. 
(I did cover the painted part of dresser with newspaper when I did the poly)

I also took off the wheels from the very bottom, and put felt pads in their place (since Gavin has a wood floor in his room).

I let the dresser cure for a few days before bringing it home...

Now that we've finally brought it home, and all is said and done...
it looks like this...

I am so happy his dresser turned out as AMAZING as it did!!
This was my first real furniture remodel, my first time using spray paint on furniture, and my first time staining anything! 
So the fact that it all turned out BETTER than I expected- made me quite happy. 

It was so much fun taking an old, beaten up dresser that someone was getting rid of for 40 bucks,
and turning it into what's now, the focal point of Gavin's room. 
It's gorgeous! 

If you're curious, here's the cost break down:

Dresser: $40.00
Spray Paint: $15 (about)
Stain: $5 (about)
A Grand Total of $60!!! 
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