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My Childhood Dresser Revisited

I can’t believe that in a week and a day my maternity leave will be over. I had such delusions about all of the things I would do during my thirteen weeks off. Silly me! One of my goals for my maternity leave (you know, for few minutes each day when I’m not feeding, burping, or changing Junior), was to finish a project we started loooong ago that would add much needed storage and color to our entryway. Remember this crappy old dresser from last October? Of course you don’t – let me refresh your memory.

It’s my childhood dresser that my parents found at the town dump’s put-and-take, and it sat in my garage for nearly a year until Labor Day, when I finally finished it. While I was pregnant I thought it would be smart to sand down the paint to prep it for a new color. About 1/4 of of the way through I though to myself, Perhaps I should be wearing a mask? Then I looked down and saw that my little blue dresser was originally green, and realized that it was definitely over 30 years old, and Hmmm…perhaps this could be lead paint? Fortunately, Junior seems to be unaffected by my poor DIY judgment. Mr. JC used paint stripper to rid the dresser of years of potentially harmful paint. The result was a bit of a mess, and it remained in our garage in a terrible state for many months.

Over Labor Day weekend I dug out the power sander and set to work (with a mask) to clean it up as best as possible. Two coats of Zinsser’s oil-based primer did an amazing job of covering and sealing the poor quality wood and awful paint-stripping job.

I topped it with two coats of Glidden’s “Totally Teal” semi-gloss, which is a nice bold color that’s tempered by a touch of gray. The hardware is actually from two of our bathroom vanities which recently received new knobs, and the drawers are now lined with chocolate brown wrapping paper and filled with bathing suits and infrequently used winter gear.

My one regret (other than not wearing a mask during the initial sanding) is that I didn’t use oil-based paint. I will never, ever make that mistake again, but fortunately this piece will only be lightly used and is not in a high-traffic part of our home. Otherwise, I love the way it turned out and that the color coordinates perfectly with some of the other pieces in this part of our entryway. More on that tomorrow.

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  1. it looks great, i really like the color you picked too :)

  2. It turned out gorgeous! I love that shade of blue.

  3. Love the color — and yes, oil-based works way better on wood/furniture generally. Learned that lesson myself with the breakfront I painted orange for Dave’s study. One thing you might tray is a spray-on or wipe-on polyurethane…it’ll definitely help with the longevity of the finish.

  4. Love it! I am so impressed that you got a big project like this done on your maternity leave!!!!

  5. This turned out fantastic! Great color choice–it looks so fresh and modern. I can’t believe your maternity leave is almost over…I hope that you and Junior have been doing well!

  6. I remember when you mentioned the dresser. It turned out great and it’s always nice to have another area for storage.

  7. I’m impressed that you got this done! I “meant” to start my herb garden while on maternity leave. Yeah…you can guess how that turned out. Nicely done!

  8. Wow, what an amazing color, I love your new paint job, it looks like something you’d pick up at a boutique! Fabulous makeover! Thanks so much for linking up to the party today!

  9. looks great!

    I just did one and used the latex primer & paint in one from WalMart, of all places, and it did a fabulous job. Just FYI.

  10. Laura, that color change brought so much life back into that dresser. It’s way more vibrant and has so much character now! Love it! Thank you so much for linking up to our Get Your DIY On Challenge this week. Next week is Fall Themed Wreaths, I hope you’ll make it back and share with us! Have a great week!

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog


  1. […] I shared my dresser makeover. This useful little piece of furniture now resides at one end of our entryway providing much needed […]

  2. […] and not the teal that I originally had in mind. I’m just not that daring, and decided to make over my old childhood dresser with bold teal paint instead. This year (well, hopefully this weekend), I plan to finish hanging […]

  3. […] that my mom made for me set the tone for the rest of the entryway’s color palette, from the dresser to the pillows, and artwork in the other hallway that’s out of view. With so many colors and […]

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