From street-side to centerpiece

Last week, I struck gold in the form of a dirty, stained, stickered, and free piece of furniture on the side of our street. Though it took several days of staring longingly out the window and going back and forth on whether or not to claim it, I finally caved and asked Chad to help me take it home.

“I’m going to fix it up,” I declared. And so, I did. All by myself.

The Before

As soon as I saw this piece, I knew it had good bones; it had character and I wanted to reveal it.

The Process

The materials: I used a sander, 120-grit sand paper, an oil-based stain from Lowes, a staining brush, a screw driver, clamps, and many paper towels.

The project consisted of the following main steps:

  1. Removing and cleaning the hardware
  2. Removing the liners and stickers on each of the drawers
  3. Sanding all of the drawers
  4. Staining all of the drawers
  5. Sanding most of the stain off
  6. Sanding, staining, and then sanding the rest of the dresser

How it Went

Whew, I feel as though I will now forever sweat sawdust. I hope to never hold a sander again, and am still getting over that wrist and tricep soreness.

Though this was a labor-intensive project, and it took many hours of work, I am extremely proud of myself. I hit a few snags along the way (especially when I cried over the stain, thinking I hated the darkness of the color and worried that I ruined everything, or when I finished and realized I should’ve used a coarser grit), which is probably why I felt like throwing myself a parade when I finally finished.

The best part of the project, aside from a nicely finished dresser and more space for organization, is that I’m walking away with a new set of skills. Prior to last week, I don’t think I had used a power tool ever before. Now, I have confidence with one (catch me replacing the sanding paper on a sander in no time flat), and know that, at the very least, I can adapt and learn.

There was one low, low, low moment. As some of you might know, I’m deathly afraid of mice. When we were removing the drawers, Chad made a comment along the lines of, “oh Wally, did you bring a leaf inside?” Without thinking much about it, I grabbed the yellow clump off the ground and slowly realized something was off about it. And yupโ€”it was a calcified, hard, yellowed mouse carcass that came out of the dresser. And I touched it with my bare hands. Oh my good, good god. I cried.

Overall, I consider the transformation a resounding success, and I’m excited to continue styling this space and adding another dimension to our bedroom.

The After

And there it is! I’m looking forward to hanging a mirror above the dresser and adding some plants, vases, and depth to the space.

I’m excited to experiment and see what comes up next. DIY, I’m here to tackle you.

5 thoughts on “From street-side to centerpiece

  1. Bravo to you! There is nothing better than to take something old and transform it into a new piece of usable art! And remember, the mouse “incident” is the story that you’ll ALWAYS tell about the piece!

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