I know you guys have seen enough of our master bedroom makeover, but I’m sharing the last project (for now)! I found this dresser on Craigslist for $75. These guys easily sell for over $500 in perfect condition, so I knew I couldn’t pass on this deal. The price of this one reflected the work that needed to be done, but I’ve seen mid century modern dressers in worse condition for a higher price tag. Here’s the before:
Not bad? It looked better in the blurry Craigslist photo which is usually how it goes (not that I wanted to pass when I saw it in person). I saw the potential and knew it could be great. The guy posted the dresser around 9 pm, and I emailed around 10 asking to come see it. He said he already had a line of people that were coming to see it the next day but that if I could come right then he would sell it to me. So we did. One of us was not happy about it, but he’s SUPER proud of it now ;).
Getting to this point was a bit more complicated than it should have been. It only required sanding, staining and adding legs, but it seemed like way more work than that. Our sanding disaster that was not funny at the time but is hilarious now, set us back. Long story short, we didn’t think it would be a problem to sand INSIDE OUR BEDROOM. I left for an hour while Parker was sanding and came back to a half inch of sawdust covering our room. In our defense, we were first time sanders and were definitely naive about what that baby can do.
Mid Century Modern Dresser Makeover
You could of course use any sander, stain and legs that you’d like, but these are the specific supplies that we used to achieve this look. We sanded down to the raw wood, wiped the piece down (along with our entire room) and then applied a few coats of Minwax “English Chestnut” stain. This color of stain left the dresser with a rustic (?) touch which I really like. It sets it apart from the many other mcm dressers out there.
The dresser had legs at one time but the previous owner removed them. It definitely needed some height. We were basically sitting on the ground to open the drawers. We wanted to keep costs as low as possible, so we purchased a 4 ft hardwood dowel (or a wooden stick as I call it) and had it cut to (4) 12″ pieces. They do this for free at Home Depot. After the stain dried, we flipped the dresser over and attached the legs using heavy duty construction adhesive. We applied the glue to all parts of the leg that would touch the dresser which was the top and one side. We let the adhesive dry overnight and flipped the dresser over the next morning. The cross bar was already attached (you just can’t see it in the before photo), but I’m sure this can be added to a dresser that doesn’t have it. I really wasn’t sure how the legs would turn out, but they are very sturdy and surprisingly look like they came as part of the original dresser!
Detail shots by Chelsea Francis.