Saturday, March 22, 2014

the nursery: craigslist dresser

When I started thinking about nursery furniture, I knew I didn't want to buy some $999 changing table  from Land of Nod or Pottery Barn.  I knew I wanted to find something cheap to fix up that was a dresser but could also act as a changing table without screaming "you change diapers on me!"  Thank goodness for the Craigslist app on my iPhone.  I would just randomly search "dresser" in Lawrence and Kansas City and see what I could find.  Some of them lacked character, some were way too expensive to consider a "fixer-upper", and some were just trash.  I knew I wanted some kind of detailing or dimensional aspect to it and I also only looked at ones that were approximately changing table height.  

I found this beauty on Craigslist for $50 in Kansas City.  We drove in, looked it over, and then loaded in our car.  It smelled like it had been in a garage for a long time and it definitely needed some lovin'.  I wanted to yell at the seller, "don't you see the potential in this thing?!"  But we kept our mouths shut and drove back to Lawrence.

You can see that the top is very shiny and not solid wood.  I was concerned that paint wouldn't stick to it like it would sanded wood.  From far away it doesn't look like it has many imperfections but it sure did.  

Ehren sanded all the drawers and the dresser shell.  Obviously he couldn't sand the top as it is not real wood.  Cozy is making sure he didn't miss any spots. 

We loaded it up on the saw horses and I primed the dresser.  I ended up doing two coats of primer on the top as I knew I wanted a good base to cover with real paint.  

After priming, I did 2 coats of Benjamin Moore's Advance paint in white. 

I primed the drawers and then did 2 coats of paint on top of that.  Cozy, of course, kept a close eye on the progress and watched for drips. 

It took a while to get all of this done, especially with 16 hours between coats, but with Cozy by my side and Gossip Girl on in the background, it was no problem at all. 

After everything was painted and then cured for 5 days, we reassembled the dresser up in the nursery.  The only problem with this old dresser was that the drawers definitely didn't slide very easily.  The drawers were jerky and shook the whole dresser when we opened and closed them.  I was NOT okay with this.  I looked up online as to how to fix this problem and I ran across nylon tape which decreases the friction.  Ehren applied the tape and then also tightened some areas so the drawers weren't crooked. It worked like a dream!

On a Saturday, we decided to go to Kansas City to go to Locks and Pulls to find some new hardware for our old dresser.  The pulls were 3 1/2" wide and wouldn't you know, the mecca for hardware had ONE 3 1/2" pull in satin nickel/silver.  ONE.  We asked if they had anymore 3 1/2" pulls in the finish we wanted and they basically said "what you see is what we have".  Ehren then told them that we would go somewhere else and they kind of smirked at us like "well, we have every lock and pull known to man, so good luck with finding what you're looking for".  In a pregnant rage, I stormed out of there, pissed.  Well, actually I had to go to the bathroom before I stormed out, so my exit wasn't quite that dramatic.  #pregoproblems

Next, we ventured to the Plaza to hit up some stores.  I knew Anthropologie had really cool knobs to add to the dresser.  These were the ones that caught our eyes.  We planned on putting the silver mercury glass one on the closet doors but then couldn't decide which of the teal ones to put on the dresser.  Ehren was partial to one while I was partial to the other.  Then we decided to do something my OCD, type A, anal self never does… mix it up and have different knobs on the same dresser.  The horror!

I love it!

So what did we end up doing to replace the old, ugly, outdated 3 1/2" pulls?  Nothing.  I decided, "let's just spray paint the original pulls until we find something we like".  And then we painted them and then we decided we didn't need to look any further!  

And now our dresser is complete!  The paint on the top of the dresser took very well and I'm not concerned about it coming off thanks to multiple coats of primer and paint.

A bit of an upgrade from this:

To this:

I love the way the bright white contrasts against the dark, navy blue.  The entire project was way cheaper than anything you could buy in a store… even Ikea.  

Dresser: $50
Knobs: $26
Pulls: $0
Paint: we already had because of other projects, but BM Advance costs less than $50 a gallon and we only used a fraction of the gallon

Not bad for $76.00, huh?  Refinishing something like this makes it way more special than picking and choosing a product from a store.  I'll always remember priming and painting this thing while I was pregnant, wondering what our daughter was going to be like, what will she look like, and when will she get here?  While we will change diapers all over this house, this town, and this state over the years, changing her on this dresser will always be special. 


  1. Love this dresser update!! PS- I follow you on bloglovin' and for some reason they don't recognize your new web address so I've missed months (literally) of your posts on there. Boo!!

    1. My husband and I are trying to figure out what is going on because Feedly isn't working either.. So frustrating!

  2. Oh I really love that! great choice of color on the knobs!

  3. The classified website gets millions of hits per month and all of those hits are from people looking to buy a product or service or just find a bargain. This spells big money for anyone that can find a profitable angle and post ads on Craigslist to tap into this massive market. CRAIGSLIST POSTING SERVICE


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