Furniture

Fixing up a busted dresser

Gosh, it’s been at least a year, if not more, since I fell in love with this antique dresser at a thrift store near my house.

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The zebra(ish) wood was to die for and the price was right, so I scooped it up and let it sit sit sit for a long while. Even though it didn’t work well (broken drawer pulls & drawers that slid too far in or sat unevenly), I still stored lots of goodies in it. Last night, I decided to take advantage of my break from grad school to fix up the piece. I almost died doing it (OK, not really… but take your time with mitre saws, people!).

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The main issue with the dresser was with the top two drawers. Over the years, the center support had fallen out. This caused both drawers to lean into the dresser and into the drawer beneath when pushed all of the way in. You could get them to sit right, but one nudge would send both askew and all of the things you were storing crashing to the back of the drawer.

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To fix this, I cut down some scrap wood to fill the gap from the front of the dresser to the back. I screwed in two support blocks, one at the front and one at the back, to nail this makeshift rail into. Then, I glued and nailed a thin piece of wood to act as the rail guide so one drawer couldn’t encroach on the other drawer’s space (my sisters and I could have used something like this in the back seat of mom’s car growing up!)

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I let that dry overnight because I used WAY too much wood glue. This morning I put all of the drawers back and fixed some busted hardware, making for one beautiful, well-working dresser!

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The dresser still isn’t perfect. There are nicks along the edges and a few chips in the top. But it’s GORGEOUS! I can look past the imperfections (OK, I love the imperfections) now that it’s working good as new.

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I mean, just look at those curves! Ow owwww!

The one remaining thing to figure out is if I want to replace the top two drawer pulls. They don’t work the best and only one set had the decorative washers to hid the hardware — if you look close you can see dar circles around the top left drawer pull. Other than that, this dresser is good to go!

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Furniture, Interior Decorating, Paint

A temporarily permanent mirror

I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but I have a hard time letting go of items I’m positive I can use someday. And every time I did deep into a pile of long-forgotten gems, I am always so pleased that I didn’t do away with them.

My best friend knows I love mirrors and thrift store finds, so several years ago at Christmas she gave me two beautiful wooden mirrors in major need of some TLC. I have saved these mirrors for easily three years, if not longer.

Traditional Mirror Before

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve seen my console table in my family room that is just begging for a mirror above it. It sits directly across from our bay window, and a mirror would brighten up the space so wonderfully.

Gallry Wall_Living Room

I’ve been searching high and low for a mirror to hang above the console table, checking HomeGoods, Target, Craigslist, thrift stores… the usual spots for inexpensive decor. I was in no rush, so I chose to be super picky (I didn’t want a square mirror and was hoping to find a mirror with a unique, not trendy shape). I’d found a mirror I loved on Craigslist, but it was too pricey. By the time I decided I should just go for it, it was sold. It just wasn’t meant to be.

I was avoiding the pair of mirrors from Dana for many reasons. First of all, they are tall and skinny, and the orientation cannot be changed because of the fancy detail at the top. Plus, I only needed one mirror and didn’t want to split up the pair. And lastly, they were just fancier than I wanted. I don’t think of my house as fancy and really love the relaxed vibe the whole house has, so I didn’t want to throw this traditional mirror in the mix and have it look strange.

I leaned one up against the wall as a test many times and wasn’t crazy about the look, but I bit the bullet and decided to go for an update to the mirrors because they needed it anyway. Who cared if one sat upstairs for a while as the other pined away for its mate in the basement. They are just mirrors, after all.

I sanded down the frame and taped off the edges of the mirrors, then proceeded to paint the whole thing white. I only have transformed one of the mirrors because I wanted to make sure I liked it.

Turns out, I do. And these fancy mirrors don’t look half bad on my console table!

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I titled this post “A temporarily permanent mirror” because I plan on continuing my hunt for a different mirror, either new or used. Regardless of my hunt, I’m so pleased that I like this mirror in my house and over the table — I truly didn’t think I would, but it’s growing on me. I still think it doesn’t have the right proportions for the space, though. Plus, it kills me to separate the pair of mirrors. Now I just need to paint the second mirror white and find a place for the pair. I have a couple of ideas where they might look nice.

These mirrors are super heavy, so if I do choose to leave it, I’ll need to get heavy-duty hanging materials for the wall. I like it leaning, but I think for safety reasons I’d rather it be mounted instead. I’d hate for Remmy to bump the table and for this to fall and hurt him.

Anywho, don’t you just love when someone that’s been sitting in your basement for years turns out to be just what you were looking for, even temporarily? I know I do!

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UPDATE: I found a mirror I loved at Target, and with that my temporary mirror has been relocated back to the craft room *whomp whompppp*

Here’s the new setup:

Mirror and Console

Furniture

Crate Coffee Table, part 2

Earlier this year I found a crate on my local Freecycle listserv that I scooped up, added some caster to and turned into a coffee table.

Crate Coffee Table

The crate sat as is for a while, but the wood was rough around the edges and the crate had been written on and scuffed up. I decided to take on the coffee table crate project for a second time, this time opting to stain the crate and make the piece a little more polished — well, as polished as an old wood crate can look.

The side of the crate was painted a dark, charcoal gray. I decided to stain the crate a gray to pull out the charcoal-colored sides.

Before I could start staining, I had to sand the hell outta the crate. The top was covered in nicks, scuffs, sharpie, old sticker goo…. It wasn’t pretty.

Crate

It looked like someone had kept score on the crate, or attempted math? Who knows. But the sharpie had to go.

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Once the whole crate was sanded down, I applied a gray stain to the whole thing, including the painted sides. Since some of the paint was scuffed off, I wanted to make sure the exposed wood was gray, too.

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The wood soaked up the stain lie crazy, turning the whole crate a charcoal gray with wood grain popping through. I love the color mixed with the natural wood peeping through.

Once it dried, I coated the whole thing in a polyurethane.

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The finished product is still a roughed up, old crate — but a much nicer looking old crate. I like the gray a lot and how it tied the sides and the rest of the piece together. I also like the lack of graffiti on my furniture. That’s a plus for sure.

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We aren’t currently using the crate as a coffee table, so I’m not sure what we’ll do with it. But I really like the cleaned up look for this neat old piece.