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.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 4.08.20 PM

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!).


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.


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!)


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!


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.


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!

Home Improvement

Front Door Reveal

Ever embark on a project with the thought, “Hey, this is gonna be easyyyyyy”?

Some projects are in fact super easy, but I should have known better when we started our front door and car port door project that it wasn’t going to be easy at all. You see, our house is super crooked. SUPER CROOKED. So the installation itself was a pain. Then there was the painting. It seems painting a door should only day a few hours, right? HA! I would have been so lucky.

Any way, buckle your seat belts because the transformation is definitely worth the wait.

Remember our old door? Well, probably not. It was old, ugly and way boring.

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door Red

In an attempt to plan for our new front doors, I painted the ugly red doors a pretty mint green.

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door Mint

Too bad my husband hated it. I mean HATED.

So I reached out to you all on Facebook for color suggestions, and my cousin-in-law responded suggesting teal! About the same time she responded I Was flipping through Lowe’s doors photo gallery where I stumbled upon a teal door on a white house and totally fell in love.

We ordered our doors and picked them up a few weeks later, protecting them from our dog with ou kitchen table chairs. Shockingly, succesful, actually.

{A Smith of All Trades} New Doors1

We were waiting for my step dad to come help us install our doors (read: install our doors graciously while we attempted to help as much as possible). 

John came over early one morning and we got started immediately demolishing our car port door.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Inside Before

Buh bye!

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Before

The door came off pretty easily, followed by the time and the frame.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door No Molding

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door No Door

Within an hour we had done all of the demo on the door. … or so we thought. Like I said earlier, our house is super crooked. As we got to the installation portion of our project (which I will in no means give you any instructions on! Holy cow it was a process), John realized the molding attached to our pre-hung door wouldn’t fit in the existing space in our car port.

Enter the reciprocating saw.

{A Smith of All Trades} No Car Port Door

So he literally cut out pieces of our house until the door fit. He also had to trim the brick molding on the door frame down a lot (thanks for letting us borrow your circular saw, Chad!).

Hours and hours later, we had the door up and installed.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Inside No Paint No Molding

Progress, woo!Installed front door

We decided to wait until later to add the trim and get started on the front door (which I demoed all by myself while the boys finished up the car port door!). That was a good choice because that door was also a huge pain in our butts.

{A Smith of All Trades} No Front Door

Everything we went through on the car port door, we went through on the front door — and them some. We had to completely remove the brick molding on this door to get it into the opening, which was way too wide for our door. *sigh*

BUT, my step dad is the man. Seriously, he is the man. Not only did he save us like $700 by helping us install these doors, he patiently explained everything he did and let us be a huge part of the whole process. He was amazing. He was/is the man, and he figured out (after much cursing) exactly how to get the front door into our crooked, too-wide opening.

Apparently I don’t have a photo of what the front door looked like from the inside, but picture this: A nice new door hung with about and inch or two of light peering in from the outside all along the edges. We put painter’s tape over the holes until John could come back and help us with the molding on a later day because it was nearing 10 p.m. and we were all pooped.

Time check – 1 day

In between doing the doors and the molding, I painted the outsides of both doors. Teal!!!!!

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door No MoldingAnd more teal!!!!

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Painted no molding

That was the easy part of painting. Then John came back and he and I installed the trim around the doors. For the car port door, we essentially made our own trim to cover the nasty parts of the brick that the old door frame used to cover. John ripped down three pieces of wood to frame the brick molding, which I primed before we hung them around the edges.

The front door was even trickier (imagine that). I cannot even explain what John had to do to get the brick molding to fit and look nice around the door, but he did it and it looks fabulous.

All of this was finished last weekend, and I managed to put off painting until Thursday evening and Friday afternoon.

Thursday evening I tackled the inside of the car port door and it just took forever. You’d think white paint on a pre-primed door would be simple enough — but the white paint needed three coats. Holy cow, that’s what I get for not buying the paint and primer version of my paint! Lesson definitely learned.

Friday afternoon I tacked the other door  and all of the molding. The molding had to be sanded down from all of the wood putty and this door also took three coats.

Once everything was painted, I touched up the teal sides of our doors and then started re-adding our hardware on the door. I also installed a new doorbell! That was satisfying.

{A Smith of All Trades} New Doorbell

Finally, our doors are done. And even thought the whole process too far longer than I could have ever imagined (even this blog post took longer than I imagined), they look fantastic and I love them. The light the add to our house is epic, and the teal just POPS right off of our boring white house.

{A Smith of All Trades} My House

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door After

They look so pretty, I just adore them.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door After

And the inside doesn’t look too bad either 🙂 Even if they did take forever to paint.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Inside After


{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door Inside After

All in all, this project took about four days to do. I would have guessed two. Oh well. Glad it is done, but I’d definitely do it again — just with realistic expectations this time around!

Our next project on the front of our house… shutters and a new light fixture.

{A Smith of All Trades} ShuttersThanks for being patient for the door reveal! I would have loved to share it earlier, but that’s how life goes, huh?

Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

And thanks again, John! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Home Improvement

Busy weekend

Hello, blog!

Well, we did it. We finally installed our new doors. It took pretty much all weekend because our house is amazingly crooked, but they are installed. I’m only going to share one photo with you today because I’ve only had time to paint the outside of our doors. The inside is still a primed, boring beige.

Guess what color the doors are??


That’s right, teal. They look fabulous. Or at least I think they do. Turns out a lot of men don’t like the color teal, especially not on a house haha. Oh well. 

Here’s a photo of our doors installed, not painted, and with no trim. Looking pretty good, huh?


Tomorrow I’ll share all of the troubles we (mainly my amazing stepdad) went through to get these bad boys onto the house.