Don’t we all love a good makeover? Well, I have to admit, this DIY Great Lakes Dresser is awesome! About a year ago I bought this great dresser to try as an entertainment center but it was just too big. Since then, the piece has been sitting in my dining room collecting dust and waiting for attention. Until now…
Originally posted March, 2016
This dresser is huge! It is a beautiful solid piece of furniture and is just perfect for Favorite Thirds first apartment. 🙂 As you can see, a bit dated – note the scallops on the drawers – those are pretty awful. Especially for my son.
Even tho the hardware is considered “vintage” and original. It is just plain ugly in my book. What was the obsession with this style of drawer pulls?
Furthermore, the design of the dresser just isn’t quite right. Favorite Third wanted to eliminate 4 of the drawers to create cabinets with shelves. In between the drawers, there were large shelves with facings that had to be removed.
As much as I enjoy a good reno, the deconstruction of this dresser was just plain difficult. I had to use the multi-purpose tool to cut out the shelves to create the space for the cabinet doors. As I said, this dresser is SOLID!
Since Favorite Third wanted to have cabinets on each side, I asked a carpenter to build me cabinet doors for them as that is not my forte 🙂 I like to paint, and I like to do a very small bit of carpentry, but for doors, I needed an expert.
Next step – paint the Great Lakes dresser. Yeah!
After a bit of research, I decided to make my own chalk paint. So many people say that chalk paint is the easiest to use because you don’t have to do much prep work to the wood and it sticks really well so I thought I’d give it a go.
It’s fairly easy to make your own. Just use the above recipe. Mix the hot water and plaster of Paris thoroughly and then add the paint. I used a disposable container because I really don’t like washing up.
However, after 2 coats of this chalk paint, I was pretty unhappy with both the coverage and the texture of the finish on my new doors.
I also wasn’t thrilled with the results on the dresser itself. Thus I decided to go ahead and just paint with straight latex paint. Although it is a bit chippy where the doors meet the dresser, I like the finish much better.
Once everything was painted I set off to find some really awesome knobs. Y’all know how much I love great knobs for all my pieces. Aren’t these just the best fish?
Now for the larger drawers? Previously they had two pulls each, but two on each drawer just seems like way too much for the new design.
The thought of filling in holes from previous pulls and knobs makes me cringe. The process is such a hassle and never seems to work well, but I just had to make it work.
First I took some wood putty and filled the holes. Let the putty dry then filled the holes again and again until they were completely filled.
It doesn’t matter what color putty you use, just make sure it’s paintable or stainable, whatever you need. Then it’s time to start sanding. The thing is, you always think you have sanded enough and you haven’t.
For example, here I thought I had sanded enough, but this is what it looked like after paint. So I sanded again.
You can still see where the holes used to be. So I sanded and painted again and sanded and painted again. Finally, the drawers looked great and it was time to measure for the new hardware.
Favorite Third is an avid hunter and fisherman. In honor of that, I had planned on adding an outline of the Great Lakes to the front of the dresser. But, as I looked at the finished product I wondered if it was a good idea or not. Should I really create the Great Lakes dresser?
Here is where the rubber hits the road for all creatives. I began to second guess myself. I began to wonder if my idea was a good one. Was I being too creative? Was it getting too crazy, was I so excited to try a new idea that I lost sight of the piece?As creatives we 2nd guess ourselves. Is this idea a good one? Is it too crazy? Is it too creative? Have I lost sight of my design? Click To Tweet
Thanks to technology I texted a few trusted souls for opinions. Lakes or no lakes?
The overwhelming response was:
A few months ago I purchased an old overhead projector. You know, the ones we used to have in school back in the 1970’s – pre-digital projection and all that. So all I needed was a great template and a transparency. Who knew that I was asking way too much?
Off to the store I went with an image of The Great Lakes in hand. One would think that this task would be easy, right? After all, while in college I remember creating my own transparencies on printers. However, in 2017 apparently, transparencies are a bit obsolete. I couldn’t find any in my local stores and even my local printer could not do it without me bringing my own transparency in for them to print it on. Can you believe it?
Time to get creative again. So I dug out a page protector and a Sharpie and created my own “transparency”.
Anyone remember these? It is sooooo hard to get the image straight. Move it left to go right, up to go down and so on.
It was decided that a lighter color should be used for the lakes and so we (Big K was visiting for the weekend, lucky me!) began to paint in the lakes.
I am so pleased with the results! What do you think about
The DIY Great Lakes Dresser?