My Garage of Good Intentions: The Dresser


As fall is rolling in and winter is soon to follow, it was time for me to get back out to the garage to complete another one of my projects. Mostly because I don’t want to be out there when it’s frigid, but also because it would be nice if my husband could park his car in the garage when the frost hits.

Like the hutch, the dresser comes with a story. Before we came to Bartonville, the church had been renting the parsonage out (the pastor’s husband was also a UMC pastor and they lived in his parsonage). I don’t know all of the details, but the tenants were awful. They got behind on their rent and had completely trashed the house. At one point, a nuisance notice had been posted by the county. They ended up being evicted. While they took most of their belongings, they left a lot of junk behind. A lot of junk. There were 7 TVs in the garage, along with a weight bench, some miscellaneous free weights, a patio chair, and this dresser.




While the rest of the junk was being tossed, Vern (the man in charge of renovating the house for us) didn’t feel right junking the dresser. He thought it was in nice enough condition that it was worth giving away. When we came to look at the house, Vern showed me the dresser and I gladly accepted it. Yes, I needed that dresser to fulfill my Pinterest dreams.

It took me forever to get around to doing something with it. I just couldn’t decide what to do. I thought about removing some of the drawers and putting in shelves. But no, I don’t have the tools or experience for that. Then I thought about painting it and applying a textured paper to the drawers. But no, I don’t have the patience for that. So it came down to just painting, but I needed a color. I looked for inspiration everywhere, but kept coming back to the same answer: black.

I love black. My younger sister tells me I wear too much black, but what does one do with their favorite color? Wear it all the time. Decorate with it. Black is classy and timeless and should be used without reservation. At least that’s my opinion.

I used the same technique as my hutch. I sanded it down and then painted 3 coats. It was tedious work. I knew it would take several coats for the white to quit showing through. I was so eager to be done, I decided I would only paint the front of the drawers. That was until the incident.

I don’t know how many coats in I was, but I was lost somewhere between the thoughts of what else I could paint black and just how tired I was. I was so tired. So tired that one minute I’m holding the can of paint and putting the last touch on a drawer, and the next minute my hand is empty and the paint has spilled out into the drawer and all over the floor. It was such a mess! The only way to salvage the drawer was to paint the inside of it. And if I did that for one drawer, I would have to do it for all of them.

It ended up being a happy mistake. Except the paint on the floor. But it really did give the dresser a more finished look. Turns out sometimes you can’t take shortcuts.

The final touch was the pulls. What I really wanted to do was replace them. I had been looking at UFS and The Habitat Restore for something fun, fresh, and cheap. I had a lot of really good options, but nothing I couldn’t live without. It was going to cost another $5-$10 to replace the pulls. Not bad at all, but I couldn’t help think of how I could feed my family with that money. $8 will buy me a 10 lb bag of chicken quarters at Kroger. Or 3 gallons of milk at Aldi. 6 dozen eggs. Put into that perspective, it didn’t seem like I should waste the $8 if it wasn’t necessary. I would keep them, but not as is.




Instead, I decided to look at what resources I had on hand at home. I had bought some gold spray paint for another project (waiting in my garage to be completed). I thought the gold would really make the piece pop and give balance to the black.

In the spirit of not taking shortcuts, I decided to take the legs off and spray paint them as well. Holy cow am I glad I did! When Nick and I turned the dresser on it’s back, we found several spider eggs. I almost lost it. I don’t do spiders. Just the thought of those things hatching in my house….




Anyways, the dresser is finally complete! I absolutely love what it does to my living room. And it also gives me hope. If I could take an old dresser and give it new life, what more can God do with me?






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