From Trash to Treasure

Thanks for stopping by!! :)

It's been way longer than i anticipated!
Due to some "issues" with this current project, i was not able to blog as often as i planned.
This little, demanding, renovation left me questioning why i would ever do this again. hah!
Never have i yet had as hard of a time with something as this time.
I admit, there was even a time i was considering bashing the thing with a mallet and setting it on fire in the backyard while documenting the event for the blog.
But i had already put so much time, nails and glue into it, giving up was not an option.

When i first brought it home from the thrift store it looked good
but was wobbly and falling apart at the seams. 
It was also completely covered with dead spiders 
and spider cocoons all on the inside. 
It took me a few rounds around the thrift store before i decided to "man up" 
and take the thing home.
When i brought it home, i left it in the driveway
and sprayed it head to toe with clorox bleach to kill any possibility of a live spider.
Mind you, these were brown recluses!!!
  After drenching the dresser in clorox i hosed it with high, pressured water
and quickly wiped it with a towel to avoid damaging the wood
and left it outside to air out and dry out.
I only did that because of the urgency of killing off the poisonous spider.
(i don't recommend doing any of the above as this will damage any plywood)

A few days later i was able to start on getting the thing into tip-top shape.
There was a lot of gluing, hammering and even bleeding!

Next, sanding and peeling of the damaged plywood.
The job was hard and messy. 
My arms were sore, my thumbs blistered and the dust was everywhere on me and in the yard.
It might be smarter to invest in an electrical sander one day,
though something about doing it all by hand seems more legit to me. 
I cherish my work more when i have to work harder than i have to on it. hah!

There was some very strange, as i called it "unidentified damage" inside one of the drawers 
that had to be patched up with some wood filler.
Can we talk about wood filler for a second? 
What a great invention!! It's a must-have around the house! 
You can even use it as clay and make things out of it. 
Ooooh a new idea for a blog!! :)

Elmer’s Wood Filler is what i used. It's consistency is like clay. 
It is quick drying, weather resistant, sandable and stainable. 
I let mine dry for 24 hours though 
mostly because i moved on to working on the drawer knobs.

I know it's trendy right now to put fancy knobs on old dressers 
(which i have done before) but i like to preserve what i can, 
especially if the original knobs are so lovely.
I started by sanding each one trying to get into the crevasses.

 Next i spray-painted them brown and after they dried i spray-painted them again 
but only the tops this time with a copper color.
After that i sanded the top for more of an antique/weathered look.  

With all the privileges of living in a modern, fast-paced world that i appreciate, 
you would think that spray-paint was an invention that a girl like me would LOVE right? 
When i put the can up to the dresser and started to spray-paint the bigger surfaces 
i was in on an adventure i don't want ever again.
Conclusion: Do not use spray paint on large surfaces 
unless you want to have to deal with a spotty surface 
which i thought would be fixed/hidden by a coat of polyurethane. 
Wrong again Inna!
Apparently, if you apply polyurethane on top of spray-paint 
(yes even after it has dried for a day) the paint will bubble and peal.
This is the time when i actually cried a little cause i knew 
i would have to strip the paint and start from scratch.

Stripping paint is hard and not fun! 
You will need to have this kind of a tool and gloves to remove the melted/bubbled paint 
and if you don't wear gloves that stuff will burn your fingers! 

When you're done scraping that paint 
you will need to sand the surface before you can move on. 
Get the Strip-X® Stripper if you will ever find yourself as lucky.

After hours of scraping and sanding 
i took a chip of the old paint with me to Ace Hardware. 
There they (supposedly) matched the color for me 
by custom mixing some paint into a can.

Here's me annoyed after all that work to find out that the paint color is a little off.
Oh well, i didn't want to put any more money into getting this thing restored. 
I already spent way more than i expected on this prima-donna of a dresser,
so i gave it a nice coat of paint and left it to dry for another day.

Next, back to sanding! 
This time though to give the dresser a little personality 
and also to sand down the wood filler on one of the drawers. 

Two more things left to do and it's finished!

Put a coat of lacquer (or polyurethane) all over the dresser.

As you see this time i also got a brush-on lacquer versus a spray-on. 
Just smother the whole thing in that satin goodness and let dry. 
This one dries pretty fast too! 
Brushed it on in the morning and by evening time it was totally functional. 
No smell and no mess-ups!

And while the dresser was drying this is what i did to the inside of the drawers. 
They were really stained by the previous owners 
and even though i bleached the whole thing in the very beginning 
and also sanded the drawers on the inside, 
i was still not able to remove some of the more bizarre stains. 
So, these drawer liners fixed that issue and i was all done! 

Here it is with the Before and After shots!

Now i can finally move on to something new. :)
Thanks for coming to see the transformation!



  1. I LOVE IT INNA!!! I have read the woes of polyurethane over spray paint before. thanks for the visual "NO" lol! Sorry you had to strip it and start over! BUT the finished product is AWESOME!

  2. wow nice you got gold hands girl!


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