Antique Dresser Upcycle

I’m an avid scavenger. I comb curbside and back alleys for one man’s trash regularly, looking for stuff I need. Don’t get me wrong, I pay it forward, when I purge household items, or furniture that no longer have a home in my home. I deposit my useless crap into my own back alley. No sooner had I finished cleaning out the garage, one day a few months back, then a man with a van (I assumed he lived down by the river) came and hauled the entire pile of my “trash” away, as his treasures.

When a former neighbor of mine moved out, she left essentially all of her furniture behind and my other neighbors and I descended upon the pile like vultures picking through the carrion. I helped a friend scoop up a desk, another friend scored a coffee table, and I was quick to grab an antique dresser.

The dresser sat for months, as found, in my bedroom certainly serving its purpose, but I looked at it daily just not quite ready to commit to how to refinish it, restyle it, or completely upcycle it. In fact, it wasn’t till I moved to my new and current apartment that I formulated the whole plan.

I painted the whole thing chartreuse. There was no finish on the dresser at all, so it soaked up several coats of paint. I then finished it with 2-3 coats of a high gloss lacquer. Although I pictured it with a carcoat sheen, I was still smitten with the results.

I then printed vintage bugs onto 1 ¼ inch pinbacks … minus the pinbacks … and adhered them with a cement/glue to brushed silver nickle drawer pulls for a special finishing touch.

The whole project took a weekend as I had to wait several hours between paint coats and overnight for the lacquer to really cure. The cost of the project was minimal but the impact was AWESOME!

A quart of paint was approx $10.00.
The brushed nickle knobs x 12 approx $12.
The vintage bugs printed on pin backs approx $10.
The piece went from merely serving a purpose, to being a furniture focal piece in my home for a total cost of about $32.00.


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