Saving and upcycling a vintage dresser bound for the dump

Our apartment complex has a dumpster area that people put furniture down by. Most of the time it’s trash, but sometimes it’s just stuff they don’t want to move. I saw this dresser down there and really liked the shape of it. It was a little beat up (there was no saving the original finish) but it was solid, all wood dovetail drawers and definitely vintage. It had, as they say, Good Bones.


The finished piece

So I snagged it. And my stepfather addressed a few places where it was a little wobbly, stabilizing it and I repainted it.

dresser-before
(here it is when I snagged it and loaded in the back of my Rogue)


Putting on the first bit of paint!


You can see some of the wear and paint and dings it had suffered.

I used a GORGEOUS Mediterranean blue color. I also took the old, dingy silvery pulls and refinished them with an antique gold. I used the same wax to give the wood work detail some accent color too.

It looks so good refinished! And yes, I know, some people hate painting old furniture. I get it if it’s beautiful and perfect already, but when it’s beat up, worn, and in the literal dumpster, this is a way to save a piece and give it a new life. No one would have wanted it the way it was but now it’s got years of use again.

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This is beautiful!!

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Gorgeous!
It’s awful when they cover beautiful wood, but you didn’t have that issue. :wink:

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Yeah if I could have saved the original finish, I would have. But sadly, it was beyond hope. Which is why I didn’t feel bad doing what I could to ensure it had a second life.

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The new color plus the addition of the gold hardware makes my heart swoon! Love!!!

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That blue tho :heart_eyes: Which paint is that?

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It turned out so great! The blue and gold really suit the style of the piece, too. It’s got a nautical vibe with the hardware style and the rope moulding.

I’m with you. Not all wood is beautiful. And everyone has different taste. If this had been some rare antique that would make the Keno brothers swoon on Antique Roadshow that would be a different thing altogether. The handyman who was helping us with a few projects a few years ago was quietly appalled that I was painting the outside of our front door - but it was not pretty wood and it had an insurmountable amount of yellowed varnish on it.

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Just gorgeous! Great save!

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Beautiful! I love the colour, it’s very stylish.

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This is gorgeous!

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It’s Mediterranean (blue teal), Heirloom Traditions All-In-One Paint I had such a good experience with it on my IKEA repainted dresser that I just used the same product! :smile: I already knew I liked the color and over a year later, the paint has held up perfectly on my IKEA piece so why not!

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Beautiful re-do of a great piece!

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HEY-OH! Your fabulous craft is one of this week’s Featured Projects! Congratulations! :heart_eyes_cat:

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I love everything about this :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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So beautiful! You did a great job restoring it!

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Aw, yay! My little dumpster dresser does good! :smile:

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This is gorgeous. I know it’s a lot of work to refinish furniture but this turned out so beautifully that it was totally worth it.

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It looks awesome! I love what you did with it.

Our apartment has a free section where people put stuff that’s not garbage but that they just don’t want anymore either. We’ve gotten some good stuff from there!

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I love the color, especially with the gold. I think it looks better than plain wood.

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What a wonderful find and a glamorous new look!

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