Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Craiglist Find

I generally browse Craigslist once a day and sometimes twice a day at the end and beginning of the month or the weekends.  Here is a little secret, people generally post some great stuff at the end and beginning of every month.  Why might you ask?  Well they generally are moving and can't fit the items in their new space or they need to pay their bills and need to make some extra cash to make payments.  This is a great time to take a look.

Sometimes I look around not knowing what I need but just to see what's out there.  This week I was looking for something to balance out my fireplace.  We have a buffet on one side which hold our TV and satellite box but the other side of the fireplace just seemed to need some balance.  As you will find, I really like balance and even numbers.  I searched many places looking for a piece, I knew it had to be less than 36" wide and low enough so we could get to the light switches on the wall.  Yet high enough to balance out the heavy piece of furniture on the other side. I also wanted something with storage for magazines, blankets, etc. 

After a few days of missing out on some great items (sometimes you have to be the first to call on an item) and finding some great pieces that were way to big for the space, I came across this old vanity/dresser.  It was very beat up and had a mirror on the back.  The price was right at $25.  I loaded it up in the back of our car with the husbands help and we were off.  When I got it home we put it out side for a day to let it air out, it had been sitting in someones garage for a while.

With a little help from the hubby I started to get it ready for a good sanding.  This piece had many layers of stain, oil and grime.  While taking out the drawers we found some cool things.  The drawers had stickers on them from July 1962 that were labels of what was in the drawers.  Maybe they were used during a move or maybe the owner likes to use a label maker, just like me?  There were also some newspapers from the Auburn Journal 1962, the paper was in great condition and a good read.  We also found an old home perm kit box top and the back of the dresser had the owners name on it and Auburn, Ca.  How neat it would be to find out the history of this piece, and where it has been in it's life time.

We pulled the handles off and spray painted them with Modern Metals Spray Paint in Champagne Silver to give them a new look.  The handles had been brass but were very tarnished and needed some rehab.  I really liked the shape and thought that the silver would compliment the color that I was going to paint the dresser.

After a few rounds of sanding we need to fill a few holes with some wood putty.  Wood putty is really great, it can fix just about anything.  The dresser then needed a primer I used Kilz Primmer.  I really like Kilz, it will prime anything plus it helped with the old smell of the dresser.  After two coats of primer this beauty was ready for its final coat of paint.  I had some Restoration Hardware Blue Sage left over from the desk in my office and thought  that it would go nicely with the curtains in our living room.  I gave the piece two coats of Blue Sage and she was a new dresser.  I added the old hardware that was newly painted, and the dresser looked great.

After looking at the dresser for a while I felt it was missing something.  I had a few wood appliques left from another project.  I added one applique to the door of the dresser using Gorilla Glue, this piece is generally used as a corner piece but I just turned the V upside down and glued it to the door.  I then felt that the sides needed something to take away the craftsman feel.  I added two swirls to the sides with Gorilla Glue.  After the wood appliques dried I took out the paint and touched them up.

I am so amazed at what a little paint and hard work can do to change the look of a piece of furniture. We took this old tired piece of furniture and turned it into a great piece.  The total cost of the project was $40. The dresser was $25, Modern Metals Spray Paint $7, Blue Sage Paint free (left over from old project), Primer free (left over from old projects), extra wood appliques $8.  The cost to buy something like this new in a store would be anywhere from $200 - $300.  I am so proud of this piece, and my husband loves the cost savings.

The only thing left is to figure out what to put in the picture frame.

I am so honored this posting will be featured on the DYI Show Off this Friday.  Please stop over and check it out as well as the other great postings by other bloggers.   

***I will be linking this to the following blog parties.***

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Decor Momma
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Fun to Craft
Miss Mustard Seed
It’s a Hodge Podge Life
The Shabby Nest
The Inspired Room
Frugal and Fabulous
The Girl Creative New Friend Friday
A Few of My Favorite Things
It’s a Blog Party!
My Romantic Home
Saving Money Living Life
A Vision to Remember
Funky Junk Interiors
A Little Lovely Along for the Ride
Tatertots and Jello
Style Feature Saturday at Perfectly Imperfect
Be Different Act Normal
The Girl Creative 
By Stephanie Lynn 
Between Naps on the Porch 
Making The World Cuter
Cottage Instincts
The Girl Creative
Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
The Persimmon Perch
The DIY Showoff
Thrifty Decor Chick
Skip To My Lou
Super Stinky Boys
Keeping it Simple Thrifty Treasures


  1. What a fantastic makeover, Laura! You did a great job -- LOVE that color! :)

  2. Oh wow!! I love it! It looks amazing! Thanks for the craigslist tip :)

  3. I love what you did to this piece! I have a dresser almost identical that I am working on. Painting it white and putting in the front hall. You picked a beautiful color, too.

  4. This is really beautiful now, great instructions too! Amazing job!

  5. oh i LOVE thact color! it's so pretty! great job- i am going ot have to remember that color. thanks for sharing it!

  6. Patti ~ I can't wait to see yours. I wanted to paint it white (that's one of my favorite colors) but we are renting right now until we buy a home and white just fades into our wall color. Please share yours with me once finished, have fun!

  7. That is a truly lovely piece. I am just a smidge jealous... great job!

  8. It looks wonderful. Love the color and I LOVE craigslist. What did we do before?

  9. Wow, she's come a long way! Great job!

  10. How cute. Love it and love the color. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I love the color! It turned out great! It's always nice to see other Northern Californians. I'm guessing you aren't too far away if the dresser had stuff from Auburn =)

  12. haha, what to put in the picture frame. Perfect color, perfect location, perfect project. Love the little door at the bottom. A girl can never have enough storage. Gotta take a look at Craig's list today!

  13. What a pretty dresser! I love the color~glad you kept the original handles, too.

  14. For a second I got so excited because I used to live in Auburn, AL and I thought you might be someone I know. However, CA is a long way from AL. Love the dresser. Thanks for sharing on tatertots and jello.

  15. wow, that piece needed a lot of TLC, you definitely gave it a new life!!

  16. Great find! Love the color you chose. I need to start looking on Craig's for goodies.


  17. Wow! That is incredible! I love the paint color! I'm in the process of redoing a similar piece and had never thought of the wood appliques. Might have to try that! I also found an old return address label stuck to my piece that I think belonged to the original owner...I do love the history of old furniture! Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. CL rocks! Great work! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  19. What a great transformation! I love the dresser and the color you chose!

  20. I love the color. That transformation is amazing

  21. It's gorgeous. I'm a fan of the color too.
    And, what a fabulous tip about the best time to look on Craigslist!

  22. Beautiful piece - great color !!! nice job

  23. Thank you to everyone for the great comments! I really appreciate it!:)

  24. This turned out gorgeous!!! I LOVE the color you used!!

  25. Beautiful!! Looks just like the projects over at Centsational Girl. Have you ever thought about doing more like this?