Monday, November 7, 2011

Estate Sale Dresser turned Money Maker

Hey guys! Sorry it’s been so long, but between a big couple weeks at work and getting married, I haven’t had much time to fill you in on my latest, greatest, and above all else F-R-E-E (that spells FREE for all OSU and UT grads) project!

As you may remember, I scored this hot piece of action at an estate sale a couple weeks ago for $70

(originally $200, then $100, and haggled down to $70 = awesome)
I wasn’t too sure what I would ultimately do with it (I had some fun ideas off pinterest) but first thing’s first… the sucka needed to be sanded down… Enter Chris
Sanding down the entire thing seemed a bit daunting, so I think just doing the top would be fine... It already had a polyurethane coat and stain (and plenty of scrapes) on it, so getting all the way down to the true wood really took a while. lots of sanding.... ...for not that much result
So after an hour, (and breathing in WAY too much dust), this is where I stood.

(better.... right?)

Finally broke out the Big Boy low grit sandpaper... and yes, I am super proud we own a sander...

truly, the sander and my staple gun are my two favorite things we own

And volia!....

(boom... sanded...)

(extra angel because the wood is so pretty)

Here's a good top/bottom view... not bad, right?

Unfortunately, as pretty as the top looked all sanded down, I had these ugly monsters glaring back at me...ok, raise your hand if your parents, grandparents, random aunt/uncle had dresser pulls like this?... ... ... ... everyone? yea, thats what I thought

So I took them off... and yes, they were still ugly.

(oh brass... how i hate you...)

So... I did what every normal person does on their lunch break/when-they-are-scared-about-the-amount-of-e-mails-piling-up-in-their-inbox... I shopped online.

After about 15 minutes, I found this bad boy and went gaga... the only downside?... the price

(yes, I drew a sad face next to the $5.25 price and the fact that I needed 16 of them... that would be $84 for those of you keeping track at home)

Already paying $70 for the dresser and trying to keep this project to a minimum, $84 (not including shipping) was sadly out of my budget...

But they're SO PRETTY!!!!!!

So because I am incredibly stubborn and dont like anyone telling me I cant have something (especially when that person is myself), I spent then next half hour doing a search for the same name, item number, description... and low and behold, SCORE!!!!

(I know you can't read that price... but it says $2.95!!! Thats almost a 44% savings for the same thing!! Super Score!)

With shipping and a RANDOM 10% discount (dont know how I got it, but whatevs) my grand total was less than $45!... I may or may not have called Chris to brag... which I totally did... and he was proud... DAMN proud. (Or at least he told me he was... ... I love that boy)

Next step was conquering ugliness...

Seriously?! Crusted on?? thats a 10 on the Just-Plain-Wrong scale

Not to mention all the chips, scrapes, and dents that had to be sanded down... and since I was just priming and painting the front and sides of the dresser, I didnt have to sand all the way down to the bare wood... just enough to make it even and smooth.
(oh yea... )
Cue the primer....

(Oh yea... only like 18x coats to cover it too... ok, I'm lying... only two... then two coats of paint)

Ok, time to go back and tackle the top of this pretty montser...

I went to Home Depot and explained what I was doing to the nice sales people that worked there...and they suggested a primer to make the stain set even... Wanting to do this project RIGHT the first time, I figured the $8 might be worth it just to be safe
(here goes nothing!)

Oh... im kinda liking it... and this color too.(pretty huh?)

I picked a dark dark dark brown (ebony) for the stain... and was kind of dreading my decision after seeing how pretty it looked in the above pic...
(eekkk... Ebony? Maybe too harsh?)

But, hey, I figured if I didnt like it, I could always sand it down and restain... right?
(ohhhh goodness... its dark)

In reading the instructions on the stain, it said to let set for 10-15 min... I gave it 8.
(hey... not to shabby!)

Here's another view... it looks pretty dark, but it was actually just light enough to see the pretty rings in the wood.
Here... you can kinda tell better in this one...
(almost has some red undertone to it)

So... as I am admiring my nice stain, I decide to put the drawers back in to see how the white looks against the stain.

That being said, remember, I bought this from an estate sale.... I think this person CLEARLY had it for a while based on the nicks, scrapes AND the 80 year old contact paper found in the drawers. As I was putting the drawers back in, I decided to scrap the contact paper and started pulling them out from each drawer...

Until I pull one out, and an envelope falls out... no lie...

$160 of randomness hidden under some old contact paper?! HELLS YEA!!!

Again, this is the picture I sent to Chris on my cell phone to which he immediately called me screaming "RIP EM ALL OUT!! ALL OF THEM OUT!!"... but the $160 was it... still not a bad way to score 160 bones!
**UPDATE: Unfortunately, since this was at an estate sale and I took so much time between buying the dresser and actually fixing it up, the house had been sold and the estate was empty. Instead, I chose to take the good karma and pay it forward!! Why let it stop with me?! Good karma for everyone!**

ANYWAY, back to the actually dresser... a couple days later, the drawer pulls came... and I squealed at the postman like a 14 year old girl who just had Justin Bieber bring her flowers.

Less than 45 seconds later, I put on my first pull...
(work it Baby!!)

Omg... yes please.
(so dark, so handsome, SO my style!)

As much as I loved my drawer pulls, they were looking a little... hmm... umm.. not "belonging" to my Swiss Coffee white and dark top... so to make it flow a little better... I decided to break out my sandpaper again to antique it a bit...
(TOTALLY digging my decision to leave some of the old dark stain... I love how it just peaks through a little)

Yea... thatd'll do... just enough to kinda rough it up and give it that "lived in" look.

SOOOO close to being done, Chris stepped in and helped me with the polyurethane top coat.

(like a pro)

Although, when he first put it on, my first reaction was "ohhh... ummm it's really shinny"

(of course I only said that AFTER I thanked him for doing such an awesome job! (thanks again hunny))

Here's a shot of the whole thing while the poly dries...

(i'm liking it... a lot... like I would like it on facebook if it had a fan page)

And after the shine died down (phew) and had a full 2 days to dry, I brought it inside, to its new home...


I just threw some random books, candles, and random doily thing on there for now but I promise to decorate it later with some cute frames and what not (I'll keep you updated)

And there it is... complete project from start to finish! Here's a breakdown of cost:

-Mahogany Dresser - $70
-Drawer pulls - $45
-Sander/sandpaper - already owned
- Primer - already owned
- Paint (Swiss Coffee color) - $8.24 pint size
- Stain Primer - $7.99
- Stain - $3.54

Time - I lost count... days? weeks? years? where am I?

TOTAL: $134.77
Random Envolope money: $160


So all in all... it was awesome... and I love it.

And here again, is the side by side so you dont have to scroll to the top again...


Anyway, i would LOVE your feedback! What do you think I should put on the top of the dresser? Personal question: what do you have on YOUR dresser? Do you like the pulls? Color choice? Let me know!


  1. I read every bit of this, and was quite amazed and jealous. Chris did a good job picking out a wife, and you did a great job with the project. Love it girl, looks awesome!

  2. Found you thru House of Hepworths (I think...). This transformation is incredible! My only suggestion is to go to the house where you bought the dresser and give them their money you found. Seems like the right thing to do...

    1. Unfortunately, since this was at an estate sale and I took so much time between buying the dresser and actually fixing it up, the house had been sold and the estate was empty. Instead, I chose to take the good karma and pay it forward!! Why let it stop with me?! Good karma for everyone!

  3. Love what you did to the dresser! I'm such a huge fan of white furniture with darker accents. Probably a little more then my husband can take lol.

    Paying it forward is such a great idea!

  4. OK. I just have to say A-MAZ-ING job!! I actually own an old dresser (chest style) that I inherited from my mom. I never knew what to do with it so I have just kept it, not wanting to discard of a "good" piece of furniture via goodwill or the trash. This piece along with you and your husband doing such a fantastic job has inspired me to do something with my lovely piece. I will first invest in a sander :-) Amazingly, my piece has the same pulls, imagine that! HA! I don't think they made any other pulls back in the day these lovely pieces of furniture were made. Time to start working out my color scheme and drawer pull search! Thanks for the post and inspiring me to finally give this piece its proper attire and make it part of the family, not just an unwanted visitor that you can't get rid of but secretly wish it would leave.

    1. WOW! Thank you so much for all the kind words!! And yes, KEEP all "good" furniture because with just a little bit of love and elbow grease, it can turn into something fantastic! Good luck on your redo! I would love to see pictures when you finish!
      P.S- investing in a good sander will change your life... enjoy :-)

  5. Looks amazing Sam! Love the two tone aspect of it! Thanks for linking up to Mauvin' Monday!

  6. It turned out great. I am impressed. I hope you will stop by and share this at the Sunday Round up this weekend.

  7. Wow Wow WOW!! This looks so fabulous! and what a score finding that money inside it so that in the end you made a profit! lucky you!!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  8. it looks awesome- LOVE that change of hardware! i found $13 under a drawer once and i thought that was exciting... man!

  9. WOW I can't believe you found the envelope of money! Even if you didn't end up making money on this it was still worth it - beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing at Beautify It Monday!

  10. Talk about some Awesome luck all the way around! Great piece, great hardware and a great makeover that paid you!

  11. Turned out great. Love the combo dark and white. Where or where did you order those pulls from??? I would love to order some. You lucked out that they fit perfectly in the existing holes!

  12. Hi Samm!
    I am visiting from 36th ave.
    I love your dresser! It turned out realy great!
    Thanks for sharing it!

  13. All I have ever found was a used bra! Bummer. Looks good!

  14. Great job! (My dresser is covered by random crap.)

  15. It turned out just gorgeous!! Love those handles - very nice choice!

  16. Fabulous.. Love how you turned it all around.. Thanks for linking up at friday fun party..

  17. Great makeover! Love the new look. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  18. oh my goodness what a great makeover and how funny that you found cash under one of the drawers! :) great story! Thanks for linking up and for the inspiration!
    Jaime from crafty scrappy happy

  19. dresser looks great and I love finding money

  20. Great make over - LOVE the new pulls as well. Ah the simple joy of finding $$! Such a thrill.
    ~Amy @ Permanent Kisses

  21. That is absolutely amazing! Great job on the makeover and thanks for linking it up!

  22. Oh, I love everything about it! Those pulls are fabulous! I think it is screaming for a fun-shaped mirror and a pair of tall, skinny lamps on each end. Maybe a tray of knickyknack vanity stuff in the middle. Thanks for partying at Show & Tell this week.

  23. Fabulous transformation! Featuring this tomorrow! Hope you'll stop by!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  24. what a beautiful job you guys did on this! I love the way it turned out:) and way to score on the cash!!

  25. What a great job on the whole project and made money to boot! Love the handles you picked out, they look great!

  26. Seriously LOVE the outcome...awesome! and so crazy that you found that money....double awesome!

    Thanks for sharing!

  27. I love it! Keeping the top dark and stained with the cream bottom was the way to go! Thanks for linking it up!

  28. Fabulous job, love the makeover!! Thanks for linking up :)

  29. That looks amazing! I love the drawer pulls and finding that secret stash you lucky duck! Thanks so much for linking up last week at Whimsy Wednesday!

  30. I love the look - you have great taste! have you tried any refurbs with chalk paint? It is so much easier than sanding it all down. I just tried it for the first time and it even covered the brass hardware.

    1. So glad you like it! and no, sadly I have not tried chalk paint yet... Im nervous lol... haha maybe my next garage/estate sale find I will have to experiment!

  31. I love this! And I think there may be something similar hiding somewhere in my mom's house! Hmm... :)

  32. Your awesome dresser is a feature this week!

  33. Oh wow. How incredible that you found that much in there! Now I know to go through my dressers carefully before I ever facilitate an estate sale (lol)!

    Thanks for linking up last week at Drab to Fab!

    This week's party is live now - come on back and link up some more of your great posts. :)

    Have a lovely weekend :)

    Amy @ Sugar and Spice

  34. Wow! I have a similar dresser that my grandma gave me that has a mirror to go with it. It's huge and has little shelves on the side. I want to do something like this! So glad I found your blog!!!

  35. Ironically, I have a dresser with those same handles...exact same handles! and the paint job is HIDEOUS! and I don't like the dresser but it's all I have right now. I think I will have to follow your lead and refurbish it.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  36. I once bought a BEAUTIFUL antique chest of drawers and after removing the drawers I found two pieces of wonderful, beautiful lingerie. What a story they could have told me. LOL Your $160 find made me determined to put a surprise in every piece of furniture I sell. I will hide it with a note of blessing. Loved your dresser transformation. Thank you for a wonderful post.


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