I can admit it: I’m addicted to Craigslist. And Etsy. I’ve had a couple of flops, but this one isn’t. Huge find. Huge project, though. Good bones, as they say.
This guy needed some major love, but for $60, I was ok with that. Once I got it home, I found it to be in worse shape than I initially thought. I hauled it to an antique repair racket, ahem, excuse me, repair shop, who quoted me almost $900 to salvage my salvage for me. I choked, shared some heated words, and stormed out. Who gets all feisty over some veneer, with a pregnant woman for crying out loud? And who would pay $900 to get a half-re-finished-finsh job? So, I took a hard look at this veneer, and while I loved it, I knew it had to come off, or else these good dresser-bones would be a-wasted. So, for those of you who like lists, this one’s for you:
1. After pulling out all the drawers, I used a putty knife and slowly pried off the tiny trim around the edge of the top drawer. I even kept the finishing nails in place to reuse them. I also removed that swirly trim piece at the bottom. I know, that is a very technical term: swirly. I removed it and didn’t put anything else there because it wasn’t really doing anything anyway.
2. Somehow by the grace of God I did not lose this tiny trim, which came off in six sections.
3. I continued use of the putty knife against the veneer on the drawer fronts for what felt like 50 hours.
4. Stripping veneer is hard. It splits and splinters, and requires at least 62 more hours of sanding (I’ve been known to exaggerate), inhaling dust, and incurring a mean sinus infection. (It was also winter, and freezing, but Renfros do it like that. I am confusing you, I’m sorry. I am actually, in fact, a Saggio now, but stick with me and you will learn the ways of Growing Up Renfro, oh grasshopper will you learn some amazing things).
5. After the drawers were sanded, off with the top. Because I have a double-whammy story of things Salvaged for this project. Bonus! Werthan Granite offers completely reasonable prices for their remnant slabs, and their sales people treated me like I was about to drop thousands in a McMansion somewhere off of Tyne. Loved every minute of working with them, and they cut a beautiful piece of marble for me for the top of my $60 dresser. I paid $250 for the remnant and now I refer everyone to them. It meant a lot to me to have someone take the time to help me in such great detail for such a small job.
6. Now came the big muscles. My Groom. He’s something, that one. The little dresser base wasn’t nearly sturdy enough to hold my new marble top, and I couldn’t deal with just stacking it on top of the existing top. So, we spent a Saturday at Mama & Daddy’s at “Poppy’s Workshop” so that Joseph and Daddy could rebuild and reinforce the back and top. They weren’t happy until they could both lay their full body weight across it and it wouldn’t budge.
7. So, the top is ready, the base is sturdy, and my drawers are sanded. I attached the tiny trim again around the top drawer and was mighty proud of myself for putting it back together.
8. I have been using Behr Ultra Paint and Primer in one for most of my projects and I’m ok-happy with it. I painted it black and actually used three different colors of black from old cans from a front door project, and a kitchen cabinet project.
9. I used a trim brush and a small foam roller. One coat. Dry overnight. Repeat. Repeat again.
10. I ordered my new hardware from Paxton Hardware. Worth the price. Super fast shipping and the website was easy to navigate. Will definitely be using them again!
The reason this piece is so special is that it is in my little one’s nursery. She is almost one now, and such a big girl, and I can’t wrap my mind around that. I love that dresser every time I open a drawer. It’s so sturdy and serious. Joining the ranks of The Salvaged: Aurelia’s dresser, folks.
Happiest of Wednesdays to you!