Category Archives: DIY

New Chest of Drawers

My friend Andrea gave me a chest of drawers last summer and it has taken me this long to figure out how I wanted this piece of furniture to turn out. I finally finished it today and I am very pleased with it. Andrea even came by this evening with her teenagers to help me get it from the basement to the upstairs bedroom.

I had to repair some glides on the inside of the dresser and a friend made those for me. I still have one more thing to do underneath one of the drawers to make it glide more easily and then it will be finished. I am quite pleased with it. Here are the before and after pictures.

dresser 1


dresser 2


New Project

While visiting my daughter in Virginia last week I went to an antique mall and found a piece of furniture that will be perfect for my home. I am not exactly sure what to call this. It is sort of a bookshelf and sort of a desk. What do you think this is?

The top shelf folds down to make a desk.

Whoever painted it in the past didn’t do a very good job of it. The furniture wasn’t primed or sanded and the paint is peeling horribly. I will be stripping it down and adding paint, wash and a wax to it.

Do any of you have any idea of what era this piece is from and what it is exactly called so I can do research on it?

My Next Furniture Project

I have been looking for a new project to do and my step-father surprised me with these two gems. The first is a small chest of drawers that I will be doing for the boys room here. I like to keep extra clothing just in case they get dirty or want to spend the night on the spur of the moment. Bill had this beauty in his workshop and he and Mom scrubbed it and presented it to me on Saturday. I will stare it for a few weeks to decide what I want to do with it to make cowboy ready for the boys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bill gave me this end table too. I will have to really study this one for a bit. The top is leather. I have always loved this table. Many years ago it was in their living room and then used in their bedroom eventually. I will find it a place of honor in my home soon too.

Thank you Mom and Bill for the new furniture for me to be creative with. I love them both already and I know the boys will cherish their new furniture for their room here. ๐Ÿ™‚



Since I am considered self employed I needed a large file cabinet in order to have a safe and secure place at my home for my client’s folder. I tried pricing them online and I just couldn’t commit to spending so much money. I mentioned to my sister, Donna that I needed to find a large filing cabinet and she began searching for one for me. Within a few weeks she was very excited to tell me that our parents had one under their carport that I could have for free. I quickly jumped on this file cabinet and I call her Bessie.

Bessie had been under the carport in all types of weather for more than 10 years and was hiding her true beauty under quite a bit of rust. After a few weeks of sanding and TLC she now looks like this.

When I first brought her home she looked like this.

Bessie had previously had a padlock on her which left her with holes and dents on the top front of her.

I sanded Bessie down to shiny metal and then I put three coats of Rustoleum white paint on her. I took wood filler and filled in her holes. I knew that I couldn’t make it completely disappear but I was able to disguise things quite a bit. I sanded off the excess and then began to focus on another area.

Bessie had contact paper on top of her when I brought her home and after stripping it off I found large dents in her top.

I went to Home Depot and bought a board for $12 and they were kind enough to cut it for me to fit the exact size of the file cabinet. I used Liquid Nail to attach it. Look how she looks with a wood top and painted a nice antique lace white.

With my mother’s encouragement to paint something on her I asked Donna to come over and freehand sketch a large flower that I had seen online on a large piece of furniture. This is with her sketch.

This is after day 1 of working on Bessie. I did not like the green. In the end I did the green portion of the leaves 4 times before being satisfied with the end result.

It took me three days of hand painting the flower and leaves to be satisfied with the end result. The similar picture that I had seen online was soooooooooooo much better than mine but I am still pleased with mine. She is all mine and I love her.



Chest- Before and After

I have finally finished the chest of drawers that I have been working on for several weeks. ย I am in love with it. I am still not positive what I plan to do with it yet but for now it is in the guest room beside the bed. I have had to change plans for the finished product for this dresser several times. This has been a challenge but I enjoyed it along the way.

To give you a background on the chest this is what it looked like before. I called it a dresser on the prior post about them but it isn’t a dresser. It is a chest of drawers.


This was the dresser when I bought it. You can’t see all of the damage to it from this picture. I will show you better pictures to show you what it REALLY looked like.

Apparently this belonged to a child because look at what was scratched into the wood.

I failed to take a picture of all of the crayon and marker that was scribbled inside the drawers but this is what the inside of the dresser looks like now. ย A co-worker suggested that I do stenciling inside the drawers and I am hooked on stenciling now. This just made it my style inside and out.

Edited to Add: I did find a picture of the inside of the drawer. This is it.

I added a wooden medallion to the center of the top drawer. I bought this at Lowes but have since found that Michaels and Hobby Lobby have a much larger assortment of wooden medallions to choose from. Live and learn.

First I sanded the dresser and used wood filler to fill in all of the scratches. Then I used contractor grade primer and put two coats of this on the dresser. I added the medallion with wood glue and allowed it to dry before painting. I wanted a certain shade of brown for the top and inside of the drawers. I love this shade of brown. I can’t tell you the shade because what I did was go into Lowes and I told them that I wanted the shade of brown that was used on a banner in their display. The very nice lady in the paint department took the display apart and put it under the scanner and they custom mixed my paint for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I struggled with the shade of the wash that I put on the dresser. First I took a sample piece of wood and painted it white and tried various shades of brown to add a wash to the wood. I was never happy with any of them. Then I made a wash out of the brown that I used on the top and that was a disaster. It turned purple when I added it to the white portions. I thought that I had a picture of it saved but apparently I deleted it from my phone. ย Just believe me that it was purple and horrible. haha

Edited to Add Later- I found the picture of the dresser when it was purple. Here it is. Now can you see why I had to do it over?

Before I finally ended up with the colors that I have now I ran into a couple of glitches. The drawer pulls on the dresser had to be replaced. I measured them and thought they were 3 inch pulls but they weren’t. I had decided that I wanted these pulls.

I found them on Lowes website and they said my local store had 14 and since I only needed 10 I went immediately to their store to get them. When I got there they told me that they had misplaced them and that there was no way that I could get them. The website said they were on sale from $5.99 to 89 cents each. The store was telling me that if I bought them at the store I would have to pay $2.98 each so I came home and ordered them through the Lowes website. Guess what? They were actually shipped from my local store and they were only 89 cents each. Apparently someone found them and I got a good deal! Yay me!! I was so happy.

However, my joy was short lived when I discovered that the holes in the drawers did not match up with the 3 inch drawer pulls. So I had to fill the old holes and borrow a drill from my brother-in-law and made new holes. Then I re-sanded the chest and redid all of the steps of painting with primer and painting it with Ivory Lace paint to get this result.

To get the wash I cheated. I read on a blog that many people use shoe polish to get the desired look on their wood and that is what I did. I used brown kiwi shoe polish. If you decide to do this you need to be prepared to do it quickly. The shoe polish dries and is absorbed into the wood almost instantly. The end result was exactly what I wanted. I added the hardware and this is what I got.