White and Coral Upcycled Dresser

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Project by paxorion posted 10-21-2014 12:33 AM 4553 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife had a grand vision for a “vintage modern” theme for our daughter’s room before she was born. For a long time, she casually scoured Craigslist, antique, and thrift stores for an older piece that could serve as an upcycling baseline. It took well over 2 years (late November 2013), but we finally scored an old Broyhill dresser off Craigslist (no pictures). After getting it home, we realized that the piece was in far worse shape than expected, and smelled on the inside. That didn’t stop my wife from confidently saying “I know you can whip it into shape, I trust your judgement as a woodworker”. I promptly declared “I need a new tool for the project!” and got permission to buy an HVLP.

After months of teetering, I finally came to terms with the reality that I absolutely hate the idea of upcycling, and that I should have never agreed to the project. The dresser sat in our basement for 6 months with zero progress made. Every time I looked at it, I was reminded of how little progress I had made and realized that it was a road-block in my woodworking journey that I had to conquer. One day, I saw it and declared to my wife that I wasn’t going to try to just rehab the dresser and the drawers, but would refurbish it with new drawer boxes as part of the project (hoping it would give me some motivation). So out came the deadblow mallet in late May and away the drawers went. All well and good, until I realized that I was daunted by the sheer number of steps before the project was done and off my plate. After another 2 months of being in limbo, I set my resolve to finish the project before my daughter’s birthday, drafted a project plan, and set it into motion. Two months of progress is documented in my blog series.

Tonight, I finally finished the dresser, and it is now in it’s new home in my daughter’s room, 2 weeks before her birthday. For all the effort that was put into refurbishing the dresser, I hope the piece will last for at least 20 years, and can be a piece of furniture she might one day look forward to taking with her when she moves (or gets kicked) out. What makes the piece even more special, is that I can always remind my daughter that she had a part in making the dresser.

-- paxorion

3 comments so far

View brianjgoddard's profile


16 posts in 1828 days

#1 posted 10-21-2014 02:37 PM

very nice!

View DonB's profile


569 posts in 3202 days

#2 posted 10-22-2014 10:02 AM

Thanks for the step-by-step logging. We benefit from your dedication, and appreciate the time it takes to produce it.
Like the drawer fronts.

-- DonB

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2685 days

#3 posted 10-22-2014 08:47 PM

Looks nice and very interesting detail. Well done.

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