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Project Information

Several years back when my parents bought their home we went exploring and found what we assume was at one point a two room cabin. It is long past liveable now but it's about 20×20 with a wall down the middle and a old brick chimney in the middle of that wall with a long ago disconnected breaker box on a side wall. When they'd got it it was pretty far gone and still is. The windows were broke and the door was gone. The only resent residents were rodents and probably a few snakes (thankfully we seen neither). In the middle of the back rooms covered in leafs was this old dresser. It actually had 1 broken drawer in it. The drawer was in pieces and covered in mouse droppings so I left it there. Me and my nephew drug it out and used a compressor to blow it off. Afterwards my dad said we should burn it. I assured him I could make something out of it.
In my bookshelf project I'd mentioned that working with reclaimed stuff meant there were a lot of "warts". This by far was no different. Half the glue joints were loose. One of the sides had a pretty good size hole in it. The top was in pieces. Everything had bug holes in it. And I don't know how or why but the front was a good 3/8s inch wider than the back. I don't understand why, I assume it was close to a hundred years old so I guess it could be a depression era piece and was threw together as cheaply as possible. I suppose it's proof that not everything make years ago was quality.
Needless to say it needed many repairs. For the side I took Luan board and put them on the inside and cleaned the original outer boards to them to get them flat. It still left a ugly mess where the hole had been. In hind sight I probably should have pulled it all apart and put new panels in but I didn't consider that till after everything was glued. My solution was to fill the holes with wood putty. It made it smooth but very unsightly meaning that I would have to paint it for sure. The original horizontal pieces on the front were removed and cut down and used for the vertical parts. I then used a mixture of old laun board and salvaged plywood for the shelves. At that point I was ready to paint the main portion. I went back to my local Hardware store for some dark red paint. Midway through the mix the main guy got called away so he had anything guy finish adding the needed colors and mixing it. When he was done I could tell something looked off but thought maybe it was my imagination…. it wasn't. By the end of the second coat I had a lovely dark pink stand. Now there's nothing wrong with pink. I actually like it in certain cases. None of those cases are in my living room though. I retuned the can of paint. By chance my mom mentioned she had some left over paint that I might like so I have it a go. Much better color in my opinion and definitely closer to what I had in mind. The top was built from some old construction grade pine that I saved when I tore out a wall in my garage. On one corner of the top you can see a real dark spot. That's where a hole had been driven to run electric in the wall. I turned a piece of poplar I had laying around and plugged it. There should have been more nail holes too but my daughter came into the shop when I was mixing some glue and sawdust together to plug a couple of the bigger ones and she really wanted to help. Fast forward 10 minutes and every nail hole was filled with the mixture and she was complaining her hands needed washed. Lol. Anyway, the top was stained minwax golden oak and coated with 3 coats of poly. In the end it was a job from completely salvaged material. I know the rustic style isn't for everyone but I unapologetically like it and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. It looked good in my house and gets me closer to my goal, being surrounded by things in my house that I built.
If you made it to the end thanks for reading the long post!

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2,012 Posts
Just for reference, here is the color pink that it was first painted (actually looked worse than what the picture shows). I kept thinking it would dry darker…. it did not.

 

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Congratulations on a grand restoration job.
 

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This is great! A really nice peice that has a wonderful story behind it. I love stuff like this! Most of my builds have odd back stories as well. Great work.
 

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I like the color of the finished product better too! The coral color might have worked in a beach house??
 

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NIce work on repurposing this.
 

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Wow! What a transformation. The paint and stain go well together. May it be said that paint hides a multitude of sins. Thanks for sharing.
 
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