Monday, October 28, 2013

Thrifted Dresser to TV Stand/Buffet/Entryway Table

Not gonna lie...I have been dying to share my latest furniture flip with you.   I typically like to keep my projects in the works as a big surprise, but this one I couldn't keep to myself.  If you following 2IY on Instagram, you know just how long I've been working on turning this thrifted dresser into a tv stand...or is it a buffet or is it an entryway table?  The great thing about this piece is it's sooooo versatile it can be used in almost any room in the house.  My house. 

I am just gonna say up front I love this piece.  I love the finish.  I love the color.  I love the uniqueness.   I love that it's functional and stylish at the same time.  I love it.  I love it so much that even though I bought it to flip and sell I just simply can't let it go.  So it's found a new home in my sunroom.

I bought this solid wood dresser at my favorite thrift store nearly a month ago.  When I grabbed the tag to claim it I didn't even realize that the $45 price table included a huge solid mirror in nearly perfect condition, too! I mean really? They sell mirrors just like that at PB for $299. 

I never planned to keep this piece as a dresser/mirror so I immediately sold the mirror and made a quick $35 back.  

With the mirror gone my focus was on the dresser.  That's when I realized I had missed some major flaws in it.  A huge chunk of the decorative trim on the bottom was missing and the bottom was not only thick cardboard, it was so bowed it was unusable.

At this point I started thinking the dresser was a lost cause: too much work, too much money needed to fix her, not worth the effort.  I contemplated putting it up for sale as is...thinking well, at least I sold the mirror.

Thankfully I gave her a chance.  I started by removing the entire piece of trim and the busted decorative piece at the bottom.  (I don't even know what's it's called so I'll just called it 'busted piece'.) Then I took the two bottom drawers out and removed the wood piece that separated the second and third drawers.  This left two nickle-size holes which I filled in with putty.  When I took the drawers out the back of the dresser was exposed and it just wasn't ideal for an open piece. 

I bought a piece of plywood to replace the back and bottom of the dresser so they were solid and level.   (The back is two different colors because I ran out of plywood and had to piece together with some scrap wood that I took out of the bottom of one of the unused drawers).

To add a little character and texture (and to make sure the paint covered evenly) I covered the back with beadboard wallpaper that I had left over from my recent $100 bathroom makeover.   It's paintable so it's perfect for this type of thing.  Plus, it's easy to work with and I think it really adds to the piece. Here's a shot of it painted because I forgot to take one before I painted it.

Finally the piece was taking shape and was ready for paint.   I used Fiesta Red (the same color I used on this vintage table) which I made into homemade chalk paint. 

Update: Since originally publishing this post, I have been repeatedly asked about the exact paint color, brand and sheen. This is the exact paint I used - sold on Amazon and at True the paint can for more info and to order.

I did three coats just to be sure all areas were covered well.  After a good day or so dry-time I used a sanding block to distress the piece lightly.  I don't like a lot of distressing so I just go with areas that would obviously show wear like corners and edges.   

Then I used my favorite stain-over-paint technique.  I worked in small areas - fast - and put the stain on with a foam brush.  I let it sit for a few minutes before wiping the stain off being careful always to wipe in the same direction.  

If you're curious, yes, I even stained the beadboard wallpaper and it came out great. I was a little concerned about how it would take the stain, but it didn't react any differently than the wood.

And remember my issue with the busted trim piece? It turned out not to be an issue at all.  I just put the good piece of trim back on and you wouldn't even know anything was missing.

I finished the piece up with new hardware and coat of polyurethane which I brushed on.  I have used spray on poly, but I really prefer to brush it on so it's not blotchy and I can put it on a little thicker.

Then it was time to move her in and stage her so I could take pictures to put her up for sale.  This is where the trouble started.  I moved her into my sunroom where I get awesome natural light and decided I would stage the dresser-turned-console and I realized....well, aren't you just perfect right there where that cheap fake wood table has been sitting for the last two years.

And so I took her picture....

and I took her picture again...

...and again and again because, let's be honest, that's what bloggers do.   We take pictures from every conceivable angle.

And that's when I realized...I just couldn't put her up for sale.  I couldn't do it.  She was just too perfect in that room.  I'm sure the piece would have put me well over my Seed Money Challenge goal, but another piece will have to step up because this one isn't leaving my sunroom.

Oh, in case you're wondering that "wood" table that got the boot...yeah, she (and the lamp - another seed money thrift to flip buy) sold literally 2 minutes after I posted them for sale making me back all the money I spent turning this old dresser into a gorgeous new piece.  It's all the about the staging, I tell you.  It's all about the staging...and new paint and awesome hardware, too. 

And here's one more... :)

 January 2014 Update: I finally got around to upcycling one of the drawers that came out of the dresser....take a look. Click the picture to hop over to the tutorial on the storage box.

Thanks for stopping by 2IY! If you like what you see, we'd love for you to pin it!


  1. Great work.lovely. I see why you couldn`t let it go.

  2. I love the finished color on this beauty. What stain did you use over the top of the paint? It looks great!