When we started planning the nursery, we knew that we needed a few key pieces of furniture. Unfortunately, the big ticket items typically come with a big price tag. Still, we did our research and put realistic budgets for those items: cribs, changing table, and rocker/glider. This is the story of our dresser.
We gave ourselves a budget of $700 for the dresser, and I immediately started looking. I wanted to see what was out there before we bought something. I loved the idea of getting a dresser in a second-hand store and redoing it, but I was unsure if I would be happy with a used pieces of furniture for this piece. It had to be not only good-looking, but functional as well.
For about a week, I was thinking of taking a trip up to Ikea, where they have some moderately-priced dressers that I could easily use for a changing table (about $300-400). This would still get me under-budget, even if I wanted to replace the handles with a more nautical-themed pull (which I did).
Then, one Friday morning as I lay in bed looking at the Facebook page of my favorite second-hand store Class and Trash, this popped up on my phone:
WHA???!!!! First of all, look at that dresser! 10 drawers: 4 of them are small and 6 large ones. It has a bit of style to it, perfect for a beachy decor. Then, look at the price. $100!!!????!!!!???? How can that be? There MUST be something wrong with it. Wait, there is: a missing pull. I didn’t care, because I was going to replace them anyway.
Well, the way that Class and Trash works is that you can comment on the picture to tell everyone else in a nice way to back off, because this is yours. The shop doesn’t consider it to be yours unless you call them (which I did at 7:10 AM, even though they didn’t open until 10) and pay for it. So, I made sure to get ready and be there when they opened at 10. I made a b line for the dresser, which seemed to have golden rays streaming out from it.
I opened all of the drawers, and I found that they all worked perfectly. So easy! It felt like it was brand new! So then I quickly walked (waddled?) over to the front counter to claim the dresser as mine. I didn’t want anyone else getting my gem. I told them my name, and they said, “Didn’t you just call about that dresser? Great! I won’t have to call you back.” Yes, I was a liiiiiittle anxious for my dream dresser.
In order to save $50 on delivery, Tim came with me the next day to pick it up in his car. It fit perfectly.
Next: shopping for drawer pulls.Remember that I had a $700 budget for the dresser, so I didn’t have to go cheap for the pulls. I had been looking online to see what I liked, and I realized that Anthropologie has some amazing pulls in their stores. They are a little expensive, but I still had $600 in the budget.
We then pulled out (pun intended) one of each of the pulls that we liked and looked at them together. These are only some of them:
We then pulled out our favorites:
We had a hard time deciding, but we ended up liking two styles. So, we bought 10 of each of them, figuring that we would try out one of each style, and return the 10 “rejects.” Now, why not just buy one of each? Well, we didn’t want to pick out the one we liked, only to come back and find out we couldn’t get 10 of them. It was easier just to spend the money up front and then return them in a day or two.
So, once we got home, we got a drawer out and tried to two favorites:
We decided that, although we were in love with the old-looking style of the mother-of-pearl/bronze, there was something so whimsical about the bubble glass. So, bubble glass it was:
After that, the only thing left was to get painting supplies for the dresser. I knew that I wanted to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, because I just had fallen in love with her line.
I was unsure of which color I needed, because I wanted it to match perfectly with the cribs we had ordered from Pottery Barn. Luckily, PB Kids (and I’m sure PB does this too) will sell you a wood sample of their colors, so you can match it to other furniture items. The saleslady explained that you can have it for 30 days and then return it for a full refund. Perfect!
So, with my wooden sample in our crib color in hand, I took a trip up to Thrill of the Hunt in Ashland to get my paint. The salesman was very helpful, and he got me hooked up with something to clean and prep the dresser for painting, the paint, and the clear wax coating.
Now, all we had to do was find a free weekend to paint. Easier said than done.
Fast forward about 3 weeks, and we finally had a weekend where we weren’t traveling to be with family or planning/throwing a bridal shower.
Tim, being the amazingly protective daddy-to-be, didn’t want me to use the furniture prep, so he rubbed that whole dresser down, including all 10 of the drawers. Then after a short drying time, it was ready to paint!
The pictures above make the dresser look like it was already a great shade of white, and if we weren’t oh-so-picky, it would have been fine. It did, however, have a distressed and slightly dirty look to it, and I knew that some white paint would clean that baby right up.
Because Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is low VOC, it is safe for preggos to paint using it. Woohoo! I really didn’t want to just stand back and let Tim have all the fun, so I’m glad I got to get my hands dirty too. Literally. My hands did get dirty. I’m not the cleanest of painters, but I do have fun!
I was amazed at the difference in colors after just one swipe with the brush.
Well, two coats of paint later, and a bit of wax to make it un-chalky and more of a shiny, glossy finish, and our dresser was completed!
Then, duh, duh, DUUUUUUUUH… we go to attach the pulls and discover that the 10 that we originally bought weren’t enough. Yes, we have 10 drawers. The four top drawers just need one pull. The bottom 6, however, need 2 pulls. So, we actually need 16 pulls total. Oh no!
So, off we go to Anthropologie to get our extra pulls. They didn’t have any in the store, so we went ahead and ordered them. We got 10 more (although we only needed 6), just in case some broke or we wanted a different look, since they are all unique.
Here the run-down on the final cost:
Pulls (2nd Round): $84.20 (I don’t know why it cost less to get the 2nd group of 10)
Pottery Barn Paint Chip: $21.06 (returnable)
Chalk Paint: $71.88
Total: $346.26 ($367.32 with paint chip)
Not too bad, considering the fact that we were $353.74 UNDER budget!