Before and After: $52 Turns a Curbside Find into an Organized Entry Drop Spot

published Aug 27, 2020
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About this before & after
Home Type
N/A
Project Type
Entryway
Furniture
Style
Vintage
Skill Level
DIY
Rental Friendly
Yes
Before: Pale yellow-cream French provincial-style three-drawer dresser
Credit: Abby Johnson

Entryway furniture has to do a surprising amount of heavy lifting: It has to not only look good, since it’s the first thing anyone sees when they walk in your door, but it also has to be organized enough to be a functional drop spot for keys, wallets, hats, and more. At Abby Johnson’s home, the entryway setup was neither of those things. “My husband and I were then using a tiny, wobbly cafe table as the place we tossed our keys upon entering our teeny apartment. While I knew that our makeshift “console” couldn’t last forever, I had no idea what to replace it with,” she says.

Enter: A side-of-the-road find with plenty of promise. “When I picked it up, it was very much a “stock” piece of furniture: no personality, ivory paint with distressed gold-painted trim, gold painted drawer handles, and a distinct scent of moth balls,” Abby says. “The construction was sturdy enough, though, so I thought I had lots of potential.” Plus, it was “the perfect size” for their little entryway. Abby snagged it and took it home with her for a redo.

Credit: Abby Johnson

“It took a little time for me to visualize the end product, but I knew it would be perfect for our purpose,” Abby says. “I’m a die-hard procrastinator, so this project took me much longer than it should have—I found the dresser in September 2019, and completed it in August 2020.”

She started by removing all the drawers, then vacuuming the inside and sanding and wiping down the outside. Abby tossed the two bottom drawers to create an open cubby on the bottom of the dresser; she used spare plywood to finish out the area where they’d been.

Next, Abby used wood filler to repair any chips and dents in the exterior. She also used it to fill in some of the more ornamental bits on the dresser, including the large ovals on the legs. Once that was done, she gave the whole dresser a couple coats of super dark green paint (Benjamin Moore’s Black Forest Green).

For a little extra oomph, Abby papered the inside cubby with a fantasy-tinged woodsy toile wallpaper from Spoonflower. “It’s a moody and mature yet playful finish,” she says. Abby created extra-crisp edges on her wallpaper detail using quarter-round molding painted to match the dresser, which she installed on the interior corners. The trim helps “frame” the wallpaper and hides any ragged edges.

Finishing touch: A sleek new gold pull from Rejuvenation. The total cost for the project, including the free curbside dresser, was just $52. It’s a sturdy addition to the entryway and provides plenty of storage on top, in the drawer, and within the cubby. Plus, it’s darn pretty!

“My favorite part is the wallpaper, hands down,” Abby says. “It makes me smile every time I look at it. I also love the color this brings into my otherwise slightly monochromatic home. My kitchen gets a huge variety of light as the sun moves throughout the day, so I enjoy looking at how different the paint color appears according to the time of day.”

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