Before and After: This Is Why You Should Never Turn Down Free Furniture

published Jun 25, 2018
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(Image credit: Lindsey Crafter)

This poor old dresser was dated and unwanted, until one intrepid crafter, armed with only a vision and an impressive drawer pull collection, took it in and made it over. The results are fantastically impressive.

(Image credit: Lindsey Crafter)

I actually squealed a bit when I saw this—and I don’t even really like purple! This is a piece that is 100% practical (storage), while somehow also being 100% fun (tassels!). That is my goal for all household items, so it is quite inspiring to see that goal achieved so beautifully—and affordably. Here’s how Lindsey McCord of Lindsey Crafter, who is responsible for this beauty, feels about the results:

This piece is a true delight and I never thought I would love purple more—I chose it as a bit of a personal challenge. I’m always collecting hardware and I just happened to have these fabulous tassel pulls in my inventory. The three square panels on the top drawer are really interesting and let me switch up the hardware without looking random. I stuck to standard patina brass bin pulls for the remaining drawers for functionality.

(Image credit: Lindsey Crafter)

The shadows of the original pulls are giving me such flashbacks to basically every single dresser I encountered in the ’80s and ’90s. Why was fashion so futuristic and neon but furniture so baroque and heavy? Fortunately for Lindsey, this dresser was no longer in high demand so it was scored for free:

I can’t resist free furniture, so when a client wanted to ditch this dated solid wood dresser I thought I would give it a second chance with a little bit of color! Giving bland furniture some personality is always rewarding!

This is a heavy wood dresser from the ’90s with baroque style gold-plated pulls. All drawer edges are routed and the footing has scalloped edges on each room-facing side.

So. Much. Scalloping.

(Image credit: Lindsey Crafter)

Just look how perfect it looks in its new home; I particularly love the combination of deep, dusty purple and rich, rusty orange. The various gold tones unite the whole space, and the bin pulls are perfect for the sort of Cabinet of Curiosities vibe that the accessories have going on. The dresser looks great, and even the scalloping on the bottom looks modern and fresh.

Here’s what Lindsey invested into this piece in time and money:

Painting always takes a couple of days between coats, especially when factoring humidity and temperature of your painting environment. It took a while to match the brass finishes of the pulls but once I found a complementary set the piece was pulled together quickly! Painting furniture correctly can get expensive, especially if you’re investing in quality tools. All drawers were in great shape and the entire unit was painted with less than a quart of paint. With paint and hardware this project ran about $60. Check out the tutorial for full DIY tips!

The drawer pulls are $24.95 for a pack of 10, so Lindsey still has four left over to use for another project.

(Image credit: Lindsey Crafter)

I included this close-up because it made me realize that the tassels weren’t all metal, and so that we can admire Lindsey’s excellent brushwork. Also, here’s her excellent painting advice:

Painted furniture isn’t ever going to be “PERFECT” If you’re looking for a more photo-finished piece you might find more success with spray paint, but with reduced color options. I prefer having access to different colors and finishes and don’t perseverate on brush strokes and minor drips! The current trend is to just paint everything flat white, but I encourage all DIY-ers to go bold and choose a jewel-toned hue to act as a feature in a room!

Thank you, Lindsey McCord and Lindsey Crafter!