Before and After: An Easy Glow-Up Brings Out the Best in This $17 Goodwill Dresser

published Aug 24, 2021
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About this before & after
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Before: Damaged wood dresser with six drawers and a center cabinet door

When it comes to home projects, inspiration doesn’t always strike immediately — you might need some extra time or distance to figure out exactly what you want to do with a space or even a piece of furniture.

That’s why when DIYer Marcy Campbell spotted this beat-up dresser at Goodwill a few years ago for a mere $17, she knew she had to snag it. Even though she didn’t have a plan for it, she knew the size was right for her eventual dining room redo. And the dresser had some nice features, like the design on the cabinet door and deep drawers that would come in handy for storage. So it sat in her garage for a few years until she got around to making over her dining room.

“I did everything else, painting walls, replacing table and chairs, even painting built-in hutches and stenciling them before finally taking on this piece,” Marcy says. That gave her a chance to think about what, exactly, she wanted to do with it.

To begin, Marcy lightly sanded down the whole piece and tried to patch the chipped veneer on the drawer fronts with wood filler. “It worked fine to fill the space, but unfortunately when I stained, it kind of stuck out, so I might need more practice!” Marcy says.

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To help cover up the patchiness on the drawers, Marcy decided to reach for paint instead. “I painted the drawer fronts more of a royal blue, lived with it a week and decided it needed to be darker so I painted over it with a navy blue,” she says. The rich navy she chose (Sherwin-Williams’s In the Navy) plays perfectly with the frame, which she was able to re-stain in a warm walnut tone.

As for the pulls, Marcy says they were tough to replace since they weren’t a standard size. After searching in vain for a suitable replacement she liked, she decided to stick with what she already had and just spray paint them gold.

“I love the new drawer color and how it goes with the gold handles,” Marcy says. As for what she’s most proud of? “Being able to spot it all dirty in the corner of a store and knowing it could look like a statement piece!”

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