August 13, 2012

DIY $10 Campaign Dresser Makeover

I want to extend a HUGE thank you to Roeshel at DIY Showoff for featuring my DIY $9 String Globe Bar Pendants in this week's highlights! Hello new readers/subscribers :D

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Too short, right? Mine too! It was short but I got a lot done and I ended up checking two out of the three things off of my weekend warrior project list, one of which being making over the $15 campaign dresser I got from Goodwill:

I painted the top, front, and sides with the same white paint (Olympic One Primer + Paint in One) that I used to paint the top of my dresser turned entertainment center and I painted the drawer fronts with the same Indigo Streamer navy blue paint that I used on my console table makeover. I used Brasso to shine up the hardware and styled the top with items I had lying around.

I started the makeover by cleaning the entire dresser twice with some Method cleaner and then once more with some Goo Gone (it was so dirty and randomly sticky ... gross!).

After it was "clean," I removed all of the original hardware and set it aside so I could start filling all of the dings, dents, scratches, etc. with wood filler.

After every nook and cranny was filled, I let it everything dry and harden overnight so I could turn my attention towards cleaning up the hardware:

Despite being a little dirty and patinated, the hardware was actually in pretty good condition and didn't have many scratches on it.

To clean it up, I bought a bottle of Brasso and poured a generous amount into an old tupperware container (that I later threw out). Then I dipped each bracket in the Brasso (patinated side down) until everyone was swimming in the Brasso pool.

I let the hardware soak for about 25 minutes and when I went to check on it, some of the pieces had turned blue!

I'm assuming it's because the Brasso was reacting to the patina but I got a little worried to be honest haha

My tupperware container wasn't large enough for the handles to swim in so I squirted a little of the Brasso onto each handle and rubbed it around the surface:

I let the handles sit for about 10 minutes before I wiped them off. After all of the hardware was clean and Brasso-free, I headed back out to the garage so I could start sanding everything down. And by I, I mean my boyfriend :)

Once everything was sanded and the dust was wiped off, I started to prime the dresser drawers with the same white paint that I painted the entire body of the dresser with. I don't think this step was necessary but I only had a little sample pot of navy paint and I didn't want to risk having the yellow show through.

After the primer dried, I applied my first coat of Indigo Streamer:

The drawers were looking pretty awful at this point but they looked much better after the second (and third!) coat of paint went on and they were put back in the dresser:

I'm on the fence about the styling but I was working with what I had. I think it works for now (although I don't like the patriotic theme) but I'm sure I'll be changing it next week haha

Want to see what happened behind the scenes?

All of my boys piled onto the bed to watch me take photos :)

So cute! Anyway, back to the dresser:

The hardware isn't perfect but I don't think it ever will be unless I were to spray paint it gold. I like how the imperfections give the piece character though so I'm leaving it as-is :)

I wasn't able to find a replacement piece of hardware for the bottom so I left the other bottom bracket off. I don't mind the missing two pieces but I would love to find a replacement eventually.

Guess how much I spent on the makeover? Less than $10!!! $9.49 to be exact :)

Budget breakdown:
  • $2.94 for a sample pot of Valspar's Indigo Streamer
  • $3.06 for a quarter of the quart of white paint I used to paint the dresser and prime the drawers with (the entire quart was $12.24) 
  • $3.49 for a bottle of Brasso
TOTAL: $9.49

I paid $14.99 for the dresser so the added $9.49 makeover cost brings the total cost of the dresser to $24.48!!!

Ready for some before and afters?

Top before:

Top after:

Sides before:

Side after:

Drawers/hardware before:

Drawers/hardware after:

It's crazy how much better a piece of furniture can look with a little elbow grease and a fresh coat of paint!

What do you think of the makeover? What weekend projects did you get done?


  1. wow, that looks great, and i love all the colors up in here. i've got a piece of furniture i want to redo, but i can't take that leap! i'm too scared/unskilled/wimpy!

  2. Thanks! I think you should take the leap! There's a ton of tutorials out there that are much more detailed than mine so you should be in good hands :)

    If you're worried about ruining the piece of furniture you mentioned, find a piece for cheap on Craigslist (maybe in the free section?) or Goodwill and test your skills on it first!

  3. Wow, Caitlin, your taste is amazing! I've only seen two of your project so far but I'm already a huge fan. I'm following! Thanks for your kind comment on Home Talk, about my bookcase into sofa table :). I'm glad I found your blog!

  4. I love it Caitlin! I didn't even notice that the hardware was missing on the bottom until you mentioned it. Such cute helpers!

    P.S. I saw you on DIYShowoff and was like I know that project!!! :) Yah!

  5. Alyssa - Thank you so much! Glad you like my blog :)

    Crystal - Haha, yeah, I tried adding the one piece back on but I thought it looked silly so I took it off. I didn't fill the holes in though just in case I do find the missing piece later on.

    P.S. I'm still surprised that my project was featured since so many good ones were submitted! Definitely thanking my lucky stars today :)

  6. Whoa. If that dresser goes missing, um... I had no part in it... go ask someone else...


  7. This came out so awesome. The brasso bath worked like a charm. Love the blue!!

  8. Hahaha thanks Kelly!

    Thanks Karah! That Brasso bath was stiiiiinnnkkkyyy! I had never used it before but now I know why the lady at Lowe's asked to see my I.D. when I bought it haha

  9. I love it Caitlin!! Such a great find!

    Love your guts

  10. Thanks, Mandi! All of your thrifting tips have definitely been paying off :)

  11. Girl, this is freaking fabulous! I love the styling too! Such a great diy. Congrats on a job well done.

  12. hi!!! i wantedto know where did you buy the pretty hardware pulls??? thanks!!!

  13. Paola - The pulls came with the dresser so I don't have a source for them unfortunately.

  14. Hi!! Your dresser came out beautiful!! May I ask what color and brand is the white paint?

  15. I love how your dresser came out. You really did an awesome job on painting it, it is so smooth. I know I'm a little late to the party ,lol but it's the first time I'm seeing this. Could you tell me where you bought the Brasso, hardware store or grocery store or other ? Great job and great pics.


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