Dresser transformation

I don’t have a workshop. In good weather, I have a picnic table in the backyard and a tangle of extension cords. In bad weather, I have a 5×7′ porch, a porchlight and a tangle of extension cords.

I don’t have precision woodworking tools. I don’t even have a table saw. I have an inexpensive miter saw, a downright cheap circular saw, a drill, a brad gun and a palm sander.

Given these limitations I am extremely pleased with my latest project. I turned this:

into this.

To keep the budget down and avoid ending up with a glaringly new piece of furniture that wouldn’t look right in the bedroom, I used as many pieces as possible of the old ugly dresser. First I had to do this:

And then I had to do this, because the drawers were in good condition, but too wide for the new armoire I wanted:

The drawer assembly and guides, one drawer at a time, were set into a mostly-new plywood carcase — all adjusted for width but retaining the joints that fitted the pieces together because I can’t recreate those joints with my equipment:

Until all the drawers were in and I could use a salvaged side from the original dresser to divide the drawers from the upper cabinet.

(By the way, those colorful blotches are very old nursery decals of happy duckies, bears, bunnies and lambs. When we bought the dresser, someone had covered them with wood grain Con-Tac paper.)

After a paint job, with the shelves installed.

The original dresser top forms the top of the armoire, and I cut down the original trim from top and foot of the dresser and used them too. I built the cabinet doors out of plywood with plywood trim to match the vintage built-in cabinets in our house, aged the brass hinges, and used vintage reproduction glass knobs. The result is a half-old, half-new piece of furniture that looks old but clean and fresh at the same time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s