Operation Dresser Rehab – Chalkboard Dresser

We have six badly-in-need-of-rehab dressers in our house. To sum it up, the reason we have six dressers is because a) I don’t like to get rid of furniture since I always have plans to rehab it, and  b) if I see a decent (being a relative term) piece of furniture on the curb, I can’t pass it by.

Dresser ugliness

Only one of these was purchased new, and it’s a cheapie that we bought in college. Two are from craigslist, one’s a hand-me-down from my parents, and I found two of them on the side of the road.

And lest you wonder if we don’t believe in drawer handles, I just forgot to take the “before” pictures prior to removing the hardware.


So I recently began “operation: dresser rehab” around here.

Changing hardware is the simplest, easiest way to freshen up a piece of furniture, and since (between all of the dressers) I had so many different kinds, I figured I would just paint it and switch it around instead of buying new hardware. (I even included our kitchen cabinet hardware in the exchange, and handles from two of these dressers are currently adorning our cabinets. I’ll share those later.)


Completed Dresser #1 – Chalkboard Dresser

You might notice that a few of the dressers are drawn on (mostly by my preschoolers, but I was bemused to also find things obviously created by a 32-year-old man :))

Overall I’m pretty laid back about this kind of stuff, and this in particular was no big deal because I’m planning on painting all of the dressers anyway. In fact, the drawings inspired my first completed dresser – a chalkboard dresser for my daughter’s room (using the paint I had leftover from the chalkboard table.)

I got this dresser for $10 from craigslist when I was pregnant with my younger daughter. I had just wanted something small and sturdy (and cheap) to hold baby clothes, which this is. I had planned on painting it a long time ago but never got around to it – so it’s remained a scuffed-up white with bright yellow knobs for, oh, just over three years.

Dresser before

Dresser before (after knobs removed)

Me demonstrating what the knobs looked like before

I spray painted the drawer fronts with 3 coats of chalkboard paint and painted the rest of the dresser a bright pinkish/coralish color that I got from the mis-tint section at Lowe’s.

Since I didn’t have any other single-hole hardware (and I didn’t feel like patching all of the single holes and drilling double ones) I decided to reuse the original drawer knobs. My first idea was to paint a variety of smiley faces on them, but then I figured – why do I get to have all of the fun?

So I brought the knobs over to my parent’s house and had my mom, dad, brother, husband, daughters, and myself each paint one (actually, my older daughter, whose dresser this is, painted two.) I love the idea that P. can look at things created by those who love her, everyday.

The last thing I needed was somewhere to store the chalk and eraser, and P. suggested using a little ice-cream carton that she’d decorated with tissue paper.  I was planning on attaching it to the side of the dresser but she requested it be on the front so she could see it better 🙂

The finished product

The knobs that family members decorated:

Now it’s on to the next ugly dresser!


2 thoughts on “Operation Dresser Rehab – Chalkboard Dresser

  1. That came out really well! I’m pretty sure I can guess which knob was painted by the 32 year old man….

    Seriously, you should give lessons. I really wish I had the talent to create something out of nothing.

  2. Pingback: Mini Makeover Monday Debut! | Secondhand Fancy

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