Friday, April 22, 2011

The Story of a Dresser

This is a bitter-sweet tale of a craigslist dresser.

I bought a neat old dresser off of craigslist. I loved it. It was painted a creamy white and had toile wallpaper covering the drawer fronts. My hubby and I drove 30 miles to pick it up. On the way home we stopped along the freeway to pull the tarp off the dresser since it was about to blow away (it had stopped raining). When we got home we were missing the second to top drawer. It had blown out. I almost cried. My husband drove back 20 miles to where we pulled the tarp off and retraced our route. He couldn't find the drawer or even the drawer front. He got home at midnight, exhausted and not very happy. He got pulled over for turning around on the freeway in one of those turn around spots for emergency vehicles and the officer threatened to give him a $500 ticket. Luckily he got out of it. You can see why he wasn't in a very good mood when he got home. Poor guy.

Bright and early the next morning I drove back the 20 miles and took my daughter with me to help look. I drove the entire way 35 mph on the side of the freeway with my hazards on. I spied a cooler, many cardboard boxes, a mattress, a lid from a rubbermaid tote, a gas jug, a shoe, and all kinds of stuff. I had never paid much attention to the liter along the freeway before. There was not a sign of it or any broken lumber. For a couple days I was so bummed.

I would have replaced the wallpaper anyway because it was poorly done. The dresser had a wood veneer on it and it had peeled in several places on the drawer fronts. That's why she covered them up. It looked bad because the drawers were very bumpy. So I spent a couple hours one day ripping off the wallpaper and peeling, chiseling, and sanding off the veneer until the drawers fronts were smooth.

My dad, who is a carpenter, built a new drawer and I found pulls in my stash that were almost identical to the ones on the dresser.

I looked online for days and couldn't believe how much wallpaper cost. I wasn't about to spend $35 or more on a roll of paper when the dresser only cost $50. But I wanted toile. That's why I liked the dresser so much in the first place. Then I went to Melaine's Blog and she posted about toile contact paper she found at Dollar Tree.  I couldn't get to Dollar Tree fast enough. I bought all 7 rolls that were left and covered the drawer fronts and bottoms. I was worried it wouldn't stick but it is stuck really well. I actually like the dresser better now!!!! It has been a true labor of love.  Melaine's post about the contact paper came at the perfect time.  Thank you Melaine for helping a girl out!!!!

Here's a picture of the dresser before (with cream and green toile)

This was the picture listed on Craigslist

The lady had slapped wallpaper over the peeling veneer.

After a couple hours peeling, chiseling and sanding smooth.

with black and white toile contact paper

She has been a real labor-of-love.

Thank you Melaine for featuring my dresser on your blog
My Sweet Savannah. Go HERE to see her post.


  1. Absolutely CHARMING.....I would have done the same looking for that drawer. I am so glad you were able to get a new drawer made. It is gorgeous.

  2. I love the black & white so much better! You did a wonderful job!
    Wishing you and & your family a wonderful Easter.


  3. I love it
    .. I have made the Craigslist trips all across town before.. So stressful themselves without adding losing part of your new item. You did an amazing job !!

  4. Gorgeous!! I would soooo love to have a dresser like this. I linked yours to my dressers project post too, very nice!

  5. This looks lovely! I can't believe all the work.