Childhood Dresser Flip

I’ve only flipped one other piece of furniture in my life before, but this piece is different. This is my dresser from childhood. I’ve had it with me my whole life. It’s been painted so many different colors. At one point, my mom even hand drew flowers in paint marker on it. No wonder I love homes with color.

So why flip it now? It’s been tucked into a corner of the bedroom not getting much use for a few years, but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. Recently our sweet dog (who is 11) started taking a medicine that makes him want to eat everything. We had a bookshelf in our dining room and came home to a few books on the floor one day that had been slightly chewed up. This called for some furniture rearranging so that Hoss couldn’t get to things that he could eat. I feel like in that moment I had a glimpse of what parents go through with childproofing haha. Anyway, with the furniture swap, my dresser was now in the dining room, in the middle of our home, on display for all to see. It became apparent that the dresser needed a little love. Not only did the gray drawers not match anything, but the white paint was starting to chip and yellow.

I gave the entire dresser a light sand to smooth out any chipping places, and then I coated it with bright white enamel cabinet paint. This made a huge difference already in the finish of the piece. I know some furniture flippers will strip all the previous paint off but knowing how many layers were under there from my childhood, I just went with a light sand for good adhesion of the new paint. I let that paint dry hard for several days as well, so it could have a semigloss, durable & wipeable finish.

I went back and forth on what color to paint the drawers. I thought about all white, tan, or beige, but ultimately went with the same pink color as the ceiling in the dining room. Since it’s a little weird to have a dresser in a dining room, I wanted it to coordinate with the space really well. I think the light pink is my favorite color that the drawers have ever been.

Now for details. This dresser has always had the same white drawer pulls, and they’ve been loose since I was little. I figured after at least 28 years; it was time for some new hardware. I got brass handles to match the color of the coffee bar cabinet pulls. This dresser deserved a little metallic bling.

Last came the beautiful flowers and leaves. I was inspired by another DIYer and friend who made her own floral dresser with this technique and I absolutely loved it. I used air dry clay and pressed it into silicone molds of flowers and leaves. I dusted the molds with a bit of baby powder to help the clay come out more easily. This part was the most time consuming, but also very relaxing. I spent a few hours with messy clay covered hands, making flowers of different sizes and shapes. I let the clay dry according to the package instructions, and then I glued to flowers onto the dresser. I didn’t have a specific vision in mind of where they should go. I just put them on randomly until I was happy with the way the dresser turned out.

Through this project, I learned to slow down and take my time. I wasn’t feeling super well physically when I started this project, so I took it in small steps at a time. I’d paint and then wait a few days for everything to dry, and for myself to recover. I’d sit and make flowers, and wait for them to be ready to put on the dresser. I waited to find the right hardware, and then the right size screws to use it (the handles shipped with the wrong size screws for my drawers). But all the while, this project carried me to beautiful memories. Memories of sleepovers with friends, sharing a room with my older sister, memories of my mom repainting it when we redid my room. It holds memories of Dylan and I moving into our first apartment and then our house. It is truly a special piece that deserved to be made beautiful again.

Published by Bonitabyrachel

I'm Rachel! An avid DIYer, crafter, & maker. I love diving in and trying new things. I live in Indiana with my husband Dylan & our sweet dog Hoss. When I'm not building, you can find me caring for my plants, cooking a yummy meal, or painting some watercolors. Thanks for joining my DIY journey!

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