I had my eye on this one on Marketplace for a week or so before I made an offer. I loved the carved details, even if I didn’t love the orangy wood color. It had $100 on it at first, but I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. When it dropped to $50, I knew it was meant for me.
When I got it home and got the drawers out, I noticed one of the drawer slides was missing. 😕 but that didn’t bother my kids, who used the drawers as a vanishing cabinet, since they were just the right height to fit my 3-year old in!
I looked around for drawer glides like this, but most of them had angled sides, not flat. While I looked, I started painting, because I’m just impatient like that. But I’ll show you how I fixed it first.
I looked around to see where other people said they found theirs, but a lot of people said they made their own, so off to YouTube I went! Here’s the video I found by Jami Ray Vintage, which has also helped me with a couple of other dressers with structural issues I thought I couldn’t fix, and now I think I can save them!
Here’s what I made:
Disclaimer: I have included some affiliate links so you can find the products I used and start some projects of your own! They don’t cost you any more, but it gives me a kickback. 🙂
It’s not that pretty, but it’s functional! I used some leftover hardboard like this from Menards that is about 1/8 in thick. I used my jigsaw to cut it to the right size. I cut a 1×4 scrap to the right length with my chop saw, then used the jigsaw again to get the right width. (The width of the boards doesn’t matter as much as the space between them where the other part slides.) I also had to grind down the wood to the right depth because it was about an eighth of an inch too deep to fit in the dresser. Then I glued and stapled the sides onto the hard board, and finally, I glued and nailed it to the drawer.
Here’s what I did on the outside:
The body and outer edges of the drawers was done in Dixie Belle’s French Linen, and the lighter inner part is Sawmill Gravy. These drawers had odd shapes to blend—I think I re-did some about 3 or 4 times till I got it right.
The top I sanded down to raw wood, and I kinda liked it! I love the rusticness of raw wood tops.
Then I had to decide whether I wanted to do the detailed carved parts in a lighter or darker color. My instinct said darker, but the original finish had them lighter, with I liked, too. I did both to see how I’d feel.
I ended up going with the dark, but toning it down just a tad by mixing the dark Gravel Road with French Linen.
Next, I added some low lights of the gravel road/French linen mix in the crevices of the body, and Sawmill gravy highlights on the raised parts. Then I painted a top coat of Varathane’s water-based Matte polyurethane. I also added some Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in brown to the crevices and dark areas of the front and sides.
In the picture above, you can kinda tell the difference between the right and left sides—I dry-brushed the highlights on the right with Sawmill Gravy. Pretty subtle, but gives it a slight pop.
As for the top, I decided to stain it darker, and I LOVE it! I used a combination of Rustoleum’s Briar Smoke and Dark Walnut, which I saw someone do on Pinterest:
I also decided to stain the sides of the drawers the same, because there was some weird speckling on the side of one drawer. This mostly masked it, without adding extra paint to the already-tight-fitting drawers.
Speaking of tight-fitting, the drawers weren’t sliding as smoothly as I would’ve liked, so I rubbed some paraffin wax on all the places where the drawers would rub, just so they would slide more smoothly, and it worked like a charm. I saw Meleah Kline from Mustard Tree Market do this, and I was like, “Hey, I have some of that from when I thought I was going to make candles!” 😂
Now they slide like a dream!
I put one more coat of poly on to protect my wax (in retrospect, I should’ve let the wax dry a couple more days so it wouldn’t slide around quite as much—I only let it sit for about 2 days). And…
Here’s the finished product! I love how the brown wax really accentuated the blending! And check out the dimension on the bottom!
I also love that the top has almost a bit of a silvery cast to it.
It is for sale! $200 Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through social media if you’re interested!
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Here’s a peak of the before of the headboard that I’m doing for my son’s new “big boy” bed! See the finished project here!
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