Thrift Shop Dresser Makeover

You know the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? That’s the phrase that kept coming up while I was perusing through the aisles of my local Salvation Army Thrift Store. lol! I was literally in treasure-hunting mode; partly because I had so much fun transforming my chalkboard (from the same store) and second, I needed to test spray-painting a furniture, in preparation for an interior design project coming up. (We’re probably going to paint lots of chairs and a community table!)

On my previous visits, I would stop and marvel at a piece of furniture that screamed “Buy me! I need some TLC! Transform me, please…” And then I would ponder, ‘where the heck would I put this in my tiny little house…?’ and reluctantly walk away…. only to return to the same exact spot a few minutes later, trying to justify over and over why I need to purchase the item… ‘What do I need to move in the living room to make space for this…’ etc. (hahaha) Luckily for my pockets (and my humble abode), I haven’t caved into temptation yet. But this time, it was different… I had a PURPOSE. (Finally! Well, I still needed to find further justification. Please read on.) 🙂

I didn’t know this but thrift stores have occasional sales where everything in the store is __% off. On the day I visited, they were having a 40% off sale. And that’s when I saw this potential of a beauty:


It came with six metal knobs (that matched the metal legs, which caught my attention in the first place) but two of them were damaged. The drawers had cool horizontal ridges that gave it a pleasant look. The whole piece said “mid-century cool” so I totally wanted to make it mine……. EXCEPT, I ended up not getting it that day. hahaha! Only because I really couldn’t find a use for it in the house.

Well, a few days passed and I kept on thinking about the dresser. So that’s when I knew I should just get it because I would totally regret it if I didn’t. With a $40 price tag, it wasn’t going to hurt the piggy bank anyway. Although I missed my opportunity to get it at 40% off, I still got 30% off! So I was a happy camper. 🙂

So now the decision on what color. I had purchased a can of celery green paint previously. It was a nice color on the cap and I thought it would be a soothing look to the dresser.


But after using up the can, the color just didn’t give it that sophistication I wanted. It was too meek… So I decided to go the other direction and go bold instead. Since I didn’t want to reprime it all over again, I stuck with the same color family and chose a lime green. By the way, I like the Rust-Oleum brand better. It kept its promise of double-coverage and I didn’t need a 2nd can.


It took me all afternoon sanding, cleaning, priming, painting, and coating with a clear protection in the sun to finish the dresser. (And got a bit of a heat stroke while at it. Forgot to hydrate in between… It was a very sunny California Spring day!) As for the two damaged knobs, I replaced them with a couple of drawer knobs I had tucked away for about 15 years!! (I got them from a trip to San Francisco a long time ago from a hardware store called Bauerware. They’re still around! Check them out: These were going to adorn my lovely French country kitchen cabinets one fine day. But currently I don’t have the budget to do a kitchen remodel. So… for now, they found their new home on this dresser. 🙂


Here’s the finished product and the before & after! It’s not perfect but it’ll do just fine housing my printer on top and supplies in the drawers. And I ended up needing more storage space for my craft items anyway, so hey! I got my justification afterall! lol.



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4 Responses to "Thrift Shop Dresser Makeover"

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  1. Mary

    March 25, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Very nice! I love the knobs from SF!

    • Susan


      March 25, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Thanks Mary! 🙂

  2. Janet Suh

    April 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I love your diy drawer transformation!!! I am a closet diy wannabe but haven’t done anything as cool as your drawer. It’s inspiring!

    • Susan


      April 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Thanks Janet! DIY’ing is definitely fun! 🙂


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