The Connection Runners + YOGA

NurseryWatch: Vintage Dresser Makeover

Since I'm nearing the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, I'm trying to take advantage of all of the energy that will surely scamper off to the World of the Non-Pregnant People once the third tri hits.

Examples of what I'm doing with said second-trimester energy:

  • Diligently making my lunch every day so that I get a good dose of veggies and fruit
  • Keeping abreast of piles of laundry (I just used the word "abreast" and felt slightly inappropriate... weird.)
  • Running whatever miles my body will allow at whatever pace I can hold for the time being
What I'll most likely be doing in the third trimester:
  • For lunch - resorting to cold pizza and Coke Zero from the sole (super double secret teachers-only) soda machine in my building
  • Allowing laundry to accumulate on such a ridiculous level that Kevin and I wear dirty yoga pants to work (yep, he'll wear 'em too)
  • Watch some movies and TV where fit and fabulous people run very fast and remember what it's like to be physically active

Since there are only 3 days left of the second tri, Kevin and I have been getting a move on the nursery. You know, before I turn into something akin to Sloth from The Goonies.


"Heyyyy youuuu guysss!"

Here was the nursery inspiration photo from Pinterest:


Key details that we're straight-up copying mimicking: white crib, vintage dresser, shaggy rug, clean/neutral walls.

Finding the right crib proved to be fairly easy, but we had a tad more trouble with the dresser. Our style is definitely one that whispers "vintage modern" (in a cool, hipster voice), so we wanted something with clean lines and a warm wood tone. It also had to be A) long and wide enough to accommodate a changing pad and poopy diaper-related accessories; and B) not too long or too wide for the small 1940's bedroom it would live in.

After stalking John & Sherry reading the Young House Love on refinishing a veneer dresser, I took to the Interwebz in search of a treasure of the same quality and charm.

Craigslist proved to be a trove of wonders for people like myself on the hunt for cheap vintage furniture.
My key search terms:

  • $1 - $100
  • dresser
  • modern
  • vintage
Although many pieces popped in my searches, nailing one down for purchase proved to be more difficult than I'd anticipated. Often I wouldn't hear back from sellers, or, when I finally did, it was only to learn that they'd sold the piece.

After a few weeks of scouring, I hit the jackpot: a 9-drawer dresser in good condition for $75. And it was almost the exact same dresser as John & Sherry from YHL had picked up. (Because we're meant to be best friends, you know!)

The dresser had a few bumps and bruises and paint stains, but nothing we couldn't handle.

The worst of it was probably the left side, which showed some water damage and some cracked veneer.

Originally, we were going to paint the dresser a calm yellow. Then I found a post on how to refresh vintage wood furniture on Pinterest, and we thought we'd try cleaning up the piece instead.

At Home Depot, we built an arsenal of the supplies needed as outlined in that post.

And on Sunday, with the sun shining over driveway, we got to work.

The whole process was fairly simple (read the original post for better details) and took us about 2 hours:

  • Sand sore spots with fine-grit sandpaper
  • Vacuum out dust bunnies and give each drawer a good wipe down
  • Clean with Murphy's
  • Treat with Teak Oil
  • Finish with a coat of wax
We were pretty happy with the outcome (don't mind our otherwise filthy garage in the background).

Doesn't look too crazy different - just cleaner, and the wood tone really shines now.

The biggest improvement was on the one side with the water and veneer damage. We still have some touch-up to do, since the wood putty we used was too light for the wood, but whatever. That corner will be against the wall anyway.

Lessons learned:

  • Be patient with Craigslist.
  • But don't forget to stalk it every day when you're searching for something specific.
  • Be prepared to put in some elbow grease to achieve the look you want.
  • Vintage furniture is awesome. I may never buy new again.

So that's it! What do you think?

Have you taken on any DIY projects at home lately? If so, what are they? Or are you DIY-phobic (I totally understand if you are!)

awesome sauce, HAPPY, inspiration, NurseryWatch, pregnancy, pretty, RUN, running, and more:

NurseryWatch: Vintage Dresser Makeover + YOGA