Guest Project: Missy and Kirk’s Sears Mid-century Dresser

missy-and-kirk-compositeA gorgeous before and after by Missy, an English major who wrote up the project, and Kirk, who took the photos and whose visual stories – dont’ miss them – can be seen here. Thanks, M & K.

Found Item: 9 drawer mid-century dresser

Where: for $25 (picked up from Maywood, IL)


The Makeover: First, I was would just like to say how ridiculously flattered we are that Diana invited us to do a guest post!!  This is one of our favorite blogs and I giggled for about 10 minutes when I read the email.  Thank you for letting us put our project up here!

Kirk and I recently redid our bedroom, nothing fancy, but we moved some furniture around and put some new art on the wall, etc. and in order for everything to fit, we had to smoosh our two mis-mismatched tall 5 drawer dressers next to each other on one wall, very effective…but not so pretty (and also kept the bedroom door from opening all the way).  So we went a-dresser huntin’.  We first looked at new, which is just silly as everything new was way out of our price range.  Then Kirk sent me one of Diana’s make-over’s from a while back, a beautiful 3 drawer retro chest she updated with a touch of funk…and I was in love.  So we went shopping for mid-century furniture on ‘ye olde craigslist‘ and that very day we found our dresser.  We also happened to be picking up our chair and footstool that Diana reupholstered for us that evening, and told Diana of our plans to copycat her wonderful project.

progress_kirk_missyWe went with the golden oak stain and black semi-gloss enamel to coordinate with our existing furniture and sanded everything down  (favorite new toy = orbital sander), stained (two coats) polyurethaned (two coats), and painted (two coats).  We found the furniture makers stamp in one of the drawers and a little research told us that the dresser was made by Harmony House for Sears & Roebuck in their hay-day.  Our one indulgence on this project was the $40 natural cork contact paper I lined the drawers with because even after a good scrubbing, the drawers didn’t feel clean (we also had enough cork leftover to cover some coffee cans for plant cutting containers and enough stain and paint left for future projects: BONUS!).  Even so, we came in about $200 less than we would have with a comparable new dresser on the cheap, and this one is solid wood!  No particle board! Hurray for the refurb!


Materials: Dresser: $25, Minwax Wood Finish in Golden Oak $9, Minwax Clear Semi-Gloss Fast-Drying Polyurethane $9, Valspar Satin Black Latex Enamel $9 (all 1 QT), 4 Rolls Con-Tact brand Natural Cork Self-Adhesive Contact Paper (18 in. x 4 ft.) $39.96.  Total: $91.96.



6 Responses

  1. Wow. Just wow.

    I have this china cabinet/armoire-hutch-thing I inherited from my grandmother. The wood is in serious need of updating and this is exactly what I had in mind. Nice job!

  2. I’m inspired more and more with every post. Amazing.

  3. Ooh – I’m so inspired! I have a mid-century dresser that I have been looking at its dilapidated state for the last three years, knowing that it has potential, but too intimidated to make the first move.

    A silly question from a new-DIYer – does it make a difference if the dresser has a veneer? I don’t think it’s solid wood. Should I ebay it and look for a solid wood dresser or can you sand and stain veneer?


  4. I’m so happy someone else was inspired by the mid century three drawer piece.. I was totally in love it and fired off the post to several friends 🙂

  5. […] Sold, this 9-drawer chest is nearly identical to Missy and Kirk’sbeautiful […]

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