Yard Sale Dresser Makeover for the Big Boy Room

Oh you GUYS.

Our local yard sale Facebook page has done it again.

First, my daughter’s pink bed.

Then, my other daughter’s headboard and footboard.

NOW…my son’s big boy room dresser!

I swear, I’ll never buy brand new furniture again;) Ok, ok, that’s a lie, but I have been having some serious luck lately when it comes to second hand furniture!

I posted on the yard sale page a while ago – maybe a month and a half ago – that I was in search of a dresser.

No bites.

Couple weeks ago, I decided to try it again. The Big Boy Room was on hold until that missing piece was found. Not in the budget to drop a few hundred bucks. I knew this was not going to be an easy task, because I was very specific in what I envisioned. It’s not a huge room, so I didn’t want a really long dresser. But I also didn’t want a tall and thin one either. He’s a tiny dude, so I didn’t want him needing a step stool to get his clothes out, you know?

So to recap: not too long, not too short, not tall, and not too thin.

That rules out a LOT.

But lo and behold, almost immediately after I posted the second time, an old high school friend responded. (Thank you A, for being on Facebook at that moment;)

She had a dresser. Again, I was skeptical, because of my pickiness to size.

She posted a pic and gave me the measurements, and I kid you not – this dresser WAS THE EXACT SIZE I WAS LOOKING FOR!!

Sorry for the screaming, but I’m still pumped about it.

Some of the molding trim pieces had fallen off, but she had all but one of them, so I could easily glue them back on, and I’d find a similar piece for the one that was missing. No biggie. This was once her dad’s dresser as a boy – and still solid, great quality. So I knew it could withstand an almost 6 year old;)

I borrowed Dad’s truck and this puppy was home with me a couple days later.

yard sale dresser makeover

You can see what I mean about the trim pieces —

yard sale dresser makeover

Cannot BELIEVE I spaced on pics of this step, but I used wood glue to stick them back on there. I wrapped a long piece of tape around them to ensure they didn’t slide around, then didn’t touch them for a couple days. Once they were dry, the molding was stuck on there beautifully. For the one missing piece of trim, I was able to find a piece at Lowe’s that’s similar – not exact, but I figured, since it’s all getting painted, no one’s really going to be able to tell.

I picked up a sample of Alabaster (Sherwin Williams) and mixed in a little Plaster of Paris (this is a fun trick that allows you to skip the sanding and priming step – paint goes right on, then you wax it when it’s dry). I got to work…

dresser makeover

I made sure to wax that bad boy really well – lots of wax and lots of elbow grease. I want this to withstand the wear and tear of a little boy;) I waxed my daughter’s blue dresser the same way and that’s holding up beautifully, almost a year later.

I found drawer pulls online in an oil rubbed bronze finish and I love the way it all turned out!

yard sale dresser makeover

yard sale dresser makeover

It’s THE perfect size in his room – I could not have found a more perfect fit! And including paint, pulls, everything – it all cost $57. Not bad for a great quality, solid wood dresser!

I haven’t found the right accessories to decorate the top of the dresser yet, but I did find this adorable glass lamp (at Marshalls) that I filled with the cars he used to be OBSESSED with – seriously, I counted close to 80 in his crib once;) I gave a lot away, but held onto a small bunch, and I’m so glad I did!

yard sale dresser makeover

yard sale dresser makeover

Slowly but surely, things are moving along in here!

I’m so thrilled I was able to find not only the perfect dresser, but that it holds a story, and will keep making stories for years to come. Seriously. What’s NOT to love about a yard sale?! 😉

Dresser Before and After


  1. WOWWW!!!! Nice job! Love it! And thanks for the plaster of paris trick. I’m painting our TV cabinet and I was dreading sanding the thing down!

  2. Hi Liz. I absolutely love your blog, and have been reading it for a few years now. I am always so inspired by your furniture projects. I am a reluctant painter–I always have big plans that get squashed in my worry that they won’t work out. Your furniture transformations are always SO incredible. Any chance I could send you a few pics of a consignment store find and you could give me a few tips on how you’d redo it? I’ve been following your kids’ desk posts because I was on the hunt for a perfect desk for my little boy and I found it this weekend!

  3. Hi, I just found you blog while pinning coral dressers. I painted a similar dresser like that one you did coral and I could not decide between spray painting the pulls gold or white. I love the contrast of the white that you did and so I will spray paint them white. I then started browsing through your blog and OMG, I believe we are kindred spirits. I seriously love all your work.

  4. Where did you get the dresser pulls? I am in love with this dresser and wish I could pay you to redo my grandmother’s hutch for me.

  5. What type of wax did you use that won’t cause the white to yellow

  6. How much paint did you need for the dresser?

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