So, I have to be honest… When Jess and I told my hubs that we were taking his “Toolbox Dresser” he wasn’t thrilled (it’s been holding his tools in our garage for 5 yrs) and he might have been a tad skeptical that we could turn it into Anthro’s Dresser. We’re a wee bit competitive, so he gave us just the challenge we needed.
Step 1: Sanding
There were many layers of paint to remove. Don’t be intimidated. We got through white paint and the original glossy finish. We did use some 60 grit sandpaper because the higher numbers were just taking too long. Yes, it was 11 pm and yes, it was dark, but a girl’s gotta protect her eyes!
Each drawer needed to be sanded and then all of the framework for the dresser. Every trace of creamy white paint needed to go! (And No, we didn’t plan to wear matching, frumpy outfits…)
We used an orbital sander and a little mouse sander as well. The mouse is great for getting into the nooks and crannies! We did have one minor injury, but that’s kind of expected when crafting at 11pm.
Step 2: Template & Cut
We just free-handed a template of the little shape that we needed to cut on each drawer. It was a bit annoying and took us a few tries to get it centered and even, but once we did, we just traced around it and were ready to cut. For the bottom of the dresser, we needed to get rid of any scrolly-ness, so we drew on some straight lines and said, “bye bye old school scrolls!” as we cut.
Sometimes we’re a little intimidated by power tools, but the more we use them, the easier it gets. We did all the cutting with a jigsaw. It’s as simple as tracing a line (well…with a quickly moving blade!)
Step 3: Create a Faux Metal Finish
While I was busy doing a jig (AKA jigsawing), Jess used a few spray paints to get the faux metal finish we were going for. We used Rustolium’s Hammered Metal and Valspar’s Metallic Finish.
At first, it looked like graffiti gone wrong… So we added more of the metallic spray and then we used Martha Stewart acrylic paints in copper and metallic turquoise.
And we liked the results much better.
This is where we called it a night for work night number one. It was about 1am… bedtime!
Step 4: Fill the Holes
The Anthro dresser didn’t have any holes, but unfortunately ours had 6 holes per large drawer. Have no fear… mod podge is here! Using a little woodworkers trick, we took sawdust from the sander and added modpodge (glue was recommended, but I only had glue sticks). Just mix it up until it’s nice and thick and can be molded with your hands. The ratio was about 3:1 dust to modpodge.
We used the end of a kids paintbrush to neatly push it into each hole. Two reasons this method rocks: #1- it’s FREE and # 2- it almost perfectly matched the wood because we were using sawdust from the same piece of wood.
Step # 5: Stain the Wood
Stain always scares me! It can ruin all your hard work. BUT… at least we knew we could just sand it down again if we made a mistake (which we did). The Anthro dresser had amazing wood tones and we needed to replicate that, so we used a grey stain that we had left over from the Farmhouse Table Remix.
And now for the mistake we made… See the big, globby brush mark of stain on the left? FAIL! We quickly learned that if we held the brush completely parallel to the wood and just barely touched it, we’d avoid ugly blobs. When the staining was done, we did a quick sanding with some 120 and 220 grit, just to make it seem more natural.
Step 6: Poly Time
This is such a fun step because it gives instant gratification. The second you brush it on it reveals all the rich, woody, goodness!
Step 7: Add Numbers
We had purchased a stencil, but the font wasn’t a perfect match, so instead we printed letters using our printer and then traced them firmly with a pen to leave a tracing indent. Oh, you think it’s hard to see? We did too! I think I went a little blind trying to paint inside the lines. We know there are other methods to do this, but once again it was past midnight and we were in “Get-er-done” mode.
The numbers looked a little bold at first, but the next morning we gave it a final sanding and made them look more weathered. We also did a final coat of Poly once the numbers were finished.
Step # 7- Hardware
We had two extra drawers, so we decided to grab some cool hardware at Lowes. We love how it fit with the style, but still made our piece a little unique.
Phew! That was a lot of work! Two very tired bloggers!
(Yes, we make our husbands take cheesy pics of us at midnight… poor guys!)
So there you have it… Ugly Dresser turned Anthro Ordinal!
We hope this has inspired you to look past what you see at first and unlock the potential in something you might already own! My hubs openly admits he was wrong and he was pretty impressed with what we did to his “Toolbox Dresser” (and don’t worry, we’ll buy him a new toolbox!)