A New Old Dresser

After an incident that required me to remove all of the drawers from my (old, cheap, Ikea) dresser, I found that, no matter how hard I shoved, they would not go back in. It was a good excuse to finally start looking for a new one, that could at least do its primary job (hold clothes) without falling apart at the seams.

Enter–> Craigslist. I knew what I was looking for, and I knew that buying it new or ‘antique’ was going to cost me at least a few hundred dollars. Which I would much rather spend on other things.

While I was anticipating this process to take me about 50 years (I take my time), I almost immediately stumbled across this on Craigslist:

Perfect! I emailed the seller, asking about the dimensions, and never heard back. Ugh. I kept up the search, and about a week later came across it again. It had been posted for a month at this point…which got me a bit suspicious (made of cardboard? full of rat nests? traces of black plague?). But I emailed again and actually heard back this time- it was still available! Success!

So we popped over to Richmond to pick it up, and learned a little more about it. Turns out it was an old family heirloom, built by hand by the sellers grandpa over 100 years ago when he first came to Canada. It was now sitting in their garage, covered in cobwebs and not accompanying them on their upcoming move. It also had “f*%k you!” carved into the side (I didn’t take it too personally).

Once we got it out of there, I got to work fixing it up. We glued down a few jagged pieces (before they could turn into the worlds deadliest splinters) and filled in a few holes and scratches. I vacuumed out all the drawers, and wiped down the insides with vinegar (which supposedly helps get rid of the dead body smell). I then ended up sanding it- again, again and again- for a total of 3 times. (…..without much success).

The finish absolutely refused to budge (it had been there awhile), so we tried using a paint stripper (?) thing instead. This cleaned it up a bit, and I proceeded to re-stain it a similar colour (using the minwax ‘fruitwood’ stain). The new stain ended up not showing up much – which is apparently what happens when you buy a stain in a lighter colour then the actual wood. But seeing as the stain cost me a total of $2.60 (thanks General Paint), I wasn’t too disappointed.

So here is the final product. Pretty similar looking from afar, but a little cleaner, a few less cobwebs, and the sweet sentiments scratched into the side just a little less threatening…


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