Over the course of this project I learned a few valuable lessons about refinishing second-hand furniture.
- Measure the distance between the holes for the hardware. I wanted to switch out the hardware for something a little more sleek. However, my dresser happens to have custom hardware in a size that apparently doesn't exist anywhere on the Internet. Luckily, the pulls have grown on me.
- Open and close every drawer before making an offer to the seller. I opened four of the five onsite only to realize when we got home that one of the drawers wasn't lined up with the others. Luckily, I know my way around a power sander.
- Check to see if the drawers can be removed. Trying to paint drawers while they are still inside a dresser=complicated contortionist positions to get the entire surface area covered. Luckily, in a young, skinner life, I was a very limber dancer.
- Don't be afraid to try colors or finishes that are new to you. My heart yearned for a glossy, loud yellow. After some of the challenges above, I opted to add a dark gloss to some of the edges to cover mistakes. Luckily, I don't totally hate shabby chic.
- Buy the fancy, thick wrapping paper upfront. For the lining of the drawers, I learned the messy way that the cute Target gift wrap, ain't gonna cut it. A week of waiting and one roll of SMOCK paper later, I was able to achieve the desired effect.
- Always negotiate a lower price. After nixing 5-10 dressers that would have cost well over $700, we were overly excited about the prospect of a custom-looking dresser for $100 plus the cost of paint and supplies. As you can see from the bullets above, also factor in surprise expenses and the laziness bug that may hit you mid-project. Luckily, we still saved a TON of Moolah!