diy dresser makeover before and after

How a dresser make-over accurately represented a 3-month period of my life || A Guest DIY

A short story by Audra Vanhooser, a 27 year old high school English teacher who is married to a farmer and has a four-legged child while all her other friends have “real” kids.

Last summer, I moved from a one-bedroom, 120-year old house with one window AC unit into a two-story, 30-year old house with central AC (bless you, Willis Carrier). As you can imagine, I was incredibly excited to make this move with my husband and dog, Lady. The timing was excellent too; being a teacher, the summer is typically a time when I have a lot less going on in my life. However, that summer turned out to be the exception to that rule.

Last summer, it turned out, would be the busiest of my life. In addition to buying a house, we were also adding acreage to our farm and I decided to start my masters degree and take not one, but two online classes.

So, with time spent moving, unpacking, push mowing the 2 acre yard, and keeping up with classes, I decided to paint this dresser. Go me.

So, here it is; my easy 16 step process! Let’s get to it!

Step 1: Leave dresser in the bedroom, but don’t put anything in it, because, duh, you are getting ready to re-do it

Step 2: Let 6 weeks pass.

Step 3: Move the dresser into the spare bedroom to begin the re-do process.

Step 4: Sand the top of the dresser

Step 5: Let 2 weeks pass.

Step 6: Sand the rest of the dresser.

Step 7: Decide to spray-paint around the mirror a pretty silver-metallic. Tape off the mirror, then realize you need to move it outside.

Step 7.5: Realize you can’t move this giant thing by yourself and you need your husband to help, but he typically doesn’t get home until after dark because of the whole “farming” thing

Step 8: Let 1.5 weeks pass.

Step 9: Move the dresser outside (thanks dear!) and spray paint around the mirror. (Ooooh, progress!). Move back inside.

Step 10: Let 1 week pass.

Step 11: Really get that momentum going and prime the whole dresser, including drawers, then impatiently wait for the paint to dry, then add the top coat.

Step 12: Buy really pretty new knobs and drawer pulls from Lowes, then realize you don’t own the drill needed to install them.

Step 13: Borrow drill from your amazing mother-in-law, and (amazingly) correctly use it to install the new hardware.

Step 14: Let paint dry, add drawers back, and get your husband to help you move it back into the bedroom!

Step 15: After consulting Pinterest, realize you NEED to add pretty drawer liners.

Step 16: Buy pretty contact paper (because, cheap) and line drawers.

There you have it, my super easy and time efficient dresser makeover…or not. But, you know what? Like this makeover, life is not easy nor do we usually make the most of our time. Things happen, life gets messy, and it isn’t perfect. Now, this dresser is a daily reminder to me that life is not perfect, nor do I need to be. Did I paint it perfectly? No. Did I get impatient with dry time and put my jewelry box on top (before the paint was completely set) which then ripped some of the paint off when I tried to move it? Yes. Am I ok with it? Yes, because it is perfectly imperfect, just like me.

before diy dresserpainting dresserdresser with primerIMG_7206 2diy drawer linersdiy dresser makeover before and after


One thought on “How a dresser make-over accurately represented a 3-month period of my life || A Guest DIY

  1. bethyloo26 says:

    I have so been there and done this! I really have to work on letting the “perfection” aspect go and just appreciate that what I have refinished looks better than it did when I started and keep on going.


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