Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nursery Progress: Dresser Refresh

Kids are expensive. Yep, that's a fact (apparently raising a kid born in 2010 until they're 18 costs the average middle-income family roughly $227,000 - not including college). And when you're just starting out and have absolutely nothing baby-related - like us - let's not forget all those lovely (but totally fun) first-time baby costs.


So we're doing what we always do - pinching pennies where we can and getting creative with our DIY skills in the process.

Designing a nursery on a budget? Bring on the challenge!

I mean, we've already done pretty well in there - we scored a pretty slick upholstered glider off Craigslist for cheap, revamped a wooden bookshelf my Dad built, scored a top-notch crib on clearance, and created our own woven hemp light fixture.

But the dresser/changing table totally bogged us down.

I looked and looked - hit up garage sales and Craigslist like crazy trying to find something that was small enough to fit in the space, was built like a tank (because they just don't make things like they used to, and we want this thing to last through anything the kid can throw at it), was proper changing-table height, and was $50 or less - oh, and it had to be in good condition.

The results were pretty depressing.

Since the dresser we were searching for had to have such specific dimensions (thanks to the super-tiny room), surprise-surprise - we weren't finding much.

So the months dragged by as the search continued and we got more discouraged, until suddenly a simple text message totally turned things around.

Thanks to Tom's sister having moved out, his parents were happily willing to give us her old dresser. Score!

We headed over to there to get things measured to make sure it would fit, and came home with the perfect dresser for the nursery.

It just needed a little facelift. It was already painted white, but the off-white tended to clash with the ultra-white hue we had painted the trim, bookshelf, and even the brighter white of the crib. Plus, after surviving one childhood experience, the dresser needed a bit of refreshing.

So Tom broke out the power sander and lightly scuffed up the existing paint and filled in the hardware holes, and then followed with a coat of primer and then a fresh coat of bright white paint. It was looking fresher already!

We made a trip to Lowe's and picked out some hardware pulls that were on clearance ($1.60 each!), and after drilling in some new holes, we had ourselves a new dresser!

The best part? The total cost was approximately 5 bucks. Sweet.

It fits great into the nursery - sure it has some interesting lines, but we like it! It's different and unique, and adds a splash of vintage to the contemporary space. Not to mention, it fits the changing pad perfectly. Yep, we'll be changing lots of diapers on top of that ole' dresser, and the drawers underneath are perfect for storing changing supplies and diapers, and even some crib sheets. And we love the heirloom-type quality and story that it has - it was Tom's sister's dresser, and now will be our son's dresser - and who knows where it will end up after he's done with it.

Anyone else prefer refinishing an old piece of furniture to buying new? What's the best bargain you've found?
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  1. That is a sweet deal and another great heirloom! It looks great with it's mini makeover and I'm sure it will make a great changing table too. I never got a changing table , I found that I rarely was changing them up in their rooms anyway so I'm glad I didn't spend the moola on something we didn't need. I like how yours can be repurposed after you no longer need the changing part as well.

    I just looked up and see the post about me on your Linked Within!! Awesome Ka-winky-dink!

    BTW..I adore that hemp lampshade you guys made!!!!

  2. I love it! I love that it's an old piece that belongs to a family member. Plus, I honestly really like it anyway! I think the handles are a fun details and definitely are nursery-approved! The bright white makes it really crisp and clean.

  3. Whoohoo! Can't beat a great quality dresses for $5!! There is nothing more aggravating than the combo of kids and a cheap dresser! Ugh! Your nursery is beautiful!

  4. Love your nursery!!!! It is so clean and bright. My daughter & I DIYed the nursery for my first grandchild. We repainted a dresser she has had for years that was originally a garage sale treasure during her college apartment days. The best find was a little side table to put next to the rocker which I found at a garage sale for $1.00. It was a nice solid piece with a lot of damage from living. Sanding, painting and a clearance knob made it lovely for a total of about $3.00. The funny thing is everyone wants to know where she bought such a cute "modern" piece.


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