From Forgotten And Ugly To Functional And Beautiful

I love rescuing old furniture!  It's definitely become a passion of mine to take something old, ugly and forgotten and give it new life.  I found a dresser in the basement of an old house at an estate sale in August that I fell in love with.  I didn't buy it the first day, but couldn't stop thinking about the dresser and it's potential.  I got in touch with the man who was running the estate sale and a few days after I went back and bought the dresser and a few other pieces.  I felt like I had done something charitable by rescuing this one.  Melody the furniture rescuer...I sound like Diego! (sorry to anyone who doesn't know who he is...animated character and Dora's Cousin)

Everything works out for a reason because a friend of mine was looking for something to go in her living room as a media cabinet.  I knew just the piece of furniture for her and her family!  We decided on a color and it sat waiting for a bit until I found the time to get to it.  I couldn't wait to start this project.  I can always see past the ugly and see the beauty that's hidden inside.  I think that's some sort of gift...or maybe a curse.  It's like can only have so many.  I can't possibly rescue all the forgotten and ugly furniture now can I?  Hmmm or maybe I can!

Here's how the dresser looked when I got it home.  Pictures were taken in the shed with my iPhone so they're not the best.

We decided the color needed to be French Linen ASCP with dark wax.  When it came time to start the dresser I knew I would have to strip the top even though I was painting it.  It was a mess.  It looked like there had been something on the top that was really hot and burned weird marks into the paint.  Plus it was cracking, peeling and just a mess.  I thought it would be easier to just strip it than sand it off and I was right.  I was a little disappointed when I got the paint off because I thought maybe the top could be stained, but there was no saving it, even with a ton of sanding.

Lots of gouges, marks and an overall mess.

Whoever owned it before must not have liked keyholes! They plugged them with some weird putty.  I tried to dig it out, but the metal key hole was gone, so I got out the putty and had to fill the holes with wood fill.  I'm a key hole kinda girl and this was a bummer!!

Don't even get me started on those knobs.....

I got 2 coats of French Linen on then realized the top was bleeding through.  I can usually tell that with one coat but for some reason this time was different.  So I put on a coat of shellac over top then 2 more coats of paint.  

Since my friend and her family are using this as a media cabinet, her Hubby wants to take the top two drawers out for the components.  I said "NO!" to that, but hey it's not my dresser.  So what I did was paint inside the drawer holes and then line them with paper and spray adhesive them down.  It will at least look nice either way.  I did the drawers too just in case he goes with my plan instead!  

A coat of clear wax and then a coat of dark and I was just about finished.  The only thing left was new drawer hardware.  I've been wanting to use these knobs from Hobby Lobby for awhile and felt they finished it off perfectly.  

Here it is all done....

I love the detailing on the sides and WOW those legs and feet!!

This is what drew me to this neglected and forgotten dresser....the feet and legs.  They are absolutely gorgeous!

Love how the knobs look with this color

I always enjoy redoing pieces or selling existing pieces from my home to my friends.  It's nice because I can still 'visit' the pieces when I want to.  This redo was extra special for me.  I felt like I really did rescue this little guy and gave him a new lease on life.  I have lots more pieces I need to rescue and I can't wait to get started on the next one!

Thank you for reading and for your comments and questions.  I do respond via email so if you follow me, it's easier for me to get back to you.  

Have a great week!



  1. Gorgeous! Another masterpiece! You nailed it girl! I love it!!

  2. I can see why you were drawn to this dresser - even in it's "ugly" stage, it had beautiful lines. It looks fantastic!

  3. That is beautiful! I am painting an old desk. I did shellac it first and then painted 2 coats of annie sloan paint. When I went to wax with clear wax I noticed the stain showing up. Has this ever happened to you? Should I paint another layer? I love your stuff!

  4. Absolutely beautiful. Wish I lived near where you sell. This is perfect for Baby H's room.

  5. Hello! I just spent part of my morning with a cup of coffee and catching up on your blog. I laughed out loud at Diego. We have the Dora soundtrack if you need me to mail it to you while you paint and rescue. :) This is beautiful. Well done!

  6. The legs and feet were first things I noticed. I have a love of certain types of furniture, don't know names of styles but if it looks vintage I love it. You did a great job on that dear old chest. Looks like it was worth all the love you gave it.
    I know what you mean about having to rescue pieces that need love and can be made useful and beautiful again. What a shame that chest was so abused and to fill those keyholes, what were they thinking? Love keyholes.
    I have an old chest that I'd love to make a vanity out of for our bathroom. It would need a new top anyway and the bottom needs work. I used it in our house in KY, had painted it to go with our decorations in that house. Hubs is urging me to get rid of it but somehow I just can't, think we can rescue the chest that I only paid $20 for in the first place. Bought it at a flea mkt. in Bowling Green, KY. It's solid and loved the style. Think I'll go out to shed to look at it tomorrow to see what can be done. I'm not in any hurry so could take my time. Hope I can save it.

  7. Great job! The dresser looks amazing! I look forward to seeing more of your projects.

  8. Beautiful job Melody. You did a fantastic job:)

  9. Oh my it! You did an awesome job! Love anything on casters! Hopped over from Furniture Feature Friday and I'm happy to be your newest follower. Would love to have you stop by for a visit. Blessings ~ Judy

  10. i love what you've done and especially because you've brought it out of its natural habitat so that it looks very fairy taleish in nature--love that romantic look.

    hope you'll stop by and follow if you aren't already!



  11. Love this post.. great job! have a blessed weekend! Thanks for so many amazing photos about this upcycle.. I know it was alot of work! We appreciate it! Cathy

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