July 03, 2014

Trash to Treasure: Paris Grey Dresser

I think I'm behind the curve on this...but...did you know that there is an entire section of Craigslist devoted to "free"or "curb alert" items?  Yep, dozens of listings from people trying to get rid of everything from pet hamsters to old bricks.

I've been cruising the free section lately and I saw this dresser--listed as free and only 2 blocks from my apartment.  I emailed the owner and told him I would pick it up after work one evening.  It was listed as less than a year old and in good condition.

I noticed that the drawers looked a little wonky, but I was confident that Kern could fix them.  He can fix anything.  Sure enough, we got it home and Kern began examining it.

He immediately realized that the previous owner had assembled the dresser backwards.  Yep, that's right: he nailed the backing on the front and installed the drawers where they came out of the back.  This explained the crooked drawers.  Kern set to work to fix this: he disassembled the chest and then put it back together correctly.  

Bingo.  A brand new chest of drawers.  It still smelled like pine it was so new.

I knew that I wanted to flip this "trash to treasure" quickly, so that meant I needed a few ground rules:

1. Only use materials that I already owned.  This meant no new hardware or fancy updates.

2. Get the refurbished piece on Craigslist within 48 hours.

3. No more junk hauling until this piece was sold and out of our apartment.

Two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey later...it was time for waxing and a little distressing.

It would have been fun to install new hardware, but that would have violated my number one "flip" rule.  Instead, I used a combination of dark wax and gold gilding to give the knobs a little hint of metallic.

I waxed the entire piece with Annie Sloan's clear wax and then waxed the top with dark to give it contrast.  I added a little gold gilding around the top rim.  Since this dresser had straight, clean lines I didn't do a lot of embellishment. 

40 hours after I picked up the dresser, I posted it on Craigslist.

I checked my email every hour for about a day.  It was exciting to see who was interested!

The second person that emailed me ended up purchasing the dresser.  Since we have Kern's truck, we also offer delivery.  We dropped the dresser off almost exactly 72 hours after we picked it up for free.

I'm now obsessed with curb alerts and free trash.

Do you have anything you want to get rid of?


  1. Sweet Kern helping you with this. We literally just bought a dresser for 25 on craigs list. Just a cheap one because we needed more drawer space. Had I known you were decorating one and putting it on craigslist, I probably would have been interested in that! looks great!

  2. This story is AWESOME. Love everything about it - including the dresser! XO

  3. This is beautiful!! I wish you lived closer so I could buy up all of your creations!


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