D-I-(wh)Y did I do that? or How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Dresser

About a year ago I picked up a free chest of drawers that were in good shape, of a nice size and functional but not exactly the sweetest piece of eye candy. Naturally, I took it upon myself to correct this problem.

Dresser before

You see, for quite some time now, I’ve been operating under the assumption that I am, relatively speaking, crafty and capable. I’ve taken old upholstery off chairs and put new covers on. I’ve constructed floating office shelves and painted an only partially crooked stencil pattern on an accent wall among other things. Maybe I’m no Martha Stewart but I’m no rube either. This, it turns out, is a very dangerous perception under which to operate. Oh self-esteem…how terribly you have betrayed me.

Armed with just the right amount of misguided confidence, I set about to turn this humble clothing receptacle into a work of art so grand, and creative and magnetic that furniture designers the world over would gaze upon it and come to me, weeping, begging for me to share my gift with them. A reasonable expectation. My ingenious scheme, you ask? Simple chevron stripes painted across the drawers. Something a la this:


Perhaps my idea wasn’t all that daring, but all the more reason to believe I could successfully pull this off.


The plan revolved around retaining the essence of the existing cloudy gold color, but to bring it some bold contrast with rich, blue stripes. Somehow, that seemed like a wise decision. Gold gives it some spunk. Deep blue makes it a little more grown up and not quite so “glam girl.” It can be a pretty dope look.

idontlike itgooutside images

c714bb35144f23ab1abc3533b7d0cb53 blue-and-gold-inspired-draper-dresser Screen shot 2013-06-17 at 7.59.50 AM_large_jpg

Of course, that’s only in the instance that god forsaken cans of gold spray paint don’t suck the soul out of your body in the process of achieving it. I don’t want to entirely blame my tools as there was most definitely some user error in the process of destroying the integrity of this once fine dresser, but the project first started to go off the rails with the damned spray paint. After I had puttied and sanded the dresser with all the meticulousness I could muster,  I applied the spray paint, only to find that it bubbled and conformed to itself in little bumpy clusters that gave the drawers the texture of lizard skin. I rightfully abandoned the spray paint idea and instead selected a traditional interior paint in the shade of “turmeric” to replace it. You may be surprised to hear this, but “turmeric” and “gold” are not the same color. It actually probably doesn’t surprise anyone but somehow it took me until I was staring at the finished product to truly come to grips with the fact that instead of a sleek blue dresser with some punchy golden flair, I had instead applied the same royal blue and orangey-yellow color scheme used by the University of Delaware’s mascot.




Oh the humanity!

To really add insult to injury, the knobs I had selected for the new (but not improved) dresser were duds. And expensive duds at that: $14-a-piece from Anthropologie but the knobs pulled right off the screws when you opened the drawers.This made the finished dresser both comically ugly and non functional. I’d give myself a hand for so artfully destroying a needed piece of furniture, but I’d probably screw that up too.

More on the fugly dresser saga to come….

24 Comments on “D-I-(wh)Y did I do that? or How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Dresser”

  1. kmom says:

    It looks like you put A LOT of work into this. At least in the photo it looks pretty well crafted. The colors…..not so good. I hope you can salvage this because I know it’s a good dresser. Good luck!

  2. oddlyended says:

    Hmm, sounds like the sweater I’m trying to crochet. I will say this, your stripes are awesome! I don’t do stripes as I am unable to draw a straight line with a ruler. I hope you can solve this–it’s a great idea.

  3. Buy paint stripper and start again! 🙂

  4. Heather Lynn says:

    Those are also my school colors… San Jose State!
    Sorry this one turned out to be a dud, but it’s great that you still shared! That’s how you learn, right? What would life be without some duds… 🙂

  5. haha I love you Kelsey! This made me chuckle so hard even before I saw the finished thing. I am confident you will redo it and it will not be a DI(why?!?) 🙂

  6. becquij says:

    This really made me chuckle! I do love the chevron pattern that you have though; it would look great with different colours 🙂

  7. becquij says:

    ps. love all the inspiration pictures that you posted! Pinterest is amazing!!

  8. We’ll take it! Those are our high school colors!

  9. missamyjane says:

    Good luck with the changes!! I’ve had projects like this before. And honestly, I don’t think it’s as bad as you think.

  10. This made me laugh so hard that tears were rolling down my cheeks. Your workmanship is quite good, though and the stripes are perfect, which is really impressive. Know any UDel student who needs dorm furniture?

  11. roisinnm says:

    Hi! I found that post so funny! Most of my craft attempts end badly. In my head blue and gold looks good! I have just started my blog and yours looks AMAZING so I was hoping you could have a read of my first post and give me some advice?

  12. […] midweek post, I’ve decided to share with you my DIY disaster. This post is inspired by this post on The Doodle House so check that out and comment saying “The Girl That Does it All sent […]

  13. […] D-I-(wh)Y did I do that? or How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Dresser → […]

  14. Carla at Loves Moose says:

    Oh, dear.

    Try sanding the heck out of one side, intentionally wearing it way down so lots of wood shows through, and do the same with one of the drawers. Maybe rub in a light white wash, sand again, and then clear coat with a satin (low sheen) sealer.

    Nothing I’ve ever painted turned out nice, until I sanded it down. I even left a table in the rain for months so it would age nicely.

    I love your writing, though! :o)

  15. We have been there and done all sorts of terrible things! Whatever you think about the colours…it is so neat and tidy. Kudos to that, it definitely deserves recognition 🙂

  16. […] attempt one, an unfortunate lapse of judgement in the paint department resulted in a dresser that could have […]

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