It’s not every day that I get a call from a local business owner to come to pick up a free wood dresser. Rarely do I turn down anything free. Being known for my love of junk and repurposing sometimes lands me with freebies on my front porch. Ha! I don’t mind at all.
The reason for my blog today is about helping others in need. When the owner called about picking this dresser up little, did I know that it would benefit one of the business employees? Here’s the story.
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Wood Dresser Flipped Into A Bench
In the Spring of 2017, our county, including several surrounding counties, was hit with severe tornados. It was devastating! Several of my personal friends lost EVERYTHING! My family and I were lucky with only being inconvenienced by no electricity for three days. So many others were not so fortunate. I still get goosebumps thinking about that night.
The reminders are still there every day as I drive through the countryside and see what used to be. Houses and farms that have been there all my life are gone now. After hearing the news that one of the local business employees that donated this dresser to me lost her home, I just knew exactly what I needed to do, and I was ready to give back. It’s the least I can do.
Supply List For This Project
- wood dresser (not all dressers can be made into a bench this way)
- Circular Saw
- Carpenters Square
- Wood Sander
- Kilz Premium Stain Blocker
- Lumber (to build the top)
- Minwax in classic gray (stain for the top)
- Wipe On Polyurethane (to seal the stained top)
- Low Lint Cheesecloth (for staining the wood top)
- Gray Chalky Based Paint
This wood dresser had been sitting in my garage for about a month, just waiting for me to tackle it. It had pretty bad water damage to the top of it, thus the word FREE. The top of the dresser was particle board and had buckled and was crumbling—nothing to salvage there. But the base was solid wood with tons of storage possibilities… I had a plan. 🙂
Removing The Water Damaged Top
I took a carpenter square (it’s all I had at the time… made it work) and marked a level line around the top 1/3 of the dresser where the second row of drawers began.
I carefully cut and removed the damaged top and the first set of drawers with my circular saw to create a shorter version of the wood dresser. I decapitated it! Ha! It was the perfect height for a bench, and I had wanted to try making a bench for some time. Divine timing. The remaining part of the dresser was in great shape. It had 6 glorious drawers for storage! Yay! It’s going to be so awesome.
Removing The Damaged Veneer
The remaining structure of the dresser was solid wood and in great shape. But it had major veneer issues. It turns out to be a good thing in this case. The wood veneer was loose, so it was easy to remove it with just my paint scraper. The water damage had caused the glue to loosen, and it popped right off. That doesn’t happen every day. Score! After removing the damaged veneer, I sanded the wood until it was smooth. Typically, the wood under the veneer isn’t smooth, but it’s still wood and can be painted.
Blocking The Water Stains Before Painting
Look at that water stain! Oh, you know that sucker is gonna bleed right through the paint, so I used 2 coats of Kilz Hide Stain Blocker to cover the bare wood and that big ole water stain. Once the stain blocker had dried, I painted the lower part of the dresser with gray chalky-based paint.
Building A Wood Seat For The Bench/Dresser
Okay, so it’s looking good, and time to address rebuilding the top. My plan originally was to create a bench with a fabric seat. After seeing the beautiful wood grain in the lumber that I chose, I changed my mind. Sometimes a vision doesn’t reveal itself until about midway into a project with me.
Staining The Wood Bench\Dresser Top
I applied 2 coats of a gray stain, allowing it to dry between coats. The wood looked beautiful, with gray and natural wood tones with hints of an aged and weathered look.
A New Beginning For A Wooden Dresser
Here is the result! Isn’t it amazing? I think it would make a great mudroom bench. Shortly after listing this for sale, it sold, and all the proceeds went to help a single Mom with three children that lost everything in the tornado. Everything but their lives. “Thank God we still have each other” were her words when I handed the money to her. A lot of hugging and crying, but they were tears of joy.
GOD is always good. The moral of the story and why I am sharing the story with the makeover open up your mind to opportunities to help others. We never know when we may be in that same situation.
*UPDATE ON THIS POST… the sweet lady who lost almost everything has now recovered fully. She met and married the love of her life, and they were both blessed with a sweet little girl this past year.
Until the project… xo, Do