Seriously, would you check out the curves on this thing?

My husband and I work near each other in an area that happens to have an abundance of secondhand and antique shops. Last week, we had lunch and decided to pop into the Habitat ReStore. And I saw this.

Now, a few things: this ReStore is great, but it’s hit or miss. Mostly miss, due to low volume and high demand. From what I understand, it’s best to go every day so you can pick up on their restocking patterns. We’ve visited it many times over the past few years, but everything I’ve liked was either too pricey or had a “SOLD” sticker on it.

So when I saw this dresser, marked down to $30, I had to have it. I mean, $30! All the drawers worked (and had dovetail joints), the handles were intact, the legs (while damaged) were stable. Did I mention it was $30?!

Once home, we put it in one of the spare rooms. Commence Project Closer Inspection.

The piece is obviously old. Though, how old I cannot say – can’t find any stamps or tags on it. It’s a John Doe dresser.

The drawers and sides are solid wood, but the top and the legs are veneered. There isn’t MDF beneath them, just a lighter, cheaper wood. This leg is the most damaged area on the dresser with missing molding and veneer.

The top has tons of scratches. There were a lot of white paint splatters on it too. You know how if you overload a paint roller, sometimes it flings dots of paint? That’s what it looked like.

There’s a little patch in the back that is bumpy – seems like it’s glue? Not sure. And of course, more scratches.

The dovetail joints are nice though! Anyone who has ever bought an antique dresser knows what an anomaly it is to have all drawers (especially nine of them!) in good condition. That was probably the biggest selling point for me – nine drawers that don’t need rehabbing for $30!? SOLD.

It had that old thrift shop smell to it, so to neutralize that and clean the grime and paint dots, I grabbed vinegar and a Magic Eraser. (Side note: Is there anything that can’t be cleaned by vinegar, baking soda and/or a Magic Eraser?)

Weeellll, maybe I should have tested a spot first? I guess the top coat was so old, the Magic Eraser managed to scrub it off. It’s not super obvious, but you can kind of see the blotchy finish. In all honesty: totally worth it to get the paint spots off. The shiny finish can be replaced.

So there’s still work to do. But it doesn’t smell any more, and the paint crud is gone!

Now I just have to figure out the next steps. I’m thinking one of those waxy, colored crayons to fill in gaps. Does anyone have suggestions for the veneer in the bottom corner?

2 Responses to Check Out Her Curves

  1. Such a great find for $30! I do love me some curvy John Doe’s!…that sounded weird, but you know what I mean.

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