Guest Room Dresser Project

Our guest room is small and is kind of a Hodgepodge of a room.  It serves as our guest room, storage for all of my crafts and other random stuff like suitcases, my periodic exercise room, and also our linen closet.  One of the huge downsides of owning a home built in the late 1800’s is that there is little to no storage so this room kind of does/holds it all.

Since the room is multi-use we decided a bed was a complete waste of space since it was only used as a guest room a couple of weeks per year and left no usable floor space.  We had a futon in there for a couple of years but it was dreadfully uncomfortable.  So last year we build a Murphy bed and purchased a nice memory foam mattress for our guests.

We have been toying with the idea of putting this room (once it is a little more organized) on AirBNB and renting in out for a little extra income so I have been making slow progress towards this potential use and the next step was to get a dresser.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money so when I saw someone post a couple of dressers for sale at a yard sale in our neighborhood I decided to take a stroll over to check it out.  He had two, one was way too big and the other was the perfect size, and perfect price at only $10.  Later in the day I drove over and hauled it away in my little Honda Fit.  I swear everything fits in a Fit!

Once I had it in my car I realized it smelled like smoke.  Not ideal but for $10 I was willing to figure out a solution.  I coated it in baking soda (per a google search suggestion) to help soak up some of the scent but this was not terribly effective so I decided I would paint it, which considering it was not the prettiest thing in the world this was not a terrible idea.  I have never painted furniture before but knew I would not be terribly difficult.  I did do some reading though just to get some tips from those more experienced.

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I started sanding it down and also did a little repair work on the side as it was cracked.  It took a couple of days but was not all that bad since I didn’t have to do a perfect sanding job as it was just going to be painted.  We already had paint and primer on hand so I went to work with a primer first in hopes that this would not only help the paint bind and last longer but also block some of the smoke smell.  When it came to painting I added some Floetrol to the paint as I had read it helps to reduce streak marks.  I must say that it certainly made the painting a little smoother as the brush dragged less so overall I was pretty happy with it.

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I painted three coats just to make sure I had good coverage.  Then it was time to seal the paint.  After some more reading on painting furniture I read that regular poly can start to yellow with age but if you used Polycrylic like I used for my medicine cabinet project it will be less likely to change color.  I was able to use the Minwax Polycrylic Spray from that project to finish off the dresser so I didn’t have to buy any more.  I applied many coats, giving extra attention to the top since it will get the most wear.  I am curious how this is going to hold up as I bet a brush on Polycrylic would last longer but as this is in the guest room and won’t get a ton of use I figure it will be good enough.

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Next was the finishing touch, the knobs.  I would have loved to buy some glass knobs to give it an antique feel but I was not willing to spend almost $6 per knob.  Lowes did have some knobs though that had an older feel that didn’t break the bank.

Overall, I am really happy with the project.  It was a little time consuming but also satisfying as the dresser looks great (and a thousand times better than when I bought it).  I am not sure if the whole AirBNB thing will happen but at least if it does I will have a nice little dresser or our guests.

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Dresser: $10
Minwax Polycrylic Spray: $13.89 (from a previous project)
Knobs: $17.22

Total: $41.11

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