Furniture Refurb: Adding Legs to a Dresser

 A few months ago I went down to the Washington-Wilkes area of Georgia for their Tour of Homes (so awesome, btw), and of course I had to stop into a few shops while I was there. I spotted this little dresser and I couldn’t resist the hardware… or the $30 price tag. I didn’t even haggle, I also didn’t even think about the fact that I had a dog and a husband who had to fit in the car on the way back to Atlanta. It all worked out, though. Good thing, the Hubs would’ve been mad if he had gotten left behind. Wink.

vintage-dresser-before-Hearts-And-Sharts

The inside of the dresser was stamped with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters label, so I knew it was made well and worth saving. I’m not totally sure how old it is, I’m assuming that the 5′s on each side of the stamp mean 1955? Anyone know?

Union-Made-Dresser-Hearts-A

Either way, I loved it at first sight but knew I wanted to add some legs to it to raise it up. I’m getting to be an old woman and anything I can do to keep from bending over is awesome. Okay, so I’m not that old. But I am that lazy.

I started by removing the bottom trim on the dresser. That’s when I realized that the “trim” was made up of 2×4′s that someone had recently added. When I pulled them off, I saw that there had been legs on it. Furious. Someone took the legs off of this baby and added 2×4′s!!

removing-trim-hearts-sharts

I had planned on staining this piece so I got busy stripping off the paint.  I found this amazing stuff at Home Depot called Klean Strip Premium Stripper. So. Easy. It took two cans, but waaaay less clean up than non-spray. While I was removing the paint, I was still fuming about the fact that someone amputated my dresser. And then this happened.

stripped-dresser-hearts-and

One drawer was a totally different color!

Cue peanut-butter-throat-wookiee-noise of frustration.

I sanded and stripped over and over and nothing helped. I knew that if I stained it as it was, that drawer would take the stain differently and would always bother me.

dresser-drawers-two-different-colors-Hearts-And-Sharts

Ugh! I mean, wouldja look at that?!

So annoying.

Ohhhhkay, paint it is, then. I sprayed it with a spray primer and let it cure for a few days and flipped it over to add the tapered legs. Real time commentary: My hound dog has the most insane, room clearing, nose hair singeing gas right now. I’m dying.

Here’s a leg hole from the previous legs. Sad story.

underside-of-dresser-Hearts-And-Sharts

I added a couple of 1×4′s to the dresser and attached the leg brackets to the wood.

adding-supports-brackets-for-legs-Hearts-And-Sharts

The legs are 16″ Round Taper Legs by Waddell from Home Depot.

adding-legs-to-dresser-Hearts-And-Sharts

In order to hide the wood supports that the brackets were attached to, I added a couple of 1×2′s around the edge as trim.

adding-trim-to-dresser-Hearts-And-Sharts

I added wood glue and clamped ‘em down and let them sit for 24 hours. I set the sides flush and set the front piece back just a bit.

I was still holding onto the stain idea for the top two drawers that didn’t have hardware but decided that might not look great with the paint color, so I went ahead and primed those as well.

preimed-vintage-dresser-hea

After a good sanding, I taped off the feet and painted the whole thing with HomeRight FinishMax.

painting-dresser-Hearts-And-Sharts

I’ve found that stacking is the easiest and fastest way to paint drawers. Maybe I’m late on this one…

painting-dresser-drawers-Hearts-And-Sharts

I just tape off the sides and set each one back a bit so I can paint the top lip of the drawer as well.

After two weeks of drying/curing time, heeeeere she is!

vintage-dresser-makeover-he

I sprayed the hardware gold to go with some other gold action goin’ on in the master.

hardware-vintage-dresser-detail-Hearts-And-Sharts

gold-feet-tapered-legs-Hearts-And-Sharts

I picked up this phrenology hand at Home Goods for $15 bucks and added some vintage faucet knobs that I picked up at an estate sale.

homegoods-hand-Hearts-And-Sharts

This little light fixture was on my great grandmother’s front porch and we had it on our patio at our previous house in Texas.

vintage-light-fixture-Hearts-And-Sharts

adding-legs-to-dresser-deta

Before:

vintage-dresser-before-Hearts-And-Sharts

After:

vintage-dresser-makeover-he

Whaddya think? Better amputated?

Have you ever added legs to a piece of furniture?

Comments

  1. Mary says

    Beautiful!! Love it!! Great job!! Well done!! Trying to get the nerve to paint the oak dressers, in my bedroom. Thinking about doing them two-toned.
    Mary

  2. says

    That color is PERFECT. I love the tips for adding legs – I have a similar piece, too, that is just too low for my lazy butt to bend down and get into. Haha. Might have to give it some height!

  3. says

    Hi,
    Love the dresser transformation of your red dresser! Can you tell us why you left your paint to dry/cure for weeks when most paint is ok to 2nd coat from 1 hour to 24 hours?
    thanks!

    • says

      Thanks, Seana! I just wanted to make extra-sure that when I put my books and stuff on it that it wasn’t tacky at all. Plus, it was out in the garage and it is super humid in Georgia so I wanted to give it extra time to dry. Also, when I picked up the paint at Home Depot, the paint guy recommended not putting anything on it for two weeks after the final coat was put on. Better safe than sorry!

  4. Zoe says

    Very nice job, and I sure understand about not bending down too far, too often. I believe that the original legs would have been about 6-8 inches long, tapered from about 2-3 inches at top, and angled slightly toward the sides of the dresser. I also think that someone had stripped it before you and then put stain on the one drawer, didn’t like it and decided to paint. Or something like that anyway.

    Good dressers are wonderful storage for so many things in any room. Great job on making yours unique!!

    • says

      Thanks, Zoe! I couldn’t find the exact legs I was looking for (for a decent price) and after two shipping mix ups, I just went with what I had. When I went to Home Depot to get angled brackets, they didn’t have any and said I would have to order them. After working on this thing for three weeks I was ready to have it done so I just went with the regular ones. Sure would have loved it if someone hadn’t cut those legs off in the first place!

  5. Nick says

    I’ve been meaning paint an old armoire that color for quite some time now, but have been rethinking the color, seeing all the great looking yellow pieces plastered all over the internet. Now I know my gut was right!

    Also, those legs are perfect! Great job!

  6. Christine S. says

    The legs have me mentally singing (because I’m at work it would be weird to just belt out…) ZZ Tops (I think that’s who sang it…) She’s Got Legs! LOVE them! SO much better with them than without.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>