Everyone remembers that favorite, cherished, toy from growing up. Well, apparently even when I was little I had a love for furniture because I very vividly remember everything about a dresser I played with as a child. It stored my favorite purses and dresses on the right and had drawer storage on the left for all my favorite accessories. It was perfect for my dress up obsession as a kid.
I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could bring it back to life and fill it with dress up clothes for my daughter for her big Christmas gift?! The more I thought about it, the more excited I got but I figured there was a slim chance my parents still had it around.
I excitedly called my mom to ask. Low and behold, they still had the dresser! My dad brought it over to the house and I got to work. Here she is in all her “before” glory, complete with sticker residue and all:
There was a lot of work ahead to bring her back to her natural beauty, but I was 100% up for the challenge. I started by removing the hardware and using my Wagner Tools heat gun to strip the stubborn finish off the piece. Once I had a good handle on getting the old varnish off, I gave her a good sand all over with the orbital sander. The more detailed areas required a variety of different hand-sanding tactics. Once it was sanded and cleaned down, I oiled the piece and added contact paper to the inside drawers. Take a look at the process.
Bringing a piece like this back to life is so rewarding! Here’s the finished dresser in all her glory; complete with Disney princess gear.
Christmas morning came and I’m not sure if she was more excited to receive her present or if I was more excited to give it to her. Spoiler alert: she absolutely LOVED it!
Questions on the process? Comments? I would love to hear from you!
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3 replies on “Bringing a 30-year-old dresser back to life for toddler dress up fun”
Love this!! Total DIY101 question – when you just oil the wood, is there upkeep you have to do? Like, do you have to re-oil it like a wooden cutting board? Thanks!
Good question! You should re-oil once or twice every year. Winter is a good time to do it since the air in the house is more dry due to heating.