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:

brown dresser

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!

-Jackie

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Posted by:Jackie Hausler of haus2home

Jackie Hausler seeks to inspire creativity in the name of reclaiming, reusing and upcycling. With each project, she walks followers through do-it-yourself projects, shows how to give old items a new chance at life, and teaches ways to be eco-friendly and live a green lifestyle. She believes making your house a home doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful, and is passionate about accomplishing that while being kind to our earth. Jackie is the founder of the home and lifestyle blog haus2home.com.

One thought on “Bringing a 30-year-old dresser back to life for toddler dress up fun

  1. 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!

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