The Guest Room Got Dress(er)ed Up!

By | December 10, 2013

While we’re busy decking out halls and dressing up the house for Christmas, I took a few minutes to spruce up our guest room with the new dresser!

What? New dresser? Have you forgotten the little Craigslist encounter we had all the way back in January?


Well, that dresser is finally finished. For now, that is. (Nothing’s ever REALLY finished around here it seems!)

I think the last time you saw it, it was sitting, primed and ready for paint, in our basement, but I can’t seem to find anything about that, so perhaps the last time we talked about the dresser was when it was sanded and ready for paint.


So, despite the fact that I’ve pretty much ignored the dresser for six months or more now, I’m here with the big reveal.

To begin, let’s back up a few weeks to when it was warm enough for us to paint outside. We grabbed three cans of Rustoleum white spray paint and went to work in the back yard.

First, I taped off the insides and bottoms of the drawers to prevent them from getting paint on them. (We weren’t painting those parts because we didn’t want to disrupt how easily the drawers moved in and out. Paint can make things a little tacky if you aren’t careful with how many layers you put on.)


Painting Craiglist dresser


This is the same technique I used for my yellow desk.

Then, we sprayed several thin coats, probably three or four if I remember right. It’s best if you can do this outside for faster drying time, but beware of bugs that will get stuck in your finish and make you have to sand it down and spray that spot over again. Boo, bugs!

Painting Craiglist dresser 2

You’ll want to make sure to keep the coats as even as possible, and sand down any drips in between coats. (After letting it dry completely that is.) Hubs helped when my hand got tired. Spray painting for that long gives me an arm and finger cramp!

Painting Craiglist dresser 3

Then, we let the dresser dry for a day or so before spraying several coats of a clear gloss over the top of it. It got to wait in the basement for a few days again…poor thing, all abandoned down there with the other half-finished projects…

Painting Craiglist dresser 4


We wanted to make sure it was protected as much as possible from scratches and scuffs so we didn’t want to skimp of this step. It got colder so we had to do this part in the garage.

Gloss on craigslist dresser

Unfortunately, the final coat of gloss bubbled up when we sprayed it on (we’re still not sure why…) so we had to let that dry and then sand it down and start over in those areas.

Bubbled Gloss on Dresser

Hubs was really careful when he sanded everything down so as to not take too much of the white paint off so only a light touch up coat was needed before adding a few more layers of the gloss. Then, it was time to let it really get nice and dry.

A full 24-36 hours later, we carried it into the house and set it up.

Reassembling Craiglist dresser

Even though we’d tried to be careful as to which drawers went where (we stupidly hadn’t labeling them) we spent several minutes figuring out how they best fit together so as to not leave big gaps or cause any scraping against the sides of the frame. Finally, we settled on an arrangement, although there were still a lot of gaps. So, handy hubs set to work creating a solution.

He used a few pieces of thin boards (cut from trimming the table boards down to size) as shims to prop up the sagging drawer corners. You can barely see it on the right side in this photo:

Reassembling Craiglist dresser 2

After a trial run, he glued them in, using heavy books to hold them into place.

Reassembling Craiglist dresser 3

What a crafty man he is, huh?

Reassembling Craiglist dresser 4

Anyway, after another day of drying time, we put the drawers back in, gave her a good wipe with a dusting cloth and called her finished.

For now.

Painted Craiglist dresser

We still want to eventually add a support in the middle of the base (there was one at some point but it’s gone) to prevent it from sagging. Right now we’re only using it for a few sheets and blankets, but if we ever use it for more storage or anything heavier, we want to add some support to protect it, especially since it’s already sagging a little in the middle.

(It’s like the dachshunds of the dresser world, with a long back and short little legs and not enough support in the middle!)

Even though we had wanted to use it in the living room as a TV console table, it just won’t fit in our space. (We were pretty certain it was too big when we bought it.) So until we get a smaller couch in there (I want a small sectional instead of a couch/love seat combo) it will live in the guest room.

(I even tried rearranging the furniture in there to no avail…I just dislike large furniture on an angle if it doesn’t need to be. Chairs are fine sideways, but couches and TVs? No thanks.)

Rearranged living room

We left it over by the staircase for a few days and it fit really well, but with the tree’s appearance last week, it got bumped to the back room.

Painted Craiglist dresser 2

That means we also had to make room in that room for a new big piece of furniture. The square bookshelves got moved to the wall where the little brown chest of drawers was and the dresser went on the long offset wall by the door.

Guest room bookshelves


This bookshelf holds all our books that don’t fit into the regular bookshelf in my office. (Mostly future kid stuff and a few hobby/religion books.)

guest room book shelves 2

It fits pretty well over there, and that’s where we had the bookshelf originally, if you remember that far back. 🙂

We also had to nix the little crates we were using as night stands because there just wasn’t room in between the bed and the dresser, but that’s okay because I already had my eye on them for another project in the living room for Christmas, which I’ll tell you about as soon as I can!

So, here’s the final result:

New dresser in guest room

I just stacked a bunch of books next to the bed on each side for a “nightstand” and I added a coaster to the edge of the dresser in hopes no one will leave an accidental water ring on our freshly painted smooth surface, but if it happens, we can always repaint–that’s the beauty of paint over stain I guess–it covers a world of sins.

guest room book night stands

I also carried in a lamp from the living room that we never use to add some height and a place to set things on that side of the bed.

guest room lamp

We certainly still need some artwork in there (I have a plan for that, at least for one piece, but we’re waiting on Hubs’ brother to get it to us the next time we see him.) It’s a bit crowded in there, but I still like it. And bonus–it matched the headboard! (Despite the blue trim, of course!)

New dresser in guest room 4


For now, this dresser is holding spare sheets and stuff…nothing major.

New dresser in guest room 5

But it’s certainly come a long way from where it started…


To it’s new snazzy white look, I think. I just love the lines on this piece, and I’m happy we were able to give it new life.

New dresser in guest room 3

Phew! I think that’s all you need to know to be caught up on that topic. Now to get you up to speed on everything else!

Tell me what you think of the dresser…can you see the sagging in the middle? Ever had a similar problem? What about the book-based night stands? Hubs thinks it’s a clever way of “cheating” when you run out of space on the bookshelves! 

Psst! Don’t forget to go enter our Favorite Things Christmas Giveaway!

10 thoughts on “The Guest Room Got Dress(er)ed Up!

  1. Jill

    I love the lines of the dresser. Very clean. Painting is such a daunting task. Your hard work pays off!

    1. Melissa Post author

      I love the lines of the dresser, too! And yes, it was a lot of work, but hopefully it will stay nice for a long time! Thanks!

  2. mom

    You have my room all fixed up!! The dresser looks really good, and I like that it is with the headboard…together again!

  3. Donita

    It looks great in there. That room is really becoming so inviting. I need to come up and stay there again!

  4. Rebecca

    Looking good! I get your pain in “nothings ever really finished around here”. We like to remodel/do home improvement stuff to, and even when we are “done” we find something different to do, or redo what we did. Oh the life of DIYers.

    1. Melissa Post author

      For sure! I already mentioned something like that “Maybe someday down the road we could…” for the table last night while painting it and you should have seen the look Hubs gave me. I guess when that baby’s done, it might be done for good! (If we ever get there!) Ha! Thanks for the comment, and for sharing my pain!


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