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DIY: French Provincial Dresser

It is no exaggeration to say that I had been searching for the perfect dresser for our bedroom for two years! I knew I wanted a 'French Provincial' style dresser but I had a lot of specific parameters that the dresser had to meet. As usual, I wasn't sure if the picture in my mind existed in real life.

{I was basically searching for the unicorn of dressers...story of my life.}

I passed up dresser after dresser. Dozens...and was laughable.

{Were we doomed to a lifetime of ikea?! there was no end in sight!}

Not enough drawers? no, thanks.

Rough condition? see ya.

boring bones? keep it moving.

You want hundreds of dollars? at a thrift store?!? for mdf/compressed wood?! nope!

So I put my search on hold and started looking for nightstands.

{because someday I hope to graduate from our 'fisher price (ikea) my first nightstands'.

Spoiler Alert: still hasn't happened.}

Anyways, as soon as I stopped looking for it, my dresser found me! Making my rounds at one of my fav thrift stores, it seriously stopped me in my tracks. It was an awesome size, REAL WOOD, gorgeous detailing, high-end features like dove-tailed drawers and in amazing condition.

{I had found my unicorn!} was more than I wanted to pay.

Still, my gut told me to look into this one. Since I've been doing this for a while, I always look for branding in drawers but 'John Widdicomb' was a name I didn't recognize. A quick google search later and I knew the store had no idea that this piece was so valuable. The price now seemed more reasonable, but I figured it couldn't hurt to see if I could get it down.

{Thrifting tip: You can (almost) always bargain. Especially if you say you're willing to take it right then or come back immediately with a larger vehicle if necessary.}

I made them an offer for two-thirds of their asking price and they accepted. David was on his way home from school when I called him, told him to swing by the house, empty all the seats and car seats out of our van and get here ASAP! I'm so lucky that he whole-heartedly supports this passion of mine!

Here's the before:

Kinda blah, but with huge potential, right?!

Time to make this 'not your granny's dresser'!

I wanted as smooth and professional a finish as possible, so while I didn't fill every teeny, tiny hole, I did use wood-filler where necessary. (I like this brand.)

Once the wood filler was dry I sanded it smooth and made sure to wipe away the dusty residue.

First coat of paint on the small inner drawers and inside cabinets:

I painted and waxed the drawers in the garage and brought them in once they were finished. However, the body of the dresser is so heavy that I was worried if I completed it in the garage it might get dinged up on the way inside.

{Supply storage for now!}

I absolutely love the ornate hardware that gives french Provincial furniture its distinctive style. The handles on this dresser were gorgeous and I knew that a fresh coat of paint would give them the modern update they needed.

I scrubbed them with a toothbrush to remove any residue and dirt and chose the same paint as the bottom of my DIY reupholstered bench to tie the different styles of furniture together. I love how it gives a more cohesive feel to our room.

When I put the handles back on, I flipped them 'upside down'. Feels a bit more modern to me,

Getting there...all that's left to do is the top.

{Please excuse these awful late night photos...sometimes a girl's just gotta keep it real.}

Oh happy day! The painting is done... and I'm pretty sure I cried at that point.

{almost a year, people. almost a freakin year since I bought this thing! I was determined to finish her before our* anniversary. *totally talking about me and the dresser...yeah we were definitely in a relationship at this point. totally love/hate. finally more love than hate.}

My little guy with the photobomb. cause when's a mama supposed to get pics?!

And then the glorious day finally came!!! She was finished. I celebrated by making D take 300 pics.

{Sadly, that is not an exaggeration.

and then he kicked me out of our room in the middle of the shoot.

for some reason, what I see as 'overseeing the photoshoot' he sees as micromanaging. oops.}

It's official...I'm head over heels in love!

I know the styling will evolve and I'll post updates and other improvements we continue to make in this room.

Like, ya know, nightstands...just to bring this story full circle.

{maybe if I start looking for a dining room buffet...}

Thanks for stopping by, friends!


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