Dumpster Dresser turned Boho Chic Diva

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A couple of weeks ago I shared a freebie garage sale dresser (an Art Deco waterfall piece) turned Volkswagen bus that stole my heart. Meet BEEP.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

He’s been featured by Country Living, House Beautiful, and has taken the internet by a storm. In that same post, I shared my other waterfall dresser…my dumpster dresser damsel in distress (say that five times fast!)

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

This sad piece was found by a good friend of mine next to a dumpster in the middle of winter. Bleak, cold, and sad-looking, isn’t it? My friend asked me if I wanted it, and though she thought I was nuts, I told her yes. I just couldn’t leave it there!

Finally, I’m able to give it the much-needed attention it so desired and the makeover begins. YAY!

Let’s take a look at the damage. Obviously, a missing drawer…

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…badly damaged veneer with chunks missing all over…

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…a rotted out foot…

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…and falling apart at the seams. So sad.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

When I got it home I thought to myself, “Oh girl, you got yourself a hot mess” and “What did you get yourself into?” Nothing like rolling up your sleeves and getting down to business. Can I get an amen?

To get started, I used my towel soak method to remove the veneer from the drawer fronts. Since we were building a new one, I wanted all the faces to be the same.

Once all that veneer was removed, I had to rebuild the drawers that had been basically torn apart at one point, and haphazardly put back together. Bottoms falling out, dovetails messed up, and out of square. Here’s my hubby and I working hard, as we always do. He’s building a custom trunk we offer in my shop, while I repair the dresser. Fun times for sure.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The cabinet of the dresser was my second project. Let’s just say a hammer became my best friend. I had to beat this thing back together, remove oodles of interior veneer and replace that rotted foot. A hot mess, I tell ya!

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I nearly ran through a whole tub of wood filler repairing that damaged veneer, but it was worth it. After a whole lotta sanding with my favorite sander, here it is ready for a facelift.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

This was my happy mail for this project, a box of goodies from CeCe Caldwell’s Paints. A box full of paint goodness that I couldn’t wait to dip my brush into.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Aren’t those colors gorgeous? Nantucket Spray and Blue Montanta Sky are perfect for my damsel.

*CeCe Caldwell’s Paints and Hickory Hardware provided product for this post and there are affiliate links included too.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I gave the cabinet two coats of blue, and the drawers two coats of green. I could have stopped there, but I wanted to take it to the next level. This lady needed some oooh’s and ahhh’s for all its been through. So, I grab some dollar store tissue paper and did my tissue paper treatment to the drawer fronts with some Elmer’s glue and a bit of water (no need to buy that expensive découpage stuff).

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next, I pull out a scrap of thrift store tablecloth (I grab those whenever I can because I use them to sew, craft, whatever) and lay it over the drawer fronts. Then, I use my Rust-Oleum Metallic Silver paint (same stuff I used on my VW Bus) to spray through the fabric and create a stenciled effect.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I bet you’re getting curious as to the final result! I’m excited to show you!

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

For added dimension, I used CeCe Caldwell’s Metallic Wax in Shelbyville Graphite, and then sealed it all in with the Endurance Natural Finish topcoat. Before reinserting the drawers of any piece I work on, I use an old candle to wax the guides and rails, drawer bottoms, etc. to make the drawer move easier in and out.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Are you ready to see my dumpster dresser turned DIVA??

Here she is…♥

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I am in love with how she came out. So pretty and delicate as she was meant to be.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The colors are perfect and the silver metallic overlay and feminine pulls from Hickory Hardware just finish it off right.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Thanks to my hubby, you wouldn’t even know a drawer was missing.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Normally it would be at this point that I tell you this lovely lady is available in my shop, but my friend who found her has snatched her up – as it should be. If you are ever interested in a custom piece, just email or message me, and we’ll get started.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I hope you’ve enjoyed this transformation as much as I have. Do pin and share so others can be inspired to think twice before leaving a dumpster dresser in distress.

A left for trash dumpster dresser gets a makeover taking it from damsel in distress to Boho Chic DIVA. A must see makoever! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

If you’ve loved this makeover, then I know you’ll enjoy these too!

Antique Stereo Repurposed Into Sewing Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesVintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

 

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60 Comments

  • Wendi @ H2OBungalow

    Wow! This is awesome my friend. LOVE the femine touch you’ve added.

    August 26, 2015 at 7:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Wendi! It was dying to be dressed up. 😉

      August 26, 2015 at 9:21 am Reply
  • Hope Williams

    Yes, AMEN!!

    One word, STUNNING!

    August 26, 2015 at 8:10 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hee hee hee… THANK YOU! 🙂

      August 26, 2015 at 9:21 am Reply
  • Stacey Cartwright

    This turnedout so lovely! Spraying throught the tablecloth is a really neat Idea. It gave it a lot more depth, LOVE it!

    August 26, 2015 at 8:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Stacey! It just needed an extra touch to make it have the character it deserved and I knew a lacey girl would be perfect. 😉

      August 26, 2015 at 9:20 am Reply
  • Susan

    wow! So clever and creative! I thought the VW bus was clever but I think you topped it with this one! It’s beautiful!

    August 26, 2015 at 8:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Happy to hear it, Susan! I about gave up a couple of times, but am glad I saw it through. What a difference some TLC can do!

      August 26, 2015 at 9:20 am Reply
  • Cecilia

    Girl, you’ve worked your magic again! Wonderful transformation!

    August 26, 2015 at 8:43 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was a tough one, but happy to say she’s saved. Thank you so much, Cecilia!

      August 26, 2015 at 9:19 am Reply
  • Judy Lincicum

    Hi Larissa, I am new to your blog and I am just absolutely blow away at the talent you have (and your hubby too). Some awesomeness like this can only be God given and I just had to stop and tell you this. I have visited your shop and I’ve seen the magazine articles about Beep, and just cannot fathom the extent of your talent. You have more in your pinkie than most hope to have in a lifetime. And you deserve alot more than 3 comments on this beautiful dresser makeover. She is so beautiful, and she used to be such a hot mess!! Haha. I know you work hard on these pieces and when you post them it seems like you just snapped your fingers and they turned out that way, but I have worked with painting furniture and done some repairs and it takes alot of work to get it done right. I will continue to visit your blog and oooh and ahhh over your accomplishments. You have my vote, girl! God Bless, Judy

    August 26, 2015 at 8:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are a blessing to me. Thank you. Yes, is all glory goes to God and His mercy. So much work went into this and all we do. It can be daunting at times, but that’s all part of being refined in the fire. Happy to have you along for the journey!

      August 26, 2015 at 9:19 am Reply
  • Jana

    Of the thousands of ways you could go you always get it just right. Wish I had your intuitive magic. Looks great!!

    August 26, 2015 at 9:00 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was a job for sure, and am pleased I didn’t ruin it! I guess it could only be improved, right? 😀 Thank you so much!

      August 26, 2015 at 9:17 am Reply
  • Marie@The Interior Frugalista

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!! When I think there is no way you can top the last makeover you do it again Larissa! Girl, you da Furniture Makeover Queen

    August 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You made me laugh!! hahahaha…thank you, Marie.

      August 30, 2015 at 6:40 pm Reply
  • Sherry Fram

    Wow! Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! She is beautiful!! The color is one of my favorite of all the colors you have used! Love the napkins decopaged on the center and the silver lacy pattern on top! Awesome makeover and your friend is one lucky lady!

    August 27, 2015 at 2:35 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are the best, Sherry! Thank you. Yes, quite a different piece, wouldn’t you say? Had to be done, I tell ya!

      August 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm Reply
  • Ellenann McGlynn

    Wow!! Talk about making a silk purse………SO impressive!!!!

    August 27, 2015 at 8:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      ahhh…thank you so much. It was definitely a chore, but SOMEBODY’S got to do it! 😀

      August 30, 2015 at 6:38 pm Reply
  • karen@somewhatquirkydesign

    Beautiful job! So inspiring. You really have a gift.

    August 28, 2015 at 9:22 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Karen. It was fun!

      August 30, 2015 at 6:37 pm Reply
  • Debi Carser

    LOVE IT!!! You have the patience of Job to do a project like this! Nicely done!

    August 28, 2015 at 11:16 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha…I love it! Thank you. Yes, I was ready to throw in the towel a few times, but didn’t want to quit. I’m not a quitter! 😀

      August 30, 2015 at 6:31 pm Reply
  • Pili

    Wow Larissa, you are so talented!! I love all you do and this dresses is no exception, it’s gorgeous!!

    August 29, 2015 at 4:51 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay!! So happy to hear it! It was so much work, but well-worth it.

      August 30, 2015 at 6:30 pm Reply
  • Debbie Martin

    Love all of it

    August 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Debbie!

      August 30, 2015 at 6:30 pm Reply
  • Charlene Adair

    I love your talent. You do beautiful amazing work. Fun that your hubby helps.

    August 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s so awesome to hear that, Charlene. He is a gem for sure, and I love being able to work with him.

      August 30, 2015 at 6:29 pm Reply
  • Elaine Wood

    Larissa, I am amazed. Just a piece of trash, not worth anything but a future in the dump. BUT then you’re able to see something there in all that brokenness, and rescue this poor worn thing. Not easy I’m sure, a wonderful transformation takes place and produces something beautiful and useful. I have to remember how the Lord found his children. All broken wounded, useless, headed for the dump. But in His hands something gets transformed, and we are made new and have a value and usefulness we didn’t know was there. God is good. I pray He blesses you and your husband always with His transforming love.❤

    August 30, 2015 at 3:28 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      What a special blessing, thank you! Yes, that is how I saw it. We all in need of major repair and it takes our loving heavenly Father to give us new life.

      August 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm Reply
  • Funky Junk Interiors

    Sheeesh…. what a beauty! You are tipping internet furniture decorating upside down these days, girl!

    August 30, 2015 at 4:37 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Donna! Not sure I can keep it up because we head back to homeschool full-time soon, but I have fun nonetheless. 😀

      August 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm Reply
  • jenny p

    I love your blog because it is about redeeming pieces & making them beautiful again. You see the value & beauty hidden underneath the exterior. You shine my friend…..All my blessings>….Jenny P

    August 30, 2015 at 5:13 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Jenny! It is such a privlege to get to work on once gorgeous pieces and give them new life.

      August 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm Reply
  • Andrea

    I hope the original finder/new owner person displays a before & after pic near this so people can continue to be uh-mazed! Always love a good redemption story!

    August 30, 2015 at 5:20 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? She’s a good friend and has a gorgeous home. Maybe I can get her to do that? 🙂

      August 30, 2015 at 6:26 pm Reply
  • Katarzyna

    Very pretty… great job… <3

    October 2, 2015 at 8:52 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much! It was a hard project, but happy it turned out as I’d hoped.

      October 3, 2015 at 9:35 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    That is so cute!!!! Love the colors

    January 10, 2016 at 4:37 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Stephanie!

      January 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm Reply
  • Leslie

    Do you have any suggestions for an old radio I have on hand? It’s not a cabinet radio, but one of those big ones with a rounded top. I’ve thought of pulling out the insides and putting in shelves, but it’s pretty small for that. Or, perhaps, a jewelry holder.

    January 29, 2016 at 8:00 am Reply
  • Susie

    Beautiful work! Loved the many pics showing the progressive steps. Thank you for sharing your talents!
    The finished piece is just lovely!

    January 29, 2016 at 8:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Susie! It was a big job, but am pleased I could save it.

      January 29, 2016 at 3:34 pm Reply
  • Karen

    Larissa, the transformation is just so gorgeous! I love that you used my fave CeCe Caldwell’s too!

    May 14, 2016 at 10:57 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, girl! It was fun to use them on this piece.

      May 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    Could you share where you purchased the trim pieces for the drawers? Assuming you had to get new ones for the drawer your husband created. Thanks!

    May 15, 2016 at 11:33 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Certainly, Melissa. It is from Home Depot in the trim section. 🙂

      May 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm Reply
  • Mary

    You are brilliantly creative!! Talent aside, I love your vision!! This is absolutely gorgeous!!❤❤❤

    August 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You made my giggle, Mary. Thank you!

      August 2, 2016 at 6:25 am Reply
  • Suzanne

    I have one of these but there’should a design in the veneers of the drawers. I’mean thinking of tissue paper/lace but lined up with the designs. I love how you did this piece.

    August 2, 2016 at 12:52 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That sounds perfect, Suzanne. Thank you!

      August 2, 2016 at 5:58 am Reply
  • Jay

    Hi,
    I was just admiring your work but realized that anyone can fix and paint over anything but the REAL challenge is to restore it to it’s original glory. Have you ever done that with a Waterfall Chest, Vanity, Desk etc..? Because they are laminate overlay so how would you fix and actually restore something that is old laminate?

    August 25, 2016 at 10:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Restoration is pretty much replacing the veneer or laminate with new which typically ends up costing more than the piece is worth, which is why most remove or hide it. If it’s for you and you want the restored version, then go for it. 🙂

      August 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm Reply
      • Jay

        Hi,
        Thank you for your quick reply. That was great to see. Where would you even begin to look
        for old veneer or laminate replacement? Can you just fill in the lost veneer/laminate areas
        on the item with the filler then paint or stain over it?

        August 26, 2016 at 11:06 am Reply
        • Larissa

          You bet. You can find rolls of veneer in strip form at most home improvement stores, but the sheets are hard to find and I’ve only seen specialty places online and it’s expensive. Yes, I used wood filler and paint in most instances.

          August 29, 2016 at 5:51 am Reply
  • Mary Jo Bonds

    I love the bus you did and am looking for a waterfall chest to make one for my son. What size VW emblem did you order? Love it!!

    May 2, 2017 at 5:28 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Mary Jo! I believe it was a 7″? Something close to that anyway. 🙂

      May 4, 2017 at 7:13 am Reply

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