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Damaged Chest of Drawers Makeover

It never ceases to amaze me how fast a month rolls by. It’s as if I blink and were beginning another month. Do you feel that way too? With this new month comes a brand new Trash to Treasure time on the second Tuesday. What a fun time when my blogger friends and I each work on a new project just for you. My contribution this month is this 1800’s damaged chest of drawers that is need of much TLC.

Antique Chest of Drawers Before | prodigalpieces.com

When I was offered this beautiful, yet dilapidated, chest, I couldn’t refuse. So, here’s the good: it’s made of solid walnut, has all the drawers, and is still standing.

Top of Damaged Chest of Drawers Before | prodigalpieces.com

However, the bad: it’s missing the marble inlay in the top just like this other chest I redid HERE, the side rail is laying in the top drawer, and the other side rail is half missing. Also, the drawer guides are floating loose, the top has softball size dents, and it has several cracks in the frame.

Large Dents in Top of Damaged Chest of Drawers | prodigalpieces.com

I don’t know…maybe someone dropped a bowling ball three or four times? haha. Either way, they are all issues I can deal with and am anxious to dive in and see what I’m up against.

DIY TIME

First order of business is to take off the top. That’s easy enough as I believe someone refinished this before me and it’s missing the drawers that rested on top and even the mirror. When I take off the top, I find that the front spreader has the notch in it for marble.

Damaged Chest of Drawers Top Rail | prodigalpieces.com

This leaves me with a problem…if I replace the top I will have this opening to cover up. I can either (1) cover the notch with a corner round piece of trim, (2) or I can replace the stretcher. Because I want to keep this as true to original as possible, I decide to replace it. With the cost of lumber skyrocketing, I am all about reusing what I can find in any way. With that in mind, I cut the top using my jig to make a new stretcher.

Cutting Damaged Chest of Drawers Top for Parts | prodigalpieces.com

Then, I use my pocket hole jig to create joints so I can attach the stretcher.

DIY Pocket Hole Joint | prodigalpieces.com

A HISTORY

However, before I put it in, I want to also reset the drawer guides and replace the missing rails on each side. See, I told you it is a hot mess. haha. Though, it’s not quite as bad as this antique chest I turned into a bench.

Missing Damaged Chest of Drawers Rail | prodigalpieces.com

Next, I cut a new piece out of the remnant top to replace the rail on the opposite side. Wast not, want not! Also, if you like my DIY saw dust collector, you can see the tutorial HERE.

Making Side Rail for Damaged Chest of Drawers | prodigalpieces.com

In addition, I have to point out the Knapp joints on the drawers. This tells me this piece is from the mid to late 1800’s. I get goosebumps! You can read more about them HERE.

Antique Chest of Drawers Knapp Joint on Drawer | prodigalpieces.com

NEXT STEPS

Meanwhile, I also work on the drawers. The knobs were missing so I need to find a suitable replacement. First, I fill the knob holes with dowel and let glue cure.

Dowel Filled Drawer Knob Holes | prodigalpieces.com

Then, I drill the dowel to fit the replacements…these antique ornate swag pulls I have in my stash.

Antique Ornate Swag Drawer Pull | prodigalpieces.com

However, before I can assemble, I sand down the drawer fronts to showcase that gorgeous walnut. After that I am using hemp oil to bring out the grain and protect the wood. In addition, you can see how basic oil transformed my antique church pew.

Use Hemp Oil to Restore Old Wood | prodigalpieces.com

Finally, I’m left with figuring out the top. Because I am all about reducing our landfill occupants of good wood, I head to my stash from my recent city clean-up haul where I grabbed this pair of closet doors and the framing as well.

Spring Clean-Up Louver Doors | prodigalpieces.com

By the way, who throws away Old Glory? It made sad to see as it should be burned in respect instead. Anyhoo, I take the framing from those closet doors and make a new top. Since it’s pine, it doesn’t match the walnut, so that leads to paint.

Also, I’m able to give the damaged chest of drawers cabinet a final finish as well. You can see my little helper is getting bigger and is enjoying the soft white milk paint.

Girl Painting Damaged Chest of Drawers in Soft White Milk Paint | prodigalpieces.com

LOOKING GOOD

It may have been destined for the trash at one point, but look at it now. woot!

Restored Damaged Farmhouse Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #furniture #diy

Side View of Farmhouse White Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #furniture #homedecor

Not only am I so excited that it is ready for many more years of use, but also because it is restored using other pieces of “trash” (aka. #trashure). Is it perfect? nah. However, it sure tells a story of simpler times where the craftsmen put their heart and soul into their work. It didn’t roll off an assembly line made of manufactured wood.

Top View of Antique Chest of Drawers Restored by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #rustic #farmhouse #diy

Paper-Lined Drawer of Damaged Chest of Drawers Restored by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #antique #furniture #diy

Additionally, I’m so happy that I could, at least, showcase that walnut in the drawers. That wood is hard to beat!

Painted White with Stained Wood Antique Chest of Drawers Renewed by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #rustic #farmhouse #homedecor

Rustic Farmhouse Chest with Update by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #farmhouse

As with most of my pieces, this chest is now available in my online shop along with many other fun story-telling pieces too. We do ship to your door and within the continental U.S.

  • White French Jewelry Sign available at Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #shopping #homedecor
    French Jewelry Store Sign ~ $75

Farmhouse Furniture Vignette Featuring a Damaged Chest of Drawers Restored by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #furntiure #antique

Farmhouse Style Vignette with Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furniture #homedecor

SHARE

So tell me…would you have given this damaged chest of drawers a second look? It definitely would scare away some. Call me a nut, but I love it! haha! In addition to leaving me a comment below, I’d love it if you pin and share to inspire others on their DIY journey.

This damaged chest of drawers is in bad shape, but Larissa of Prodigal Pieces restores it to a farmhouse style glory. Details at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #diy #furniture #antique

And there’s more! Up next these two thrifted totes caught my eye.

Thrifted Wooden Totes Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Don’t you think they have potential See them next by  signing up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Now, it’s time to see what my Trash to Treasure friends have for you – head below!
blog signatureTrash to Treasure Tuesday | prodigalpieces.com

Trash to Treasure Tuesday May 2022 | prodigalpieces.com

  1. Salvaged Inspirations
  2. Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer
  3. Artsy Chicks Rule
  4. Girl in the Garage

Also, more furniture projects like this damaged chest of drawers makeover:

From blucky paint to farmhouse chic, this blanket chest has new life. See the makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comWhat a difference! This vintage Dixie dresser with bow front style got a facelift using frottage technique to create time-worn wear. Get the DIY details at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #vintage

Comments

  1. MrsSW says

    Hi Larissa – the chest looks great – i always admire the way you take on challenging pieces. Today, though, I’m wondering what the plant is that you have on top of the dresser?
    Thanks,
    Sheila

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I’m a nut for sure. haha. It’s a succulent named after a coral reef find…I can’t remember but maybe anemone or just coral? It’s such a neat plant I’ve grown since this first project HERE.

  2. Kim Banko says

    You are so talented! Wow! A lot of work involved but this beauty was worth it!

    • Larissa says

      This one actually didn’t drain me like some have in the past, so I had fun with it. Thanks so much for the love, Kim!

  3. Rebecca says

    Incredible!! I would have given up when seeing the hole in the top. But, now it’s a different chest!! Way to go!!!! 😍

    • Larissa says

      It would have been fun to find some marble to fit, but that’s a needle-in-a-haystack issue there. haha. Thanks so much, Rebecca!

  4. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Hi Larissa!! Great makeover! I don’t think I could have fixed that?

    • Larissa says

      Hi Cheryl!! It was a fun challenge, but less work than some I’ve done, so I’m happy with that. woot!

  5. Christy James says

    Wow this really needed some work and might have even scared me away, but as usual, you rocked it, my friend! XOXO

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Christy! I’m just glad it wasn’t as bad as some I’ve worked on. yay!!

  6. Denise - Salvaged Inspirations says

    I’m not sure I would have been up for the challenge on this one but I ALWAYS look forward to seeing how you salvage these gorgeous pieces. And I’m with you.. those joints are beautiful, aren’t they!? XOXO

    • Larissa says

      I almost considered giving it away, but it’s always so tempting! 😀 Thank ya bunches, Denise. Always fun to see what you’re up to as well. hugs!

  7. Debbie says

    Can you share what type of hemp oil you used on this? I used to use Miss Mustard Seed but can’t find it any longer. That walnut is so beautiful!

    • Larissa says

      Sure! I get it at vitacost.com You can also use tung oil or linseed as well. All are wonderful.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks for saying so, Jen. Yes, they are an amazing part of history.

  8. BlueHome says

    I’m happy to see our flag in photos! Respect to our 🇺🇲 & country

    • Larissa says

      I couldn’t just let it go in the city clean-up trash. Old Glory.

  9. Marie B. says

    Your building skills are so impressive Larissa. The chest of drawers modification and makeover looks amazing! It’s not often you come across Knapp joints, that in itself makes the dresser worth the challenge of repair.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you for saying so, Marie. I feel my skills are ignored around here by a certain someone. 😉 Yes, this chest has such a story to tell and I couldn’t let it go to the landfill.

  10. Cheryl De Mars says

    Larissa,
    What a fabulous makeover. That piece was waiting for you to rescue it.
    I have picked up similarly damaged furniture much to my husband’s dismay. This dresser would have him sending me to a home for the insane lol.
    I pictured this a bathroom vanity with the top missing a piece. I really love the way you updated this while keeping the antique integrity. Keep up the great work
    Cheryl

    • Larissa says

      hahaha! That’s too funny, Cheryl. 😀 Yes, I mentioned it would make a great vanity with a new top as well just like the one I did for our bathroom. So many possibilities with well-built furniture.

    • Larissa says

      Yes, I know. The fire department hosts a proper ceremony monthly as well and why I took it.

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2020-03-21T21:34:13-04:00

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