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.Now it’s time for a dumpster dresser revival.
He’s been featured by in numerous spots, went viral many times, 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!)
This sad piece isfound 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 asks me if I want it, and though she thought me 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…
…badly damaged veneer with chunks missing all over…
…a rotted-out foot…
…and falling apart at the seams. So sad.
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 are building a new one, I wanted all the faces to be the same.
Once all that veneer is removed, I rebuild the drawers that are basically torn apart, 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 online shop, while I repair the dresser. Fun times for sure.
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!
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.
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).
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 silver paint (same stuff I used on my VW Bus) to spray through the fabric and create a stenciled effect.
I bet you’re getting curious as to the final result! I’m excited to show you!
For added dimension, I used a metallic wax, and then sealed it all in with the matte 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.
Are you ready to see my dumpster dresser turned DIVA??
Here she is…♥
I am in love with how she came out. So pretty and delicate.
The colors are perfect and the silver metallic overlay and feminine pulls just finish it off right.
Thanks to my hubby, you wouldn’t even know a drawer was missing.
Normally it would be at this point that I tell you this lovely lady is available in my online shop, but my friend who found her has snatched her up – as it should be.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this transformation as much as I have. Pin and share to inspire to think twice before leaving a dumpster dresser in distress.
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If you’ve loved this makeover, then I know you’ll enjoy these too!
Wendi @ H2OBungalow says
Wow! This is awesome my friend. LOVE the femine touch you’ve added.
Thank you, Wendi! It was dying to be dressed up. 😉
Hope Williams says
One word, STUNNING!
hee hee hee… THANK YOU! 🙂
Stacey Cartwright says
This turnedout so lovely! Spraying throught the tablecloth is a really neat Idea. It gave it a lot more depth, LOVE it!
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. 😉
wow! So clever and creative! I thought the VW bus was clever but I think you topped it with this one! It’s beautiful!
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!
Girl, you’ve worked your magic again! Wonderful transformation!
It was a tough one, but happy to say she’s saved. Thank you so much, Cecilia!
Judy Lincicum says
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
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!
Of the thousands of ways you could go you always get it just right. Wish I had your intuitive magic. Looks great!!
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!
[email protected] Interior Frugalista says
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
You made me laugh!! hahahaha…thank you, Marie.
Sherry Fram says
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!
You are the best, Sherry! Thank you. Yes, quite a different piece, wouldn’t you say? Had to be done, I tell ya!
Ellenann McGlynn says
Wow!! Talk about making a silk purse………SO impressive!!!!
ahhh…thank you so much. It was definitely a chore, but SOMEBODY’S got to do it! 😀
[email protected] says
Beautiful job! So inspiring. You really have a gift.
Thank you so much, Karen. It was fun!
Debi Carser says
LOVE IT!!! You have the patience of Job to do a project like this! Nicely done!
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! 😀
Wow Larissa, you are so talented!! I love all you do and this dresses is no exception, it’s gorgeous!!
Yay!! So happy to hear it! It was so much work, but well-worth it.
Debbie Martin says
Love all of it
Thank you, Debbie!
Charlene Adair says
I love your talent. You do beautiful amazing work. Fun that your hubby helps.
It’s so awesome to hear that, Charlene. He is a gem for sure, and I love being able to work with him.
Elaine Wood says
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.❤
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.
Funky Junk Interiors says
Sheeesh…. what a beauty! You are tipping internet furniture decorating upside down these days, girl!
Thanks, Donna! Not sure I can keep it up because we head back to homeschool full-time soon, but I have fun nonetheless. 😀
jenny p says
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
Thank you so much, Jenny! It is such a privlege to get to work on once gorgeous pieces and give them new life.
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!
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? 🙂
Very pretty… great job… <3
Thank you so much! It was a hard project, but happy it turned out as I’d hoped.
That is so cute!!!! Love the colors
Thank you so much, Stephanie!
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.
Hmmm…could you send me pics to my email? [email protected] 🙂
Beautiful work! Loved the many pics showing the progressive steps. Thank you for sharing your talents!
The finished piece is just lovely!
Thank you so much, Susie! It was a big job, but am pleased I could save it.
Larissa, the transformation is just so gorgeous! I love that you used my fave CeCe Caldwell’s too!
Thanks, girl! It was fun to use them on this piece.
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!
Certainly, Melissa. It is from Home Depot in the trim section. 🙂
You are brilliantly creative!! Talent aside, I love your vision!! This is absolutely gorgeous!!❤❤❤
You made my giggle, Mary. Thank you!
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.
That sounds perfect, Suzanne. Thank you!
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?
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. 🙂
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?
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.
Patty Soriano says
Jay, my dad refinished furniture for many years. Some things he did for us he filled in damaged spots with new veneer. It’s usually not very pretty though. There was a shop in San Antonio where he was able to purchase it, so maybe in larger cities you could find it somewhere.
I’ve done that many times too, Patty. This one was far too gone to spend the money saving it.
Mary Jo Bonds says
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!!
Thanks, Mary Jo! I believe it was a 7″? Something close to that anyway. 🙂
Oh wow! I will always love your Beep!! I have a soft spot for VW buses anyway. Your talant is extraordinary. Yout blog my favorite. Peace my friend.
That’s so fun to hear, Judy! Thank you so much.
My favorite pulls. This lady is smoking!
yahoo!! That made me giggle!! Thank you, Frances. 😀
Patty Soriano says
Okay, Larissa, I’ve gone back and re-read it and I can’t find what you did for the missing drawer. Did Hubby just put on a faux front ? I have a curbside dresser that also was missing the bottom drawer. I kicked myself afterward for not looking for it in the pile before I loaded it and drove off. So you have given me hope! I think I have also seen a makeover where the bottom “drawer” was a little fold-down door with hinges so that the space could still be used.
We built a complete new one. You sure can save it. Have fun!