I had a key New Year’s resolution this year. It had been to successfully finish a Do-It-Yourself project from begin to finish. I am only going to put this out there: I hate DIY jobs. I am lazy, I am very far from being a perfectionist (can you remember Phil Hartman as the Anal-Retentive Handyman? I am the opposite of that) and that I haven’t any innate Ms. Fix-It skills.

However, my dresser has been bugging me. My grandma lovingly stripped and completed this cute classic pine dresser for me in 1972, and it lasted a fantastic long time, but it’s because of a makeover. While I love the gorgeous wood, I’ve been looking at it for thirtysomething years and I am ready for a change. I had been expecting to wrap up this in a weekend, but it was not intended to be. Here is how it went.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Here is the picture that inspired my makeover.

This vintage pharmacy grooming tools display case that was sitting atop my dresser was also an inspiration. It is a unique piece; each drawer is broken into segments which are great for storing and organizing my jewelry. I enjoy finding stuff like this; I found it at Scott’s Antique Market.

Before Photo

Here is the dresser .

Friday 4:45 p.m.: Strike the Ace. The one on Virginia-Highland is a nice walk from my house. You cannot walk two feet within that place without someone coming over to let you know exactly what you want and where to locate it. I really like that place.

The man who disturbs me tells me that even though the final time that this badge was painted was in 1972, I should probably sand it. I buy some sanding material to fake him out and make him believe I am likely to do that. I am not sure why I care what he believes, but the gratification I want from this project simply does not have sufficient time for sanding in the program.

He also tells me that the hardware could be spray painted. I buy some sanding material, silver spray paint and some polished black paint.

Friday 5:30 p.m. Empty dresser. Realize I want to drag my giveaway bin from the closet into the sack so that I can purge a few things, such as my T-shirt from Dragon Jam I haven’t worn in a couple of decades.

I unearth crazy things at the base, like a photo of a classic collage I did, an empty Swatch instance, a random Mossimo hang tag and a bag of what I suspect was previously lavender but seems to be an illegal substance of some type. I thoroughly clean the drawers and send the previous liners to the recycling bin.

Friday 5:45 p.m. I eliminate all of the existing hardware and am careful that each bolt and screw gets it into the designated ZipLock bag. There is nothing worse than getting to the conclusion of a project such as this and figuring out you’re overlooking that last bolt.

Friday 6:15 p.m. Somehow gather superhuman strength and wrestle the dresser (without drawers) down the stairs. This is actually stupid, especially if nobody else is home. If you’re going to try this, at least call a friend and say,”If I do not call you in 15 minutes, come over, let’s in, and pry the dresser off me after you call 911.”

Friday 6:30 p.m. After spreading my equipment (I can’t believe I still had that brush using the Tiffany blue paint onto it from a preceding DIY. Disaster about eight years ago), I recognize I really don’t have that can of white glossy paint I thought I’d. I choose to stir up the glossy black paint and perform a little test to find out if I want to sand/prime/whatever. This turns into me painting the whole thing. I find out Home Depot is available until 9 p.m. and head over there and find some.

Then I then head to Target”to find drawer liners.” In an attempt not to fill out a cart, I catch a basket, which can be a joke; I never make it out of Target with no cart full of stuff. I end up with a bunch of those horizontal vases, two boxes of ZipLock bags and a DwellStudio coverlet on clearance for $48.98. Oh, and drawer liners — I remembered those.


Secret Key Handle – $9.95

Friday 9:30 p.m.: I am exhausted. I choose to sit a spell and watch Jersey Shore while doing some online browsing in search of fresh handle choices. Oh goodie, Portlandia is on too! Anyhow, I decide that these quirky keys could be an enjoyable alternative.


Zinnia Manage – Zinc – $18

Friday 10:30 p.m. Dresser seems dry; I add a second coat of black and paint the drawers glossy white.

Contemplate these handles too.

Erika Bierman Photography

Saturday 9:00 a.m.: Give everything another coat while contemplating the grips, which I really enjoy on this little dressing table.

11:00 a.m.: Strike Lenox Mall to pick up my recently-fixed laptop (Apple shop on a Saturday — is there anything worse?) And a much more pleasing task, hitting Anthropologie to have a look at the handles.


Pipeline Manage – $12

Saturday 12:30 p.m. We have a winner! Glass knobs from Anthropologie. I will end up calling every shop in Georgia searching for eight, but end up ordering them to be overnighted, which means I won’t get them until Tuesday, which does not seem really overnight for me.

Saturday 6:00 p.m. Give everything one final coat for the evening and dream of getting my living space and kitchen back to usual. Proceed to bed considering drawer handles.

Sunday 10:00 p.m. It is raining, and it’s not likely to stop for days. There is no way I’m likely to acquire the hardware spray-painted, also I am very impatient to find out how this will appear. I line the drawers using this fun black-and-white touch paper I found at Target, then carry everything back upstairs.

Sunday 10:30 a.m. Add the 1 glass handle I bought at Anthropologie into the dresser and put the old hardware back on to determine how it will appear. Choose the glass for now, but will surely save the alloy for one more day.

It is interesting to put things back on top, even though my clothes are still in laundry baskets and piles elsewhere in my area.

This makeover had a fun side effect: It left me find a new place for Mr. Elephant. I kind of like him in his brand new shelf on the nightstand, beneath the yellow donut phone.

Sunday 12:00 p.m. Get active cleaning so that I can proceed to what is crucial, the Sunday Times crossword puzzle.

Tuesday 1:00 p.m. The handles arrive. They are lovely but they are a nightmare. There are no bolts included, and the screws are ridiculously long. They are kind of backwards, and the old grips were much more pliable; the current holes are too large and some are not lined up properly. I did not realize some of the over the weekend when testing the initial one.

Which makes it worse, my friend Heather never returned my drill, and now she’s in Dublin. Now I am wishing I could have my overnight delivery money back.

One week after: I hate DIY projects, some of this had been fun, but it was a pain in the neck. But, I would do something similar to this over buying something fresh daily of the week, no question. With no new handles, the project cost less than $50, with the handles it had been about $150.

It’s been a long week. Heather still has my drill, the grips are still pulling in and out loosely, and my stuff is still all over my bedroom.

Should I keep the old handles as they are? Should I spray paint these silver? Should I attempt to make the glass ones do the job? Do your D.I.Y. jobs usually go smoothly or would you stink at it as much as I do? What type of jobs are you working on right now? Please discuss in the Comments section.

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