Pink and White Chest of Drawers

Yuk! That is what I said when I first saw this chest of drawers. And "yuk" was an understatement actually. The base itself wasn't too bad except it needed a good cleaning, but the hardware was horrible! So of course I snatched it up and bought it. :-)


Dirt and grime I can deal with fairly easily, but the hardware was corroded and had crusty stuff all over it. I didn't even want to touch it. Also, the drawer slides were missing on three of the four drawers. My initial plan was to replace the hardware, purchase replacement drawer slides, and paint it black. Turns out I changed my mind on all three counts.

Soaking in vinegar.
I searched and searched for new hardware, but couldn't find anything that I felt would work well on this piece that would also fit my limited budget. So I decided to try to restore the hardware. I did some research about how to clean the hardware and was a bit put off by the harsh chemicals recommended. At this point I thought I would need to go back to Plan A and buy new hardware, but my husband suggested soaking the hardware in vinegar. It worked like a charm!

The scrubbing process.
I started by putting one of the drawer handles in a small container of vinegar. Within a short period of time I notice tiny bubbles starting to form. I figured something good was happening, so I added all the hardware to the container. After about an hour I took one of the handles out and scrubbed it with a toothbrush and Bar Keeper's Friend. It had an amazingly good result, but I felt it could be better, so I put it back in the vinegar and let everything soak overnight. I was very pleased with the results. They weren't showroom perfect but I planned to paint the handles, and now they were good enough to receive a new finish.

Fresh and clean! Not perfect, but good enough for paint.
Here's another comparison of the
"Before/During/After" of the hardware.
Next I decided to go ahead and buy new wood drawer slides. All the drawers had the wood runners, but three of the four drawers were missing the slide. I thought replacements would be a buck or two, but I ended up with sticker shock. Actually the price wasn't too bad if it was for something I was working on to keep, but since I need to make a profit, I needed to keep the costs down. What I needed was a block of wood with the center notched out so it would slide on the bottom runner.
The bottom drawer runners were all intact.

This was the only drawer with the original slide.

Newly constructed drawer slide. Brilliant!
This would have been a piece of cake if I had a router, but I don't, so I was stuck at this point. My husband once again came to the rescue and said he could build new slides by adding two small wood strips on either side of a center piece of wood. I'm not sure if I am explaining that right, but hopefully the photos will give you an idea of what I'm babbling about. In hindsight it was such an obvious solution, but I just didn't see it at the time.

As I mentioned earlier, I initially planned to paint the chest black. However, I didn't have enough black paint to finish the job, so I decided on something lighter. I still had a good amount of pink leftover from a previous project, so that decided the color scheme.


The base is painted in Antoinette Pink and the top and drawer fronts are painted in Old White. I applied light distressing to highlight the details and finished with a soft wax. I initially painted the handles in pink as well, but my family voted it was too "sweet", so I repainted the hardware in Old White and then distressed it so some of the pink would still show through.

It measures 44" high x 34" wide x 17.5" deep. We took the dresser to the Lebanon Peddler's Mall yesterday (row 5, booth #139). I think it will make a lovely addition to a little girl's room by adding a touch of vintage charm.


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