The Story of My Craigslist Dresser

I recently figured out how to get e-mail alerts from craigslist.  Do you do this?  It's genius! You create your desired search option and then hit "e-mail alert" to the right of the search bar.

For each of my categories, I make sure to first select "by owner" and "has image."  And then the more specific you are in your search bar description the better (and the less e-mails you will get) but then of course you may miss out on things that people have labeled differently than you would.

One of my categories is "vintage dresser," which is incredibly vague but I didn't want to miss out.  So of course, I was bombarded with tons of e-mails of all sorts of dressers.

But one night on my way to mutual, I got an e-mail for this vintage dresser for $100:
I texted the owner to ask if the dresser was still available and then I headed into mutual (dance night!).  When I got out, there was a text back that yes the dresser was still available.  I asked for a little more info on it (solid wood? smooth sliding drawers? dove tail? scratches or dents?) and then asked if they would take $75 for it.  They said yes and we set up a time for me to come see it two days later.

Aaron, Eleanor and I went together (safety first, you know) and ended up in the home of one of the loveliest human beings I've ever met.  Her father-in-law had just passed away and they were really wanting to clear out their garage full of his stuff.  She was wanting to get rid of things so badly that she threw in a side table for free just to have it off her hands.

We loaded the car with the dresser and side table and were off.

My original idea for the dresser was that it would be our stand-in tv stand (to remedy this ugly tv stand situation) so we first tried the dresser out in the living room.  The minute we put it in there it just felt weird.  We already have another large wood, midcentury credenza so it seemed funny to have another one in there.  And it turns out that just that week Aaron's wire baskets fell apart and he was all of a sudden in need of a dresser, making it even more silly to have a perfectly good dresser in the living room when we really needed it in the bedroom.  So back to the room it went!

I started wiping down the dresser immediately and noticed that it wasn't in as pristine of condition as I had hoped.  Nothing horrible, but it was definitely showing its age.  Plus, there's a poly layer on it that gives the dresser a shiny look that I'm not too fond of at the moment.

I started researching refinishing dressers (great posts hereherehere and here) and then headed to Home Depot for some products.  I walked out of there with Citristip, after wash, sandpaper, etc. that all totaled $45.

Man, home improvement projects are not cheap!

I'm trying to keep it all in perspective though.  The dresser was only $75 to start with, so even with the Home Depot materials it is still cheaper than a cheap 6-drawer Ikea dresser (which is about $150).  And this dresser is definitely going to last longer than an Ikea one.  So in the end, I think it's worth it.  Or thats what I tell myself.

Then of course, you have to factor in the new drawer pulls I'd like to get ;) These ones seem like they would fit the current drawer holes and I love the look:
They would add another $90 to the dresser though so I'll hold off for a while on that.

I have yet to dive into any of the refinishing but will show the (hopefully beautiful) finished product one day.  The dresser really is fine enough as is for now though.

So that's the recent craigslist story.  I have become a firm believer in craigslist when it comes to wood pieces (dressers, tables, chairs, etc.).  I think there are great couches and upholstered chairs too but then you have to start factoring in reupholstery costs.  So for now, I'll stick to wood and be so grateful to find quality pieces for cheap :)

1 comment:

  1. I had NO idea you could sign up for alerts. Genius! Thanks!