Friday, June 27, 2014

Repaired & Refurbished MCM Dresser

*I was compensated for this post with supplies, however all content, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sometimes you should just walk away from a craigslist sale. This was most likely on of those times.  Yet, we still came home with this dresser.  Call it an extreme case of annoyance and just wanting to be done with the transaction. We're still not sure.


Here's what we do know. It was originally priced at $100 for weeks. It was listed in excellent condition. It was not really excellent. Or even good, for that matter, but we wouldn't find that out until later. Once the price was reduced to $50 we decided to contact the seller.  Don't you love when you go to buy something off of craigslist and it's in the seller's old, dark basement? You know, that's not creepy or anything.  Anyway, there was enough light for me to see some significant veneer damage. Not just a little imperfection here and there (which I could have dealt with). We should have walked away, instead I offered $40 since the condition was not listed accurately and we loaded it up in our vehicle, where I noticed major leg damage. Blech.
So this is really the story of how we ended up buying a MCM Dixie dresser that was in pretty dire condition and how we tackled the problems we were faced.
You know how I mentioned leg damage. At first, I though they just needed to be tightened. In reality, the wood for the metal gripper that holds the legs in place was missing on one leg. My husband cut a piece of wood to fit the missing one and was able to fashion it back together to give it some strength. There wasn't much we could do about the leg right behind it. Dog? Water damage? No clue, but some of that leg is missing (luckily it's on the inside so not too noticeable).
Our main leg problem was that this is such a large dresser and the middle support was missing. And, the dresser was showing signs of sagging. Seriously upsetting. So, I did a quick Internet search and found a new to me company that I really need to tell you about. makes and sells replacement legs. Genius idea, right? And it doesn't hurt that their customer service is fantastic. Their suggestion was to put two legs as a center support so that the dresser will easily withstand the weight of the drawer contents and the future TV we plan to put on top. (We received the McCobb Mid Century Modern Foot).
My husband cut them to size (our measurements were between sizes) and attached them with the straight top plates that were provided.
BTW, you don't need to just use their products to replace legs on old furniture. They are perfect for new builds, too. Their hairpin legs are seriously calling my name! A huge thank you to for sending me out these legs to review!
Once the structural problems were dealt with we were feeling so much better about this entire project. Since the drawers and (the majority) of the base were in good shape I decided to stain them with General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain. (Note: the replacement legs arrive unfinished, per my request so I could stain them myself to match.)
The top and body of the dresser (where the significant veneer & corner damage was) got a couple of coats of Antique White paint (also my General Finishes). It is hands down, my most favorite color to work with and I've used it everywhere in my home. It is the perfect creamy white without any undertones of yellow. I finished the entire piece with poly for added protection.
I totally know this is the most long winded post ever, but I can't end it without talking about this hardware. I normally gravitate towards the beautiful reproduction glass hardware at D. Lawless, but these ceramic bamboo pulls seriously won my heart. I. Am. In. Love.
I have lots of exciting things to share with you all regarding this study renovation. It's really coming together!


  1. This looks amazing. I love how you kept the wood tone of the drawers. For a piece this dinged up, I think you chose the perfect solution to paint the shell white. It looks fantastic! I love it against the chalkboard wall too!

    1. Thanks, Katja! We're pretty satisfied with the end result!

  2. I have such a love /hate relationship with Craig's List. Sometimes I find some really good pieces of furniture to make over and other times not so good. Recently my husband and I went to a sellers house to pick up an old gentleman closet. I asked before going if the inside smelled. I was told it was in perfect condition with no smells. I found out as soon as we got it home that it smelled something terrible of dog urine and it ended up in the trash.
    Happy for you that you could save the piece you bought. It looks wonderful. Love the chalkboard wall

  3. OH MY GOSH those pulls. i LOVE LOVE LOVE them! the dresser is amazing!!!!!! pinning it!

  4. I just saw Cassie's Pin of this and stopped by to check it out. Oh my, you really did save this piece and it's gorgeous now!

  5. oh, it's just lovely! great save!

  6. That dresser looks amazing lady! As does the whole room!!! Love the backdrop with that chalkboard! Such a stunning room! A wonderful weekend to you! Nicole xo

  7. It looks stunning now and it looks perfect in front of your cool wall.

  8. holy stinkin' still my heart! that is the most fabulous and stunning mcm makeover in all of the blogland that i have ever perused. i'm a newbie i'm off to see what other treasures you have in store for me!

  9. Well it looks absolutely incredible now! Great job! Glad you rescued it!

  10. What a stunning transformation! I too, am in love with the GF "whites". I just finished a dresser in GF Snow White and love how it turned out. It took about six coats to get it perfect, but I would absolutely use it again because I love the end result.

    BTW, I have a couple of MCM pieces that were my husband's parents they bought when they were newlyweds. Come get them! I'd love to see what you could do with them!

  11. It's gorgeous! The legs are so so pretty too! Thanks for sharing that site! Also, I love the owl lamp... I redid one that was super similar!

    -Bonnie @ Revolutionaries

  12. Hi Angela. I'm working on a Mid Century dresser and am hesitant to try the white General Finishes paint over top of a dark top. (This is my first time trying GF paint.) Did you have any troubles with bleed though or coverage? Did you prime first? How many coats did you use? Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you so much for stopping by Number Fifty-Three! I look forward to your comments.