up-cycle, renew, diy, dresser make over, roadside rescue

Dresser Up-cycle – a roadside rescue

Dear Decor Diary,

Whilst on the topic of paint and the absolute magic one can create with a bit of left over paint and a brush as we discussed in the previous post, I’d like to share a little project of exactly this  magic!  A wonderful opportunity presented itself with this lovely roadside rescue  and I was so glad to be able to save these two beauties from the rubbish tip.  They had so much more in them to give don’t you agree?  But please, I warn you, these are only cellphone pics as I never thought back then, I’d be blogging about this or I would have grabbed the big camera!

Well, I saw that the dresser’s bones were just great, I mean, it was hardwood (Jarra) after all  and knew it would clean up really well even though it would take a little effort.  Both these pretties were left on the kerb, ready for Shire collection day, and I just couldn’t resist leaving them, knowing what they could become, and how happy they will make a little boy one day.

Sitting ever so humble on the trailer, she had served her previous owners well, but wait, just a little spa treatment and you’ll be as gorgeous as when you were young my darling!Even the little bedside table knew better days.  But not to worry, a little sanding, staining, a lick of varnish and well, just a little something special will bring them back to glory!

I opted to paint the inside of the drawers as they were a little stained and knew the paint will make them look fabulous again, and what better way than with a little electric blue.  I also removed the old broken drawer pulls and opted for a classic cupped traditional drawer pull.  you can get them at Bunnings here in Australia, but Home Goods carry them too.  (I bought these for a steal on Ebay though.)

And the something extra special you ask?  Well, why not a Union Jack flag pattern?  It is so popular and I honestly think it will be for some time to come.  Who would not love such a statement piece in a bedroom, study, games room or guest bedroom?  Its a classic and the boldness makes it even more eye catching.

The flag could be a little tricky to draw on the top, but I found a good example on google images, and worked out the scale based on a quick internet search.  (If I can remember, I searched for Union Jack scale size).

 I copied the pattern on the tops of the dresser and bedside, and painted the red and blue first.   Two coats of paint sufficed and I used ordinary water based wall paint for this project.  The white was added in the last step before I sanded it back a little to give it an aged look.

Finished it off with a little dark brown furniture wax to protect and obviously add a little “zing” to the aged look.  It gives it a dark, leathery worn look, not so bright and crisp – which I thought suited the age and look of the drawers and bedside table.


Wow, what a transformation.  Who knew you could be so stunning once again? I opted to take out the two bottom drawers from the bedside cabinet as they were a bit too damaged.  Leaving a little cubby for books or a pretty basket will be much more modern and pretty too.

So there you have it, a wonderful roadside rescue!  These two pieces will for the next few years stand proud and serve their purposes with dignity and style!  And you know what?  I feel darn good about doing something for the planet!

I will leave you with some of my inspiration images I have collected from the world wide web over the years to inspire you to do something amazing.  Its not that difficult to do, and will only take a weekend or two from you…..but you will have many years of enjoyment not only from the item you rescued and renewed, but the fact that you did it yourself!  THAT my friends, will put a smile on your face for a long time to come!

Did you notice painting doesn’t stop with furniture?  A flag looks good on anything and who said the colours have to be exact?  Why not do monotone? The taupes and whites looks fantastic and the options so much more if red and blue is not totally your thing.

Furniture styles doesn’t effect the choice of putting a flag on it either.  Have a look at this stunning French inspired dresser, now boldly boasting a stunning flag on her front!

Well there you have it.  This is fun, bold, and satisfying.  What will you “flag”?  Do share your thoughts and ideas!  Good luck on your next paint project and I hope this inspiration post has made you feel itchy to go rescue something too!

Till next time,


Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

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