From Chest of Drawers to Plant Stand

There is nothing like the thrill for me at least of seeing a piece of furniture that has been dumped on the side of the road!  The hair stands up on my arm, and I can’t wait to pull over to see what it is!  And that is exactly what happened when I saw this chest of drawers on the roadside!

Anyone who has followed me for a while knows that I love taking old pieces that people consider trash and turning them back into something beautiful and purposeful.

The Chest of Drawers Roadside Find

This story starts after a visit to my mom and dad’s home.  We live about 5 miles apart, in a rural part of southeast Georgia.  They live on 18 acres down a dirt road.  One of the county roads that I have to travel to get to their house has no houses.  It’s just farmland for miles on end.  This makes the perfect place to dump things.

After leaving their house, and driving down this particular road, a large blob on the roadside ahead caught my eye.  As I came closer and slowed down, I immediately saw that it was a chest of drawers.

I was tickled pink!  This was the first project I would tackle since starting my furniture flipping business back up.  I considered this a huge sign that deciding to flip furniture again was in the cards for me!   

Inspection of the Chest of Drawers

Upon further inspection, the chest of drawers was in MINT condition, which tells me it had not long been dumped.  It had no water damage or anything like that, and I did not notice it on the way to my mom and dad’s house.

It was not, however, 100% wood.  But that was okay, the Hubs can work his woodworking magic!  I like to add some kind of wood accent to furniture pieces that may not be wood.  It just makes them more sturdier, gives them character, and, they sell better.

One thing I didn’t notice until I got home and started placing the drawers into the chest was that one was missing!  I guess they why they considered it trash.

No biggie, I consider it a challenge!

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 Now, the issue.  I was in my four-door car, so it would not FIT!  I called my son who was at home at the time and told him to be ready, we were coming back with the truck to pick up the chest of drawers.  Hopefully, it will still be there upon our return!  I did load the drawers in hopes that if someone did see it, they would consider it not worthy because it did not have drawers!

Once we got back with the truck, we loaded up the chest of drawers and brought it home.  I thoroughly cleaned it before bringing it into the house.  However, it was that dirty, not even on the bottom. That’s how I knew it had not been on the roadside for long.

chest of drawers in back of truck

The Repurposed Chest of Drawers

I had been scrolling Pinterest (my favorite thing to do) and pinned several chests of drawers that people had turned into plant stands.  I, not being a plant lover (they don’t last long here LOL) knew someone would love this piece if they had plants.  And what a unique way to display them! 

The first order of business was to figure out what to do as far as the missing drawer was concerned.  The top of the drawer had a little bit of water damage. Even though the design looked like leaves and would have matched the idea of a plant stand, it was just too damaged. So, D decided to remove the top portion of the chest of drawers.  And, it will still be a good height! 

D cutting the top off chest of drawers

He went to work using his circular saw and removed the top of the dresser, all the way down to where the drawer was missing.

Supply List For Chest of Drawers Plant Stand

Dixie Belle Paint In Cucumber

220 Grit Sandpaper

FolkArt Home Decor Chalkpaint in Sage Shadow

2 x 4’s for Trimming Out the Chest of Drawers

White Wax

Unfinished Pine Board

Contact Paper

Wood Detailing For the Chest of Drawers

Since the chest of drawers was not wood, we like to add real wood to give it some character and weight.

We did this by using 2x4s and cutting them down to the proper size.  We attached the wood trim using wood glue and brad nails.   The wood was added to each side. The Hubs also used a piece of 2×4 cut to size for the bottom of the chest of drawers.  

This is what it looks like with the wood trim!

Wood accents added to chest of drawers

D also added wood trim to the bottom of the front of the chest of drawers. It is looking so much better already!

wood accents added to bottom front of chest of drawers

Clean and Prep

After D finished his part, I removed the hardware from the drawers (ugly round knobs) and lined the drawers up, and gave them a good cleaning and ready for paint. I use Lysol to clean my pieces, but you can use anything that you have on hand.

Sand and Prime

If the chest of drawers has an existing finish that was damaged or scratched, you may need to sand the surface to create a smooth base for paint or other finishes and apply a primer to ensure the paint adheres well to the surface.

However, since the chest of drawers was NOT real wood, I knew I could not give it a good sanding. Particle board does NOT sand.

With this in mind, I lightly sanded the entire chest part and the drawers with 220-grit sandpaper by hand, no sander. After, I made sure I cleaned all of the sanding dust away.

Paint Color

My next order of business was deciding what color paint to use on the plant stand.  After taking a look at the Dixie Belle chalkpaint colors, I decided to use the shade, “Cucumber Ice.” 

Dixie Belle paint in Cucumber Ice for chest of drawers

I applied a coat of the Cucumber to a drawer.  I always apply paint to a drawer before applying it to the entire piece so I can visualize the color.  

And I am glad I did.  I thought the color was a bit more green than it turned out.  It was sort of a yellowish color and not to my liking.  Sometimes the color you envision does not look the same after you apply it to your piece, and that’s okay! 

I took to my stash of paints that I had on hand.  My goal for this plant stand was a French country green.  I found this small bottle of FolkArt Home Decor Chalkpaint in Sage Shadow in my stash.  I added a little bit at the time, mixing until I had the paint color that I wanted. 

I applied two coats of paint to the chest the drawers and the wood trim that we added. Before applying the second coat, I allowed the chest of drawers to dry overnight.  Allowing each coat to dry overnight might seem overkill, but I have found that doing so allows the paint to cure better and create a strong finish.

Adding White Wax

Before adding my white wax, I LIGHTLY sanded everything to get a smooth finish. Then clean away your sanding dust. I then applied the white wax. 

I just love white wax!  It gives the paint such a French country look and adds so much texture.  I added a coat by applying it to a small area with my wax brush and then taking a clean cloth and wiping away the access.  You can leave as much of the white wax on as you see fit.

White wax used to apply to chest of drawers.

The Top of the Chest of Drawers

For the top, we decided to use a piece of unfinished pine board that we purchased from our local home improvement store.  D had a piece left over from something he was working on. He measured how long we would need the board and cut it to size. The width was perfect.

He just basically removed one of the pieces that he had glued together and it fit perfectly. We used wood glue and brad nails to secure the top in place.

Wood top for chest of drawers

The top had been recently stained with a very light stain so I had to sand it back down to the wood layer. I wanted to use a darker stain. One coat of Minwax Stain in Special Walnut is all it took. I did not apply white wax to the stained top. I used Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural to seal the top.

Now it’s time for me to add the finishing touches!  

Hardware Upgrade

If you have ever flipped furniture, I am sure you are aware that the hardest part is finding hardware!  But, I always consider replacing the existing hardware with new knobs or handles to give the chest of drawers a contemporary and personalized touch. 

Even though Hobby Lobby has a great selection, sometimes it’s just not what I am looking for when it comes to a repurposed piece of furniture.

I took to Amazon, determined to find knobs that would coordinate with the plant stand.  And bam, I found these beautiful knobs.  They had just enough rustic feel, and, had a perfect design on the front.

Hardware knobs for chest of drawers

Adding Contact Paper To The Sides of the Chest of Drawers

One more special touch.  I had a roll of peel-and-stick contact paper on hand and decided to add it to the outside of the drawers.  I just simply measured the side of my drawer and cut the contact paper to size (sorry forgot to get a picture of this!)

Here is the finished plant stand!  Now, don’t laugh!  Remember I mentioned I do NOT have a green thumb lol, so yes, the flowers are not real!  The top one is real though haha!

But I knew whoever purchased the plant stand could make it look fabulous!

Remember, the possibilities are endless and you can let your creativity shine through. Make sure to plan out your design before starting and gather all the necessary supplies.

If you love repurposed and thrift store makeovers, then join my FREE Facebook group, Redhead Remakes!  It is a group of awesome people who love to thrift and who love to see repurposed furniture and thrift store makeovers.  

Check out these two dresser makeovers!

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