DIY Card Catalog Dresser


You guys, I do not advise going into a dark basement in an empty house for a piece of furniture.  That’s what I did for this dresser, and it was worth it, but I won’t say that I wasn’t a little creeped out while I was there!  Thankfully the woman who sold it to me was super nice and not at all creepy.

From the moment I first saw it, I knew exactly what I was going to do with this midcentury plain-front dresser makeover.

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

Pieces like this are absolutely perfect to turn into a DIY card catalog – and it ended up being the star of the show at my last market in September.  Here’s how to make your own faux card catalog dresser.

**Friends, today is Furniture Fixer Uppers day!  See three more creative makeovers at the bottom of this post from my blogging buddies.  Also, this post contains affiliate links so that you can easily find some of the products I use and recommend.  Thank you for your support.

After making any necessary repairs to the dresser (mine didn’t need any), measure the drawers.  The top row was not as deep as the other two rows, so my panels needed to be one size for the top row and a different size for the other two.

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

At first I bought some craft wood at Hobby Lobby, then we discovered that our local hardware store had the same kind of thin wood and it was less expensive (not near the big lumber, but near the dowel rods).  Guy in the Garage cut three panels for each drawer (27 total for this project), and made them the same height as the drawer.

I glued one on each side so they were just a hair away from the drawer edges, and then one evenly spaced in the middle.  Altogether it took almost two tubes of E6000 super glue (the strongest and my favorite kind – find it Here) and several clamps and weights.  I let each drawer sit for about 24 hours while the glue dried, so this step took a few days.

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

Finally on the last drawer….. yeay!

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

The next step was painting.  The inside of the drawers were cleaned and then left alone, but I painted the body of the dresser and the drawer fronts.  (Due to the finish on this dresser, I did not prime it before painting.)

First I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen, then I dry brushed a tiny bit of Paris Grey and some Coco over the top.  It ended up with a very cool almost metal industrial look which was perfect for this piece.  I used Fusion Mineral Tough Coat as a topcoat (find it Here).

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

The Coco paint brought out the bronze color in the drawer pulls even more.  I searched all over the internet for unique pulls that looked authentically vintage.  Amazingly, I found these on Amazon for a great price!  (Find the pulls Here.)

Each pull came with four screws, and 27 pulls x 4 screws each = 108 tiny screws and several hours of work.  (But again, totally worth it in the end!)  I centered the pulls in the middle of each panel, using a ruler and even FrogTape as a guide.  I marked the holes with a pencil and then screwed them in place with my Black + Decker drill/driver with Autosense technology – it even has a little light that comes on and shines onto where you’re using it.  (Find this drill/driver Here.)

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

After 108 screws were in place, this card catalog dresser makeover was finally finished!

Sometimes, I prefer a quick project like the primitive cabinet I posted last week.  But other times I love a big makeover that takes a lot of work and patience.  It’s all about balance.  😉

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

I kept debating whether or not to paint the bottom of the dresser where the legs are.  It was a little scratched, but the existing brown “wood” color looked good as-is.  In the end, I left it alone.

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

This DIY card catalog dresser makeover has become one of my favorite projects!  It got a lot of attention at the Hunt and Gather market and sold the first night.  I was sad to see it go and had to take one last photo with it.

DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

Here’s a reminder of how this piece started and ended up:
DIY faux card catalog - thrifted dresser makeover - by Girl in the Garage

I hope this piece inspires you to think outside the box with a plain piece of furniture.  If you like this makeover, please Pin it or share it with a friend!

Next – I have three blogging friends also sharing makeovers for Furniture Fixer Uppers day (sadly, Confessions of a Serial DIYer and The Interior Frugalista couldn’t join us this month).

Furniture Fixer Uppers

Below are the Before photos – click the links underneath to see the After and learn how they transformed it.

Furniture Fixer Uppers - October 2017
1. Prodigal Pieces
2. Just the Woods
3. Petticoat Junktion

Have a beautiful day!

Jen


 photo just-paint-it-ad-border-wide_zpsmka7ckdc.jpg

17 Comments on DIY Card Catalog Dresser

  1. kandice
    October 26, 2017 at 7:52 am (4 weeks ago)

    this came out amazing! I love the end result!

    Reply
  2. Colette
    October 26, 2017 at 8:40 am (4 weeks ago)

    Terrific Transformation! Thank you for your detailed instructions.

    Reply
  3. Lena
    October 26, 2017 at 8:43 am (4 weeks ago)

    I really love the look of this. Good job.

    Reply
  4. Mary Mac
    October 26, 2017 at 9:25 am (4 weeks ago)

    Gorgeous piece, love what you did.

    Reply
  5. Marie
    October 26, 2017 at 10:44 am (4 weeks ago)

    No surprise this sold quickly, Jen, what a fabulous transformation!

    Reply
  6. Claudine
    October 26, 2017 at 12:30 pm (4 weeks ago)

    I love the bottom piece and legs in brown. It is perfect, what a terrific job! I have just the spot for it in my house and now I’ll be on the lookout for similar dressers at the thrift stores! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Rose
    October 26, 2017 at 6:34 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Love it.

    Reply
  8. Mary Vitullo
    October 26, 2017 at 7:35 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Blown away by this amazing transformation, Jen. Pinning this!

    Reply
    • Jen
      October 27, 2017 at 10:30 am (4 weeks ago)

      Thanks so much, Mary! xo

      Reply
  9. Olga
    October 27, 2017 at 2:20 am (4 weeks ago)

    Great job Jen, it turned out fantastic.

    Reply
  10. Bobby
    October 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Great idea!

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 10, 2017 at 9:36 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Thank you, sweet friend! xo

      Reply
  11. Grace
    November 4, 2017 at 4:05 pm (3 weeks ago)

    I am impressed! You make it look so simple. I have some stuff I want to rehabilitate. I am going to give it a try. Also signed up for your free guide. Thank you!

    Reply

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