The Antique Vanity Makeover – Trashy to Treasure

A few months ago I was browsing at a local volunteer-run resale shop, and the price tag for this antique dresser about gave me a heart attack.  $850?!   WOW.  That makes the original price of last week’s Goodwill Lane chest seem like a bargain.  I was so shocked that I had to see what my Facebook followers thought about it…

Overpriced antique dresser - Facebook post

An acquaintance of mine saw that post and then subsequently offered me this vanity (which also needed some TLC) at a much more reasonable price.  🙂

How to repair and revive an antique vanity makeover - Girl in the Garage

*Friends, today is Trash to Treasure Tuesday which means you can see 4 more bonus makeovers from my blogging buddies at the end of this post!  Also, this post contains some affiliate links so you can easily find some of the products I use and recommend.

The top two small drawers were in decent condition, but neither of the big drawers slid well, especially the middle one.  You can see in the photo above that it’s not even pushed in all the way because it kept getting stuck.  Also, the top of the vanity needed refinished and some of the fancy veneer under the mirror was broken.

Guy in the Garage worked on the top, sanding it all the way down and then staining it with beautiful dark Espresso Minwax stain (available Here).

How to repair and revive an antique vanity makeover - Girl in the Garage

I worked on the drawers, using my random orbit sander (available Here) to sand down the top edges to make them slide more easily.  Next I removed the veneer that was broken from the mirror and then painted everything in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White.

After painting, I sanded (by hand this time) all of the details and scrolls to create more definition on this antique vanity makeover.

And here she is…

How to repair and revive an antique vanity makeover - Girl in the Garage

The stained top was sealed with polyurethane and the painted areas were protected with Fusion Mineral Tough Coat (available Here).  Lastly, I rubbed an old candle on the bottom edges of the drawers to help them glide even more smoothly.

The hardware wasn’t in perfect shape and we were running short on time before the market, so I lightly dry brushed them with the white paint as well – this worked great to hide the little imperfections and former paint stains that were already there when I got it.

How to repair and revive an antique vanity makeover - Girl in the Garage

Here’s a closeup of some of the details where I distressed:

How to repair and revive an antique vanity makeover - Girl in the Garage

Finally, the drawers were dingy inside so I decoupaged some paper I had from Hobby Lobby with Mod Podge.  It’s just a little something extra and unexpected.

How to repair and revive an antique vanity makeover - Girl in the Garage

We finished this antique vanity makeover on the day of the market, so obviously I didn’t get to stage it and take proper photos like I would have preferred.   And actually, I almost didn’t get any “after” photos at all – we were still putting the finishing touches on our booth and pricing items when the crowds rushed in Friday evening, and the very first lady to step into our space purchased this vanity within a few minutes of opening.  Thankfully she decided to come back on Saturday to pick it up, and that’s how I snuck in time later to take some photos with my cell phone!  Hahaha

How to repair and revive an antique vanity makeover - Girl in the Garage

The new owner planned to use this under her TV (without the mirror).

I have so many more details of the market to share with you soon!  This vanity being purchased was just the beginning of a very busy (but fun) first day of the Hunt and Gather market.


Now let’s see what my friends have been up to for Trash to Treasure Tuesday…

Trash to Treasure Tuesday

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

Trash to Treasure - August 2017
1. Prodigal Pieces
2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
3. Artsy Chicks Rule
4. Bless’er House

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16 Comments on The Antique Vanity Makeover – Trashy to Treasure

  1. Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces
    August 8, 2017 at 4:44 am (2 years ago)

    I just love these Art Deco pieces, Jen. It’s always about those gorgeous mirrors. Well done!

  2. Marcie Lovett
    August 8, 2017 at 7:48 am (2 years ago)

    Beautiful, Jen! I can see how someone grabbed it right away.

    • Jen
      August 8, 2017 at 9:32 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Marcie! I was shocked at how quickly it went! 🙂

    • Jen
      August 8, 2017 at 10:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Nancy!

  3. Sandra
    August 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm (2 years ago)

    The outrageous price that you saw on the original furniture piece is not surprising. I live in Central Texas and there are very few thrift stores in the area (2 Goodwill stores and a private thrift store) and the prices on the few pieces of furniture in these stores is way out of line considering the condition of the furniture piece. For example, a very beat up 4 drawer chest (obviously sat in a garage/barn for a long, long time – dead spiders were included) was listed for $125. After months of searching, I did find a 4 drawer chest that was slathered in chalk paint and wax for $90. It took weeks to get rid of the mess (especially removing the wax which had melted into the chalk paint and then the wood of the chest itself) so that I could repaint it. Even the local Craigs List has nothing. I’ve talked with others in the area and they are finding the same thing – used furniture that is very overpriced.

  4. Carol
    August 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Way too much money foe 1st one, but love the “friend’s” one. So wish I was closer to you so I could purchase some of your fabulous creations. And freight to Canada out of the question.

  5. Nette
    August 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm (2 years ago)

    That’s one of the nicest upcycles I’ve ever seen. Utterly transformed!

    • Jen
      August 8, 2017 at 10:03 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s so sweet, Nette – thank you!!

    • Jen
      August 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Christy! You’re right, it would make a beautiful bathroom vanity also!

  6. Rose L.
    August 9, 2017 at 3:15 am (2 years ago)

    I love what you did to it and it looks so lovely! Before it felt heavy and now light and airy/
    Rose L. recently posted…LEARNING POETRY IDEASMy Profile

  7. Marie
    August 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s beautiful, Jen – quite the difference! Congrats on the quick sale but I’m not surprised it sold fast. Pinned

    • Jen
      August 9, 2017 at 10:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Marie! I’m glad it got to stay in my booth until the next day because it drew quite a bit of attention. 🙂

  8. Nancy Fitzpatrick
    August 29, 2017 at 9:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Could I send you a photo and get your advice on how to best make it gorgeous?

    • Jen
      September 3, 2017 at 6:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Nancy, you can send me a photo through a direct message on my Facebook page (Girl in the Garage) or to my email: girlinthegarage @ outlook . com (without the spaces). I’m getting ready for a big market so it may take me a few days to respond. 🙂


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