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Dresser to Mudroom Bench

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My mudroom bench started life as a dresser. I found it on the side of the road waiting for heavy trash pick up. It was a mess! The top was in pieces and two drawers were broken. In spite of the shape that the dresser was in, it was solid wood and had dove tailed drawers. It was late at night and we were headed home from visiting friends. I had to beg Hubby to stop, back up and get out to look at the dresser. He was less than impressed with this one.

What I Know and Don;t Know About Old Furniture

Here it is with one of the working drawers out. The top has a split all the way down the length.

After staring at it a few weeks, I decided to turn it into a piece for our entryway that could serve as a sort of mudroom. A place to take off shoes, hang jackets and hats and hide junk…I mean Hubby’s treasures.

First, We removed the top two rows of drawers from the dresser and created a bench by adding a plywood top.

Turning a Dresser into a Mudroom Bench Part 2

Next, we created a separate top piece from the two remaining solid drawer fronts. Because of the height, we had them open on hinges. We could not have used it if it were drawers. A sheet of beadboard paneling, 2X4’s, and a plywood box.

Mudroom Bench Part 3

The mirror was a thrift store find. Hubby chopped the top off the mirror frame and routed the 2X4’s so that they matched the mirror. We reused the top in a later piece.

Then, Hubby created a board and batten over bead board back to connect the piece visually. The bead board and top are connected together, but they float over the bench. Sneaky huh? This allows easy installation and access to electrical without cutting holes in the wood. You never know where it will live next! All the hooks were installed last because I wasn’t sure what I wanted. In the end I went with plain hooks because they worked for the piece.

The Mudroom Bench is Coming Together

The Finished Mudroom Bench

Finally, we painted, added crystal knobs and made a tufted cushion. I love the soft green color!
The Finished Mudroom Bench

The Finished Mudroom Bench
This is by far the most unique piece of furniture in our home and is a great conversation piece.
The Finished Mudroom Bench

Here it what it looked like the morning that I wrote this blog. I did not do anything so that you can see how we really live.

mudroom bench

This is the best shot I have taken of the bench. Now I wish I had removed Hubby’s hat, camera, and jacket!

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The Real Cost of Repurposing Furniture

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I have wanted to write this blog for a while. I go to craft shows, shops and our local trade days where I sometimes hear shoppers commenting on the cost. “I could do that.” is frequently heard as well as comments about prices. Now you know that I am always looking for a deal! And by deal I mean a steal. I love to find furniture, cheap or preferably free, then repurpose the piece into something unique. It is my hobby, and I am not trying to live off selling my goods. We would STARVE! I always try to let you know the cost, which is usually less than a brand new piece would be, but I think that there is a misconception from time to time about the real cost of repurposing the furniture.

Right now I am redoing a piece of furniture I literally picked up on the side of the road. The cost for the furniture – ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS.
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In order to get the piece repurposed I decided to buy everything new for this project. I needed to replenish supplies anyway and sometimes even I forget that this is a hobby and the supplies are expensive because I only buy things as I run out.

The costs are rounded- because I am lazy!
Purdy paintbrush- the best and worth the cost- 12.00
Behr Revival Mahogany paint with primer- one quart- I could have probably gotten by with two samples @ $3.00 each, but I knew I would need the left over for the faux fireplace I am doing- $16.00
Behr Innocence- one quart- the giant dresser used almost a whole quart- the leftover paint was used to paint Baby Boy’s bookcase. $16.00
Zinzer Primer- one quart- $10.00
Glazing medium- one quart Behr Faux Finish glazing medium. I use this all the time and it lasts forever but it was time for a new container- $15.00
Sandpaper for hand sanding and the palm sander $5.00
Rustoleum Poly- one quart- $15.00

Hours spent on the project- 1 hour checking it out, calling Hubby, getting the beast into the vehicle, out of the vehicle and home. 3 hours sanding. 4 hours priming, re sanding, then priming again. 4 hours painting the creamy white color. 1 hour painting handles. 1 hour painting the top. 1 hour glazing. 3 hours polyurethaning the whole thing. Oh! This does not include dry time, moving time and reassembly.

So all in all we have close to $80.00 in supplies and the equivalent of one hard weekend’s worth of time invested. In a free piece of furniture! The next time you see someone’s work online, in a shop, or at a vendor’s booth and you say to yourself… ” I could do that WAAAY cheaper, the truth is provided you find the right piece, you might could save a little money doing it yourself but it won’t be as cheap or easy as you may initially believe and your time is worth something.

If you are in a shop when you see this piece also figure in overhead costs.

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credenza from the stairway

roadside credenza

It is a lot of work to re-purpose furniture, but it is ever so worth the effort! I love the satisfaction of doing a good job and bringing something back to life.

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