The Great Gatsby Dresser

Thursday, March 14, 2013 -

I found this puppy on craigslist for $10 a few weeks ago. Even better, I live in a sub-suburb, way far out from "civilization" (you know, those clusters of tract homes in the middle of nowhere, people only buy because they're cheap?) and it was just a couple miles away. Admittedly, it is partially constructed from MDF, but the important parts are wood (drawer slides and boxes) and c'mon, it was 10 bucks!

I forgot to get a "true before" photo. It was missing the side trim board on the left side and the apron along the bottom. I simply cut two pieces of 3/4 MDF to fit, glued and finish nailed them on.

I removed the original, brass hardware. Cool, but needing an update.

Because this is not the greatest, quality piece of furniture I've come across, I didn't want to spend a boatload on fixing it up.  I would have to get creative with paint.

First, I busted out some primer I got on clearance because the can had leaked. I think it was $4 :)

I primed the whole thing using an oil-based, bonding primer for a couple reasons. 1. Since most of the exterior is slippery laminate, I wanted to make sure the paint would have something to bond to and 2. Since some of the structure is MDF, I used an oil-based primer to seal everything and prevent any possible swelling, water-damage, or uneven paint absorption.

After the primer, I painted the whole thing with a very light, sage green. Some may call this "mint", but in my book, "mint" has a tiny bit of blue in it. The drawer pulls got a few coats of satin black and poly.

I liked the horizontal detail on the drawer faces, so I came up with a design to feature that area using a bar of black paint

 I wanted to create the illusion of detail without adding trim, so with more black paint and a LOT of frog tape, I added some graphic black designs on the top and sides.

Sealed with 3 coats of PAS, sprayed with my beloved new gun. I love the way it looks all assembled. The colors and graphic pattern remind me of the early 1900's. Very Art Deco; hence the name "The Great Gatsby Dresser".

Linking at:

Liz Marie Blog
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Designed Decor

The Shabby NestSomewhat Simple
The DIY Dreamer
Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. Wow! It turned out great! Very Gatsby-esque! ;) I found you at "Inspire Me Please"--thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

  2. You did such an amazing job! Very classy! (=

  3. Lovely job - it looks great! Thanks so much for linking up with LWSL this week - hope to see you back next week!

  4. Sweet! I'm visiting from Green Willow Pond...Following now!


  5. What a great piece! You did a wonderful job on it.

  6. What a great piece, you did a wonderful job on it.


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