Levi's Dresser / Changing Table

We had our first child, a son, Levi last July. Like any other first time mother I spent a great deal of time before he was born nesting and planning and preparing a place for our new baby.

I was blessed to receive a used crib and glider/ottoman from a friend but I was not sure where I would store all the baby's clothes and set up a diaper changing station. This was a very stressful dilemna for me at the time. All the dressers that I found at stores were usually way beyond my budget or weren't that nice of quality anyway. I wanted a dresser that could transition with our baby from the infant to toddler years all the way up to college age. I didn't want a purpose built diaper changer because I knew I'd just be getting rid of that when I was done having babies.

David considered building this dresser/ changing station

for our baby. We found plans for it on this site but he already had so, so many projects to finish up before the due date I hated to expect him to do one more thing (and in the end I'm glad I wasn't waiting on him to build the dresser b/c he barely got our master bath finished 1 week before Levi was born...)

As a side note, that site (http://www.ana-white.com/) is amazing! She has plans and cut lists to build all the furniture you'd ever need for a home at a fraction of the price of a furniture store. We have since built 2 bar stools using her plans.
So, anyways, back to the dresser. I ended up scouring Craigslist on a daily basis for weeks for a cute dresser that I could use for the baby's room. Most of them were too expensive or too cheaply constructed, etc. But I finally found this one for $20 so we drove an hour to check it out. Dave could not see how it could be transformed into something nice but I had a vision for it.

At 8 1/2 months pregnant, I braved the heat and humidity of one of the hottest summers of recent years and refinished this puppy out in our carport. The one issue with that is a giant tornadic thunderstorm came right after I finished priming the drawer faces. They ended up getting wet from all the rain. But I was just thankful we lived thru it, so it wasn't too bad. 

This is the process I used to refinish this piece:

First, I very carefully removed all the ornate, or rather tacky, handles and pieces of trim and hardware and sanded any rough spots in those areas and roughed up the top which had a glossy finish.

Then I brushed on a coat of  Zinsser 1-2-3 primer (I chose not to use a nasty oil based primer since I was pregnant but it might have worked even better). I followed the primer up with 2 coats of Valspar Signature Series Semi-Gloss white. And then I took the advice of John & Sherry on http://www.younghouselove.com/ and brushed on 2 thin coats of Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in “Clear Gloss". Looking back I think that was one of the best things I could have done. It really gave the piece a nice shine and made it more water proof which is fantastic considering we're currently using it as a diaper changing station and occasionally set a glass of water down on it, etc. One year later we have not had any problems with the finish.

Dave also took this opportunity to teach me how to use the drill to pre-drill holes for my new brushed nickel knobs and how to install them. So, essentially I did this entire project myself. I was so proud!

And we ended up with this fabulous dresser for Levi's room!


From my tightwad point of view it was such a deal. It only cost us $20 (plus the price of 3 small quart cans of primer, paint, and polyurethane which I barely made a dent in and can be used for many more painting projects in the future). That sure beats the $800 for a Pottery Barn type changing table or even the $200 for Ana White's knockoff version that I'd been drooling over.

And here's the dresser all decked out with supplies for Levi!

I'm linking up to Home Stories A2Z with this post on the Tutorials Tips Tuesday Link Party. Have a great day!

And now I'm linking this post up to Amanda's Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading. I found her this week thru Centsational Girl and I've really been enjoying browsing thru her archives.

Weekend Bloggy Reading



BeingBrook said...

Love! It turned out beautiful! I love painting furniture. There is lots of satisfaction when you have something nice and better than something you would have spent tons of money on! Can't beat $20!! Amazing job!

Megan said...

I have almost that EXACT dresser-- bought a few years ago off craigslist... if and when I have kids of my own, I now know how to re-purpose it!

Karan said...

Turned out wonderful and the price was right I would have to say.


Deborah March said...

You did a GREAT job on it!!

Baby Changing Station said...

You have great collection of my searching. Nice to find your post and would like to say thanks for such impressive post.

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alfred said...

Also, you need to have an idea on the dimensions of the divisions of the dresser. And if you are planning to have some drawers, you need to decide how many and how big will the drawers be.

Plans For Dresser Building

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