Pottery Barn Dresser Reveal

You’ll love this Pottery Barn dresser lookalike! See where it started and how far it’s come.

Finished Pottery Barn dresser lookalike 

Free dresser and nightstand

I answered an ad on my local Freecycle website and agreed to pick up a dresser and nightstand “sight unseen”.  Imagine how thrilled MyLove was when I begged and pleaded persuaded him to drive 20 miles across town to meet with a stranger to pick it up. #notthrilledatall.

Luckily, he is used to me and my furniture requests so he went along with it…until we drove up and saw this dreadful sight.

Dresser and nighstand in bad shape
The lady raved about what an heirloom it was to her and thanked us for coming to pick them up so quickly as she snuck over to take a $100 For Sale sign off of them so we would not see them.  She mentioned that they were passed down through her family and her husband started sanding on the dresser top then suddenly passed away.

Nasty looking dresser
As I mentioned, I got them off of Freecycle so they were “Free-Ninety-Nine” as my friend would say. Thank goodness, because they were looking pretty old and shabby, and not in the “shabby chic” kind of way.

I looked over at MyLove rolling his eyes and could feel his blood boiling, secretly cursing me all the way to the truck. Because these suckers were HEAVY, solid wood SUPER HEAVY!

And did I mention they were UGLY! Excuse the shadow 😛

Another look at the dresser
We passed two Goodwill stores on the way home and MyLove begged me to drop them off and donate them right away.  

but I talked him into letting me keep them because I somehow could already see their POTENTIAL. He agreed to let me try.

Battered dresser corner


He saw YUCK, (or may I say in his words),  CR@P!

I saw Pottery Barn.

I don’t know why, but I have been eyeballing a black Pottery Barn dresser and wanted to try to replicate it. Seriously, why not? Couldn’t hurt.

Learning how to achieve the Pottery Barn look

I found a great tutorial explaining how to achieve the Pottery Barn Finish from The Yellow Cape Cod and followed it step by step to a “T”!

She has done such a fabulous job of explaining how to, that I am just going to show you the progress through my pictures.

I FIRST took the backside off and laid the dresser and drawers out in the sun for a week. I also cleaned every nook and cranny with a vacuum and wiped it all down with paint thinner.

It definitely needed some cosmetic work, so I stripped off all of the odd moldings and replaced them with new moldings.

Removing old moldings
Look at those perfect corners!

New moldings
I took off the cabinet doors and stripped off the old ugly hardware too.

Dresser hardware
I sanded and sanded the top some more for what seemed like forever. The husband must have used a belt-sander and sanded sideways because I never got all of the deep gouges and grooves out. I did the best I could and got a little sidetracked from my painting tutorial and stained the top Minwax Dark Walnut stain.

Dresser top stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain
It turned out pretty nice, considering what I had to work with.

Another look at the stained dreser top 
Back to the painting tutorial: I sanded, primed, painted, sanded more, painted more, sanded more between coats, distressed the edges, step by step!

Dresser work in progress


But it was SO worth it!

Related: Metallic Silver Bombay Dresser Makeover

Primed and ready to paint

Pottery Barn Dresser Reveal

Check out the before and after! WOW!


Dresser before and after updating

It looks so different with new baskets and Hardware (both purchased 50% off at Hobby Lobby). I envision its new life as a brand “new to me” Media Cabinet.

Upcycled media cabinet
The piece looks way more updated, don’t you think?

Check out the hardware before and after: looks a little like Fleur de Lis (LOVE)

Dresser hardware before and after updating
And check out my handiwork with a little help from MyLove: from ugly to updated corners: mow distressed and stylish!

Corner of dresser before and after the update
I am impressed with the results and as it does appear a little different than my Pottery Barn Inspiration Piece I am ecstatic with the results!
I’ll leave you with a couple more beauty shots. Enjoy!  Happy Treasure Hunting!

Pottery Barn dresser reveal

66 thoughts on “Pottery Barn Dresser Reveal”

  1. I am in awe. I absolutely adore it when people use Pottery Barn as an inspiration and then put their own little tweak on it. YOU DID GREAT! I'm a little scared of doing a project like this… but perhaps if i could practice on something free I could summon up the courage! I better click to follow you in case you come up with any more tips I need! Honestly, great job, great blog… can't wait to see your past posts! xoxo jules

  2. Unbelievable!!! You did an awesome job transforming an ugly duckling into a graceful swan. After seeing that transformation I believe any piece of real wood furniture has potential. Bet your husband will not argue about picking up surprise pieces anymore.

  3. Found you through You Are Talkin Too Much's Link party and I ventured over because I LOVE good before and after furniture story! This one is fantastic! Your hard work shows in the after and its hard to believe that it is the same piece. Congrats on a job very well done!

  4. Tami, you are truly incredible!!!!!!! So glad to have you back on the Korner. Your hubby sounds exactly like mine! But I think even I would have been tempted to drop it off at one of those Goodwills!!! thank GOODNESS you didn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. GREAT job, taking that extra piece of trim off near the bottom helped so much. The finish and hardware are perfect! I was on the fence about whether to paint my entry piece white or black but I am leaning towards black like this.

  6. wow! you did a great job! nothing wrong with meeting strangers half away across town to get a dresser..when your husband's with you! haha
    following your blog via the gfc blog hop. looking forward to future posts 🙂

  7. Oh you are so my hero. I love this…

    Following ya now and forever and ever from the GFC hop. We're riding the wave of life together at localsugarhawaii.com and I would so love to have ya with me on this great adventure. Come join us!


  8. new[est] follower from the blog hop! your blog is adorable! LOVE THIS POST! can't wait to keep following along!

    stop by sometime!

  9. Fabulous job! And what an ambitious job. I've got two dresser to update myself but keep putting them off because it's so much work. You inspire me!

  10. Absolutely beautiful job! I love it when the men in our lives doubt our sanity and then have to admit we're pretty darn special!

  11. Good Lord! That is absolutely amazing! You did a wonderful job transforming this. Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  12. In all sincerity, I think it's prettier and more amazing than the Pottery Barn version. I love what you did with it! I love how the mouldings changed the look too.
    Btw-visiting from Kammy's Korner. Just had to see the befores–it was well worth it!

  13. I came across this from iHeartNaptime and it caught my eye because I have an entertainment center I am looking to redo and needed inspiration. THANK YOU! Seeing how absolutely hideous this was before and how beautiful it is now truly inspired me! If the sun comes out this weekend, that may be my weekend project! Thanks again! You did an awesome job and the result is just beautiful!

  14. Love this upcycle.. came to you through Knock Off Decor. I just have a few questions: #1, where did you get those awesome pulls? and #2, how much do you think you spent overall? I know the furniture itself was free but the molding, paint, pulls, baskets, etc.? Thanks for the info– I am subscribing because I, too, am a dumpster diver! Just picked some gorgeous adirondack chairs, four delapidated planters and a croquet set off of someone's curb. People throw away GOLD! =)

  15. @MJ Poppyseed, there is no link to respond back to you so I am replying in the comments. I spent about $10 on molding, $20 on paint, $11 kilz primer, $20 on the knobs and $12 on baskets (both found at Hobby Lobby for 50% off) All other items, tools, sanders, sanding papers I had on hand: so it totaled to roughly $75. It is a heavy solid wood large dresser so I think $75 was a steal. You are right, people throw away some pretty cool items. I hope that helps!
    Tami @ Curb Alert!

  16. Okay, first I have to say how starstruck I am that YOU came to my little blog and left me a comment!! Second, to borrow your husband's phrase with a little of mine added – HOLY C#&P!!!!! Your dresser is way better than the Pottery Barn dresser – seriously! You did a fantastic job! I still haven't figured out exactly what I'm going to do to mine but it will be similar to yours, with the open cubby for a couple of baskets. It's the colors that I'm struggling more with. My room is so dark that I'm afraid the black would darken it even more. At the moment, it's in place with the new TV on top and I'm just "sittin' and studyin' it"! It'll come to me. Especially with help from a rockstar like you!



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