Pottery Barn Wannabe Dresser Reveal


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.

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.
As I mentioned that 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!
We passed two Goodwill stores on the way home and MyLove begged me to drop them off and donate them right away.  I talked him in to letting me keep them because I somehow could already see their POTENTIAL
He agreed to let me try.
He saw YUCK or may I say in his words CR@P! 
I saw Pottery Barn.
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.
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 layed the dresser and drawers out in the sun for a week.  I also cleaned every nick and cranny with a vacuum and wiped it all down with paint thinner.

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

Look at those perfect corners!
I took off the cabinet doors and
stripped off the old ugly hardware too.
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.
It turned out pretty nice, considering what I had to work with.
Back to the painting tutorial.
I sanded, primed, painted, sanded more, painted more,sanded more between coats, distressed the edges, step by step!
But it was SO worth it!
Another reminder of the Ugly Cr@p Dresser Before:
Now the After:
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.
The piece looks way more updated, don’t you think?
Hardware Before and After:
Looks a little like Fleur de Lis (LOVE)
And check out my handiwork with a little help from MyLove
Ugly to Updated Corners:
Now distressed and stylish!
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 few more beauty shots.
Happy Treasure Hunting!


  1. Anonymous

    Fanfreakintastic!! Seriously. I always love your transformations.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. blesid thrifter

    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

  3. Susan@Organized31

    Another amazingly great rescue!

  4. Deb

    LOVE it! You amaze me!

  5. ARod Rodriguez

    awesome awesome job it looks way better than pb hee hee

  6. Diane Higdon

    Very impressive. Looks wonderful…I think part of me thought your husband was right, ditch em, and ditch em quick…You did an outstanding job. Thumbs up!!! 🙂

  7. Maria Elena

    Tami, you did an amazing job on this piece!!!! It is just gorgeous!!! Worth all the work!!!

  8. Anna

    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.

  9. Deborah@Green Willow Pond

    Your dresser is gorgeous! I love the finish you used, the baskets and the contrast with staining the top. Great job! I'm visiting from Craft-O-Matic. Have a great week!


  10. Storywood Designs

    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!

  11. Kerry

    Oh I love a good Pottery Barn wannabe project! You did a great job!

  12. Crane Farms

    You did such a good job!!

  13. The Decorative Dreamer

    Wow! I love how you thought to take the moulding off. That would have made me pass this piece by straight away. Gorgeous transformation!

  14. The Johnsons- Deep in the Heart of…Arkansas?!!

    You are the bomb! I can't get over the transformation! Great work!!!

  15. Nadine @ Chic with the Kool-Aid Mustache

    Wow that turned out spectacular! I wasn't seeing the potential you did…hubby may have won that one if it was me! I love the stained top contrasting the black…

  16. Hi I’m Shannon!

    W-O-W!!!! You've got a beauty there now. It's gorgeous :)))

  17. Kammy’s Korner

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Pretty Purple Treaures

    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.

  19. It’s All Connected

    That's a wonderful restyling and paint job on the piece! Hubby must have been mighty impressed. ~ Maureen

  20. morgan

    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 🙂

  21. Nicole Buckingham

    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!


  22. meandmr.com

    Newest follower here! I found you through the Tuesday blog hop! Cute blog, I can’t wait to read more!

  23. Suzanne@thriftstoredecorjunky

    omygoodness! This is the best transformation I have seen in a looong time! Maybe THE best! Love it, and am inspired.

  24. chillin with Quillin

    OHHHHH wow, turned out gorgeous, you worked so hard on it, bet your glad its done !!!!

  25. Cynthia

    Terrific! Love your hardware.. so much so that I have the same ones in my laundry room.

  26. elise

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

    stop by sometime!

  27. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    Wow! You did a fantastic job, Tami! Love the color and it looks like a totally different {and better looking} dresser. How's the hubs like it now? : )

  28. Jenny@daysofchalkandchocolate

    It is gorgeous! I can hardly believe it's the same dresser you started with! I just found your blog from 52 Mantels and I'm so glad! Going off to browse your other awesome stuff!

  29. Stacey

    That is just amazing. I an majorly impressed with where you took that piece. Very nice job 🙂
    Thanks for linking up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  30. Anonymous

    Okay, this is stunning. It looks even better than the pottery barn one! I love it! Great job.


  31. All That Glitters

    Wow mama!!! You are so so good at this! I would pay money for that!

  32. Di

    Great job! And you saved how much $$$. Very inspirational and pin worthy!! This is going on my "I can do this" board.

  33. Tammy Partin Spangler

    This is unbelievably AWESOME! You did a fantastic job! I'm a new follower and am off to look around your great blog!

  34. Karen @ Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza

    Beautiful! I love it. Checking out your blog from a link from one of the HomeTalk BlogTalk bloggers on Facebook. Nice to meet you (sorta'!). I love your blog. If you'd like, please check out my blog at http://www.dogsdonteatpizza.com. Thanks!

  35. Carrie

    Breathtaking!!! Shocked my socks off…I was agreeing with your man that you should have dropped it at the Goodwill!! The reveal blew me away…Great JOB!!!
    My sister and I host a joint party and we'd love for you to join us. Remember, when you link up at one site, it shows up on both my blog and my sister's blog too…double exposure!!

  36. Katie

    What a transformation! I love it.

  37. Courtney

    Oh my goodness!! no kidding with the potential baby! My husband would have done the same thing as yours 🙂 and has… often 🙂 They look amazing!

  38. Anonymous

    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!

  39. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking

    Gorgeous! You nailed it. I'm featuring your dresser in the Power of Paint Party Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up…

  40. Rita

    I LOOOOOVVVVEEEEE this and love that you stuck to your guns in all the step by dreaded step!! Way to go!! It really shows on this piece!! Woo Hoo!!

  41. Paula

    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!

  42. Kathryn Ferguson Griffin

    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

  43. Enjoying the Epiphany

    Wow! Gorgeous stuff! I am your newest follower and was hoping that you would hop on over to my blog and return the favor!!


    Thank you!

  44. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    Absolutely beautiful and I love the baskets!

  45. Laurie @ House of 34

    Wow! That is an amazing transformation!! LOVE LOVE IT!

  46. Michele Alger

    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!

  47. I Play Outside The Box

    FABULOUS!!! Just one question if you don't mind. Do you 'treat' your curbside finds to prevent bringing 'creapy crawlers' into your home? That has always been a fear of mine.

  48. Kammy’s Korner

    Hey Tami girl, this was the most viewed link last week which means congrats on the feature! 🙂

  49. Peggy~PJH Designs

    Beautiful! I love to see someone take something nobody else wanted and make it into something beautiful. You put in a lot of work and it shows. Wonderful job. I'm a new follower. Won't you come by and share with my readers at Totally Transformed Tuesday? They'll love it! Hope you have time to stop by. http://pjhdesignsoneofakind.blogspot.com Hugs, Peggy

  50. Kelli S

    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!

  51. TheMoonAndMe

    Nicely done!!!! Love how you added the baskets. I'd say you nailed it. Awesome makeover!

  52. lfisher

    I absolutely love this! You really did do such amazing job!


  53. Anonymous

    I am so in love with this piece ANd so jealous!

  54. Sue O’Brien

    That is fabulous! You are talented!

  55. MJ Poppyseed

    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! =)

  56. Tami Michel

    @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!

  57. Gillianne

    Impressive transformation! What are you plans for the companion nightstand/end table?

  58. Gillianne

    Ooops, typo: What are youR plans for the other freebie that accompanied this piece?

  59. Jaye @ Just Trying to Make Cents of it All!

    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!


  60. Marie Blackburn

    Love your dresser makeover! By taking off the doors and adding baskets gave it a brand new updated look. Love the black too.
    ~Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  61. Amanda Brooke

    Awesome job! Amazing transformation.

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