Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | June 19, 2013

The Dresser Gift

I read about chalk painters who talk about friends giving them pieces of furniture. This is so foreign to me. In economically depressed Michigan no one gives you anything!

Or so I thought…


This five drawer dresser was given to me this week. I really like the hardware.

Recently I had a sweet little dresser offered to me by a friend. Really? Before I saw a photograph or accepted it, I bombarded her with questions? Is it constructed of MDF or wood? Does it need a lot of repairs? Are there drawers missing? Does it have any hardware?


If anyone had any additional information or can help me age this piece, please let me know.

I might have sounded ungrateful (sorry if I did Liz) I just needed to understand what I was getting into before I picked it up! Because I sell my hand-painted furniture at such a reasonable retail price, I usually buy ONLY the most cost-effective pieces. This means I often pass on anything that does not have its own hardware. As you know having to buy hardware for a five drawer dresser can be quite a costly proposition.  I’ve had to pass on some of the prettiest and most unusual pieces because they would need all new (or vintage) hardware and that meant ultimately a too high of a price point for my market.

I feel really lucky as this piece had ALL of its drawer pulls and is made of wood. I actually like the pulls too. It’s probably not too old, maybe 1950’s or 1960’s or so but painted up it will make a nice little storage piece with its five roomy drawers (that means 10 drawer pulls!!) Because it was stored in a garage the insides of the drawers will need to be painted – its only drawback.


I will be painting the insides of these drawers!

I’m thinking of sanding and staining the top a dark walnut and then painting the body in Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint with a pop of color in the drawers. I realize that this dark/light combo is pretty conventional but I have never painted an entire piece in white yet, so maybe it is time.

Thanks Liz for the sweet gift!

Small House / Big Sky Donna



  1. Donna, this dresser is a lovely gift. If you live near a Hobby Lobby store they carry a great supply of hardware; always 1/2 off regular price. You can pick up some really great pieces which will not cost much. Just a suggestion you might want to check out.

    • Betty, I absolutely do love the Hobby Lobby hardware and pulls. They are always so colorful, interesting and unique. I think I am just a cheapie at heart. Even the thought of having to add 10 pulls @ X $5.00 per pull is more than I can handle. You have NO idea how low I have to price furniture here in order to sell it! And then I have to pay the shop commission from my profits on top of that. For now, for consignment, I just can’t add the costs of hardware to the price. And the monthly rents for nice shops here averages $250.00 PER month….that why I don’t yet have a space! Still working out the kinks here…..

      Thanks for your suggestion (s)and for reading the small house blog!

  2. Donna, this is a great piece! I know that Michigan is so terribly depressed – I live in an oil-rich state so I think the experts say Oklahoma was “untouched” by the recession. I would argue with that but, I know what it’s like to have to sell something cheaply that you’ve put so much into. 10 pieces of hardware is pretty much cost prohibitive for us too! I do think you should go all white with it though – You could always paint over it if you don’t like it! 🙂 Hobby Lobby’s corporate office and warehouse are both about 15 miles from my house and we don’t get stuff any cheaper than y’all!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, I do so appreciate them. You thinking about the white is so right!

      I jumped on your blog and you had me at Nanos pies. YUM! I sure wish I had my grandmothers recipes!(My parents divorced when I was three and the last time I lived with my mother I was age 5.) So spending time with my grand mother was a big influence on me. My grand mother was a good old-fashion cook, cooking for five children and then the hired men on the farm. You’ve got me wondering now just where her recipes are?

      Looking forward to receiving your recipes too.

      Small House / Big Sky Donna / White Oak Studio Designs / SW Michigan
      Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations
      Facebook: (for portfolio of chalk painted work)

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