Sunday, November 7, 2010

Serve Me Up!

I am utterly in love with my latest project. It all started with an email from a friend regarding a cute little vintage highboy style dresser she saw on Craigslist (are we noticing my slight obsession with Craig and his sweet list?). The listing showed a fuzzy picture of a black, chipped dresser that was in need of a little TLC. And the was being given away. So thanks to my wonderful husband, this little dresser found it's way to my workshop.

The bonuses here are the line items I tend to look for in all furniture pieces. Does it have anything unique? Particular hardware? Style? Is it solid wood? Dove tailed drawers? And this baby had all that and more. I love, though it looks a little rough at first glance, the crystal knobs and the keyhole and lock for the top drawer. These are just little things that seem to make this stand out. And what a find!
I love this keyhole!

I started my design by examining all the drawers to see which one would be best suited to become the wine rack. Since I love the little keyhole at the top of the dresser, I decided to furnish the wine rack in the lower tiers. I wanted it to look like it was always meant to be a bar, so I went with the last drawer. This project required a small piece of plywood, wood screws, a hand drill with a Phillips head bit, a screwdriver, a level and a tape measure.

The cute baby in the background is optional.
I began by taking the interior measurements of the bottom drawer and cut a piece of paint grade furniture plywood on a table saw. If you do not own or have access to a table saw the nice people at Lowe's or Home Depot will do this for you!

Once this piece was set, I cut 5 inch long X 1 inch wide strips from the leftover plywood to be placed as spacers for the wine bottles.
I measured a variety of wine bottle bases and decided that 4 inch gaps would accommodate most wine and champagne bottles. This is important to utilize the space for the most bottle storage. I placed my spacers evenly across the board and pre-drilled holes for the screws. This is an important step when working with plywood so that you do not split the wood when fastening the screws.

The level is used to ensure that the spacers are set evenly across the board. Once all of the spacers are secure, I like to go back in with a Phillips screwdriver to tighten the screws. I find you can easily strip the screw when using the hand drill to get a tight fit. (Side note: Stripping a screw results when the teeth of the drill bit wear down the grip on the head of the screw so that you no longer get any hold on the screw. The drill bit then just turns without tightening or loosening the screw itself.)

After positioning and securing all of my spacers, I laid out a few bottles to see that the layout worked. Next I moved the entire board into the dresser to make sure the board itself was level.

The end is near my friends. Now onto the finishing touches. I used a satin black primer/paint combo and put a nice coat on the entire dresser, including the new wine rack. It is also important to paint the interior of this drawer as it will be visible.

I chose to not paint the entire interior of the piece, mostly because the backside of the top of the dresser would be never be seen. The wine rack required 3 thin coats while the rest of the dresser only required 1 coat. I gently cleaned the original hardware and added some washers to get a tighter fit. Hardware is such an interchangeable item and you can easily swap it out (and cheaply too!).

I have a few wine bottles stored on the bottom, while the top 4 drawers are used for stemless wine and champagne glasses, bottle openers, cocktail napkins, coasters and other serving ware for parties. This dining room project is in full tilt as I am tackling a whole new look for the dining room table. That being said, I have not styled this bar yet. I have a few ideas for the walls to tie the look together. Hopefully by the end of the week we will have the big reveal for the whole look!

The best part about this project is how simple it really is. You can easily take any dresser in your home now and give it a little face lift with this project. Being able to re purpose furniture is a wonderful trick to breathe new life into a piece!

After After Shot - A little styling!


  1. I love Craigslist too...I practically live on it some days! You did a great job with this dresser. It's just gorgeous!


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