{How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 – Repairs

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

I need your help! I want your help choosing the colour that the inside & sides of the drawers will be painted on this piece, so please read through and take the time to leave a comment voting for your colour selection.

I know that my first post in this series was not super exciting, who wants to read about tools? But just in case you missed it you can find it here. Some of this information will be helpful as we progress through the series and I will refer back to it occasionally.

I do have something exciting to share with you today, I get to reveal of the piece of furniture we are making over. It is a gorgeous dresser, when I first saw it I fell in love with the Queen Anne Style Legs, I always look at the legs on a piece of furniture, for me they have to be special. It originally had a mirror, I don’t generally keep mirrors and this one wasn’t in good condition to start with so it had to go.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

The top has a lot of damage to the varnish, mainly stains and scratches. It looks really bad, but I can tell from looking that it is only as deep as the varnish.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

When I first begin a piece I always assess it for damage, inside and out (I actually do this when I purchase a piece of furniture). The repairs I need to make on this piece are:

  • Glue trim back into place on top edge
  • Trim off excess top from where the mirror was attached at the back
  • Fix broken draw
  • Fill Holes

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

There is also termite damage, which you do find in old furniture occasionally, they are long gone so all I need to do is fill the holes. The damage is mainly superficial so no wood needs to be replaced.

I always begin with repairs before moving onto any stripping.

To repair the wood trim I use wood glue and two large furniture clamps. The furniture clamps are about 2 meters long and can be quite expensive but really helpful when you need to glue pieces back into place like this. Make sure you wipe away any excess glue that oozes out. I usually leave the wood glue overnight to dry.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

This doesn’t happen often but as the mirror has to be removed from the dresser it has actually left the back of the top with a couple of large holes, these are part of an overhang so I can simply use a jigsaw to cut off the excess. You could also repair the holes but as this part of the dresser had a lot of the termite damage it was better to just get rid of it. What I do is draw a line and score it with my Stanley knife to prevent splintering as I cut.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

I never rush these cuts as you want a nice straight clean edge. I then sand it just to make sure the edge is smooth, this is done with the power sander with a 120 grit sand paper. I also fill the gap you see with wood filler so that when I paint it I have nice clean edges.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

You will need to remove the drawers from your dresser when working on it, the first thing you do is label the back of your drawers so you know where they go. I always label mine the same – from left to right, top to bottom (see image below), doing it the same way every time makes certain you remember where they go. The thing with old furniture is that drawers are usually made to fit the slot they go into and if you don’t label them you will probably find you put them back wrong and this is where drawers get stuck. I take one drawer out at a time and use chalk to number the back of the drawers as they come out. (sometimes you will find that the maker actually has already labelled the drawers, which is a huge help!)

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

Once the drawers are removed I give the inside a good clean. Usually they are full of cobwebs, spiders, dust and other leftover insect life. I like all my pieces to seem new and I believe attention to detail is important so cleaning a piece of furniture is worth my time. I first use a dustpan brush to get rid of the majority of the dirt and then a damp cloth and give it a good wipe down.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

I then remove all the hardware and use wood filler to fill any holes I do not need. Old furniture has all different sorts of hardware, some are attached with screws, bolts & nuts, other ones nails or the super secret ones that are attached with nails that look like screws (just to mess with your head and get you really annoyed) and finally my favourite are the ones that are glued in place and just ruin all your plans. The hardware on this were attached with bolts and nuts that I removed then used a hammer on the inside to hammer out of place.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs

This piece is getting new hardware but I will be using the existing holes so I leave them as is. But, just so you know what I do when I have to change the locations of the holes to accommodate new hardware here are the steps:

I fill the holes with wood filler, I usually use just a little bit more wood filler than I need and I make sure I fill any holes on the inside of the drawer. A pet hate of mine is where people replace hardware and don’t bother to fill old holes inside the drawers, little details matter like this when reselling. I always believe paying attention to the details makes for a better quality piece. Leave your wood filler to dry and then sand it back to a smooth finish.

I lay all my drawers next to each other on the ground, as they would be when they are in the dresser, this way I know my hardware placement is perfect, nothing worse than your knobs not lining up.

I use the metal ruler and a pencil to measure halfway down on each drawer and mark this then I decide how far in on the sides I want the knobs and I mark this on each end along the middle line we have just drawn. I do the same for each drawer. When you are placing just one knob on a drawer I mark the center point and simply drill there.

Now for the decision I want your help with…….

I have plans for the outside of this dresser but the inside I want to paint with a bright colour…….that’s where you come in!

I want you to have a look at these Fusion Paint Colours I have narrowed down and choose your favourite. The colour that gets the most votes in the comments will be what I use. The outside colour is a neutral  and I have chosen the below colours as any of them will go with it.

Colour Saturated Life | {How to Makeover Furniture} Part 2 Repairs


1. Prairie Sunset | 2. Ceramic | 3. Renfrew Blue | 4. Laurentien

So let me know your choice below in the comments, I will let you know what colour it is in the next post in this series next week. Can’t wait to see what you pick!

****UPDATE**** VOTING IS NOW CLOSED AND THE COLOUR HAS BEEN CHOSEN – Thank You all how helped in the selection!



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  • Thistle - June 13, 2015 - 12:38 am

    Looks great!ReplyCancel

  • […] wood veneer but had seen better days, it was time to give her a new life. After making a few repairs, stripping, staining and bringing the wood back to life, painting a unique Herringbone Pattern and […]ReplyCancel

  • Casey - March 31, 2015 - 1:56 pm

    Love #1 Prairie SunsetReplyCancel

  • Marigene - March 30, 2015 - 1:55 pm

    My choice most definitely is Ceramic, but second choice is Laurentian. Will anxiously await photos…ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - April 1, 2015 - 4:25 pm

      Thanks MarigeneReplyCancel

  • Easter Tablescape » Colour Saturated Life - March 30, 2015 - 8:01 am

    […] not done so already (and thank you to those of you that have) could you take the time to pop over here and help me pick a colour for the dresser we are making over on the blog at the moment. […]ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - March 28, 2015 - 1:16 pm

    I’m so happy to have found your blog! Your work is gorgeous. I’m most drawn to choice #2!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 30, 2015 - 1:34 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to choose Jamie!ReplyCancel

  • lee - March 27, 2015 - 9:36 am

    I’m partial to blues, so I have to choose #3!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 27, 2015 - 2:49 pm

      Great choice, I am partial to blues myself.ReplyCancel

  • jill - March 26, 2015 - 5:39 am

    #2 Ceramic – love that spring green color.ReplyCancel

  • Haley - March 26, 2015 - 2:51 am

    2 & 3 are my favorite.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 26, 2015 - 8:32 am

      Thanks Haley!ReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - March 25, 2015 - 8:56 pm

    This dresser has such great lines. And I hate it too when people don’t fill old holes inside the drawers. I’d love color 1 or 2 for myself.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 26, 2015 - 8:36 am

      Thanks Julia, so glad someone else gets my pet hate!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Jackson - March 25, 2015 - 5:37 pm

    A difficult choice because they’re all so pretty, but I think my choice is Prairie Sunset.

    Look forward to seeing the finished product.


    • Gilly - March 26, 2015 - 8:36 am

      Thanks for taking the time Carol, I apapreciate it!ReplyCancel

  • Marie P - March 25, 2015 - 4:58 pm

    I like the Prairie Sunset best. It would be nice to see a bit of sunshine each time a drawer is opened.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 26, 2015 - 8:37 am

      You make it sound so good Marie, I love idea that it would be like a little sunshine when opening the drawers. Fingers crossed!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - March 25, 2015 - 12:33 pm

    Definitely #1, the yellow .. love that color!!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 26, 2015 - 8:38 am

      Thanks Jennifer!ReplyCancel

  • Tami - March 25, 2015 - 11:48 am

    I need to know the exterior color to really know what would coordinate well…but I like the yellow as a generally nice color:)ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 25, 2015 - 11:50 am

      Thanks Tami, others have said the same thing, I have chosen a neutral and any of these colours would go. Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts, I appreciate it!ReplyCancel

  • UnderTheCat - March 25, 2015 - 11:34 am

    #2 Ceramic!ReplyCancel

  • Last Minute Lynn - March 25, 2015 - 11:16 am

    It is a little difficult to pick the inside color w/o knowing the outside color, but I love #4.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 25, 2015 - 11:44 am

      Thank you so much Lynn! Yes, I understand that it is difficult without knowing the outside colour but I picked these as they will go with it. The outside colour is neutral so anything can go with it ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for taking the time to let me know your choice, I appreciate it!ReplyCancel

  • Alex - March 25, 2015 - 10:25 am

    Oh this is going to look so gorgeous when it’s all done! I love all the colours you’ve narrowed down, but I have to say I am swooning over #4. [email protected]

    Can’t wait to see the finished product! thanks for your step-by-step! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - March 25, 2015 - 12:09 pm

      Thanks Alex, I am secretly excited about it to, it is looking amazing at the moment and I am only half way there, I think it going to one of those projects that will be hard to sell! ๐Ÿ™ReplyCancel

  • Harriett - March 25, 2015 - 10:03 am

    I think the Laurentien would look really good inside.ReplyCancel

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