Today is my son’s birthday—the one I am creating “The Handbuilt Bedroom” for (see part 1 here and part 2 here). His birthday pie has been started, and all that’s left to do now is to clean the kitchen—but I thought I’d rather blog about his bedroom instead!
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I sold everything out of his bedroom in one fell swoop! The dresser, the desk, the chair, the bed, AND all the bedding…gone.
The boy was living out of boxes and sleeping on an air mattress.
So despite the fact that I’ve only built simple pieces like tables and benches, it became necessary for me to jump into something more complicated—like a chest of drawers (or dresser, whatever you’d like to call it)!
We had already planned out furniture placement in his room, and the chest had to fit on this little short wall next to the window.
Naturally I turned to Ana White for plans, but didn’t find anything that exactly suited mine—and my son’s—requirements for style and size. So I altered the Wide Cabin Dresser plans to make a narrow cabin dresser instead. Almost like I knew what I was doing!
This is the completed frame of the dresser…
And this is the first drawer! I was so excited. I installed the slides and it all worked perfectly.
Call it “beginner’s luck.”
And that’s because it took ages to get the next three drawers to work. Ugh. Turns out I hadn’t been careful enough in selecting straight boards for the drawer boxes. A word to the wise—when purchasing your boards, lay several down on the floor next to each other and see how the straight those edges are. It helps! But I didn’t do that for this project.
With the help of
a few several well-placed washers, I was able to get everything shimmied around until the drawers opened and closed without falling off the tracks. It was loads of fun. There is a reason Ana tells you not to attempt drawers as a beginner project. But hey, you have to start somewhere.
Here’s my cruddy cell-phone picture of the dresser after I put on the drawer fronts (which is a two-person job) and painted and stained it. The color was a little too bright for me, so I glazed over everything with black stain.
I “reverse stenciled” the numbers on the drawer fronts—meaning I stained the front first, then applied vinyl words before I pained over it. I chose to stain the top and the bottom shelf because they’ll get the most abuse, and I think stained pieces handle it better!
I bought two of these baskets from Amazon for the bottom. Someday I may “age” them a little, but that’s not today. And the idea is to make tags for them that say “five” and “six” to continue with the number theme.
This dresser is oh-so-far from perfect. The top drawer has a tendency to stick, for one thing…but it is keeping my son’s clothes off the floor (mostly), and let’s be honest…isn’t that all we’re really asking a dresser to do??
This is not the first time I’ve painted a red, numbered chest of drawers, I remembered! You can see the other one here.