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Green Living: Rejuvenating Junk

Green living is part of today’s society and a factor that will help contribute to a decline in the amount of garbage dumped in landfills. Remember the old saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure?” This statement is very true. An old dilapidated dresser is the foundation to a new whimsical holder for clothing, presents, linens and other small items. A few nails, a coat of spray paint, decals or hand-painted decorations along with new handles turns a throw away piece of furniture into a new and exciting household accessory.

How do you begin the project? The best place to start is thrift stores, garage sales and free furniture setting along the curb. Check the stability of the old dresser by rocking it back and forth and from side to side. How much does it give? Check to see if a few nails or screws will stabilize the framework. If so, grab the old dresser and take it home.

Clear out a space in a garage or basement to do the work. Outside on the lawn is okay if it’s on a calm day with little wind. Remove the drawers from the dresser. Remove the handles from the drawers. Secure the framework of the dresser with nails or screws. Try to hide the nails or screws from the back side of the dresser. If you need to secure the framework from the sides, don’t worry! Place a decal or design over the screw or nail to camouflage the area.

Give the surface a light sanding with a 320 or 400 grit sandpaper. The old varnish, stain or paint does not have to be completely removed to apply spray paint. Make sure to sand any grooves in the woodwork design so the paint will adhere. Wipe the sanded dresser down with a damp cloth. Allow it to air dry for 15 minutes.

Prevent overspray to areas such as the inside of the dresser drawers and the inside of the dresser. Insert newspaper into the dresser drawers and tape in place. Lay the dresser down so the back is on the ground. Secure the newspaper to the dresser draw openings by taping the newspaper to the inside of the dresser. Use painter’s tape or masking tape to secure the newspaper in place.

Shake the desired color of spray paint for 60 seconds. Remove the lid from the can. Hold the can approximately 12-inches from the dresser’s surface. Apply a thin coat of spray paint. Allow the paint to dry 15 minutes. Repeat the process for three to five coats. Allow the dresser to sit 60 minutes before moving.

Apply decals or hand paint designs on the drawer fronts, the side of the dresser and/or the top. Secure the new dresser handles in place. An old junk dresser is now a new and rejuvenated home decor accessory!

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