Before & After: Dresser Makeover using Fabric, Shoe Leather and Concrete

by Amy Azzarito

I never get tired of a good dresser makeover. It’s one of those things that I hate to spend money on, considering how many lonely dressers are lurking around the corners of thrift stores, just waiting for a good home. This particular piece was made over by designer Aleksandra Mierzwa, and if you look closely, you can really get a sense of all the work she put into this project. After painting the entire dresser, she covered the drawers in canvas and then stuck foil scales to the outside, adding additional painted detailing. The handles were made from an old pair of white leather shoes and then the whole piece was topped with a concrete counter top. Pretty fantastic. (More details on the project are here). –Amy

See more after photos  and project details after the jump!

After removing the hardware and cleaning the dresser with a wet cloth, Aleksandra Mierzwa used a medium grit sandpaper to rough up the surface before painting. Using a roller, she painted the dresser with a white oil paint. When the paint was still slightly sticky, Aleksandra placed a gray canvas over the drawers and then pulled the sides of the canvas around to the inside of the doors, fixing the fabric in place with universal glue and a staple gun. Next, Aleksandra made her own vector drawing of scales and then used a cutting machine to cut the shapes out of a self-adhesive foil. She stuck the scales on the drawers and then added some additional paint details. To create the handles, Aleksandra cut up a scale shape from a pair of old white leather shoes and fixed the new handle onto the door with a staple. The finishing touch was a concrete counter top that Alexsandra had custom ordered for the dresser.

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  • horrifying! why would they destroy such a beautifully designed and well maintained credenza like that?! eeeeshhhh…

  • I really like this, I have been planning to update a hideous veneer bar/cupboard I picked up at a charity shop, but that has an interesting shape. This convinces me it will look so much better in white – thanks for sharing :)

  • The dreser in its “before” state visually popped against the walls, it was a really eye-catching piece simply with the wood finish! Then she decides to camoflauge it to match the wall and then put a slab of concrete on top? What?

  • The person did NOT ask for opinions. Personally, I think it is rude and in poor taste to comment negatively on a makeover. If you don’t have something nice to say, just don’t say anything at all.

  • Some of the earlier comments are correct…this isn’t an antique. It’s a piece of furniture awaiting a new life. And the canvas personally is a great way to cover up a previous life of scratches, etc.

  • Even if it wasn’t an antique and it was an unsophisticated piece of furniture found in charities, it still looked better before. It was more interesting and popping out against the white wall, now it looks like cement with fish scales! Not a successful transformation.

  • The before piece was a gorgeous work of art with great craftsmanship. Very sad to see what it turned into:( …and I love before and after’s, but I guess only for pieces that really need a makeover.

  • It is so sad that the beautiful wood grain of the drawer fronts was not appreciated. To make it more current, just a coat of the white paint on the body, leaving the drawers alone would have been stunning. Or just the top painted white. Sometimes we have to know when to leave things alone.

  • Hi, I am French, and I really appreciat the new design of this dresser!
    It was certainly a beautiful piece before, but it was a little bit old fashion…now it’s just gorgeous!
    Very good job!!!

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