Project 2: The unexpected dresser


Part 1: The decision making process
Today as I got home, I noticed that my neighbours were moving out. Among the things that they were throwing out was an old dresser. I really didn’t like it, I actually hated it the first few times I walked by it. Then they put a “free” sign on it, and all of a sudden I needed it.
I knew I could get some decent wood *childish snicker* by breaking it down.


After an hour of breaking down the dresser, salvaging what I could. I have what I think would make a good table top, and some wood I can use in future projects. I’d say I got about $60 worth of material out of this dresser. Not to mention I will be donating all of the brass pulls to Habitat for Humanity *Cough* sponsor me *Cough*

Okay, so the pinterest board for this project is short, but it was a last minute project. I decided to create the legs for the table out of metal pipes, which give it a rustic modern feeling. (I have no idea if that made sense, I just think it looks cool)

Part 2: Some actual work

So, here is the table top piece of wood from the dresser, I have cut it down to make the sofa table top. Sofa tables are generally narrow and long, and fit behind a sofa to space out a room.
In the picture below I have sanded off half of the varnish and stain, I noticed the really flared wood grain and loved it. I have decided that I will just be putting a clear coat on top of it. A clear coat will just seal the wood and keep it looking shiny without making it darker.


Below is a picture of all the material needed to make the legs, I used iron/metal pipe that is pre-cut to certain lengths and is threaded on both sides. This makes assembly easy.
To make the legs I have used

8x mounting brackets
4x 18″ pipe
4x 10″ pipe
4x T-brackets

I used these specific measurements so that the top of the table will line up with the futon. (the next step is getting an actual sofa)


Next up is the clear coat, this just makes the table nice and shiny. As well, we have to paint the legs black. I have just used a flat black primer to paint the legs, but first I made sure to rub them down with steel wool. This is to get the grease off and rough up the metal to take the paint.


Alright, I have discovered something fun. You should only apply clear coat in a small unventilated area if you want to kill some brain cells. I do these things so you can learn from my mistakes. (on the positive side I think the table looks better, on the other end I could be hallucinating) 

Make sure you get the proper size screws, I almost poked a hole in the table with a long screw. I saved it just in time. Here is the final product, I hope you all enjoyed this project, I know I have.
I’m actually writing this blog entry on the table, so yeah, I’m happy.

DSC_0125 DSC_0126

DSC_0137 DSC_0138 DSC_0106

Part 3: The overview 

Wood: Free (but I did stab myself with a pry bar, so I literally bled for this project)
Pipe: $50 (usually will be more expensive, but I found some sales and had some of the pieces)
Paint & clear coat: $15
Total: $65

Breaking down the dresser: 1 hour
Sanding the table top: 1 hour
Painting the legs & applying the clear coat: 1 day (including dry time)
Total: 1 day

I really enjoyed this project, it was very easy to build and if you are new to building things I would recommend starting with something like this. Only use a table saw if you are confident & have used one before.

Once again, if you have any questions or comments please comment below or send me an email. I would be more than happy to discuss this project.


10 thoughts on “Project 2: The unexpected dresser

  1. dcon says:

    What are great suggestion by Britt!
    A friend of my sold items that she knit on etsy and hosted giveways through her twitter account!
    great job, keep building.


  2. Lucy McLay says:

    Wow this is so cool! I respect your dedication to this blog and think it is amazing how you create all of these beautiful things!


  3. Brittany Durdin says:

    So, you should open an Etsy store and sell this stuff. You are seriously talented! One question, what did you do with the rest of the dresser?

    Haha I will definitely learn from your mistakes and apply varnishes in well ventilated areas.


    • Alex Selvig says:

      Etsy is totally an option, but only if I start making smaller stuff. They have huge shipping fees.
      I ended up keeping all the useable wood and throwing out the junk, I think I get fifty bucks worth of wood out of it. And the varnish made for an interesting few hours at least haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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