Campaigning For a Project

by Katy on July 24, 2014 · 21 comments

Campaign dresser


I’ve been keeping an eye out for a low dresser over the past few years. I wanted something cheap, sturdy and within my design aesthetic. The plan is to put our bedroom TV on the dresser and then banish the rolling metro shelving unit that the TV current sits on.

At this point you may be wondering why we need a TV in the bedroom at all, but I think you need to understand that some people in my marriage like to watch international soccer games on TV, while other people in my marriage like watching old episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

I’ll you guess which is which.

I’d already turned down this mid-century dresser, as the top was a plastic laminate, (meh) and hadn’t seen anything since then that piqued my interest.

But the above vintage solid wood/dovetail drawered campaign dresser was priced at only $20, so I bit the bullet and brought it home. It wasn’t an immediate decision, as I just finished ridding my house of a buttload of unnecessary stuff, but an hour or so of doing image searches of painted campaign dressers put me into a frenzy. (I even put together a Pinterest board of nothing but painted campaign dressers!)

I worried that the dresser would be sold by the time I made it back to Goodwill this morning, (I’d seen it last night) but luck was on my side and I was happy to fork over the twenty smackeroos!

My plan is to paint it a glossy black color and then shine the hell out of the solid brass hardware. There’s a single drawer that needs to be re-glued, but it’s a small job. And for those who wonder why I don’t keep the original wood finish, I need to explain that the wood has those horrible teeny splatters of dark stain to look faux antique. (The dresser is from 1974.)


I think I should be able to start on this project within the next few weeks, and I’ll keep you updated.

I know it’s inherent in this blog post, but I need to hammer home that low cost/high quality used stuff will always win over the low quality/high cost of a newly manufactured item. Buying used gives us the option to outfit our homes with quality items without spending too much, and most importantly without supporting environmentally irresponsible factories with questionable worker practices.

Take that, Wal-Mart!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen July 24, 2014 at 2:25 am

Ooh, is it that same black speckling that’s been on my Goodwill frames?

Totally understand why you wouldn’t want to rock that finish.


Lucy July 24, 2014 at 4:01 am

LOL, I thought of your frames immediately when I read Katy’s description. Um, maybe some time away from the internet would be in order for me?


Mairsydoats July 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

Exactly what came to my mind too. It’s like a village, here, I tell ya…


Deborah Williams July 24, 2014 at 10:57 am

I immediately thought of those frames too!!


Diane C July 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

Guilty as charged.

AnnDenee July 24, 2014 at 2:38 am

I am always browsing the thrift store furniture for prizes like your dresser. And as it happens, it was the local buy/swap page where I scored a vintage sunbeam stand mixer, comparable to a kitchenaid, but without the attachment thingie that I wouldn’t use anyway, for $35!!

I know this mixer quite well as my mom had one for all my growing up years, and it is still alive and kicking in my brother’s kitchen. The seller warned me that only thing wrong with it is that you have to turn the bowl by hand. I just smiled as I asked for a $5 reduction and didn’t tell her it was made before bowls were expected to spin themselves.


Polaria July 24, 2014 at 3:50 am

I am eager to see the “After” picture 😉


Diane July 24, 2014 at 4:13 am

My downstairs neighbor buys and sells used wood dressers. I’m sure she buys very low, repaints them turquoise (which I have found out is the in color now) and sells them on craigslist for hundreds of dollars. I found her latest, a low dresser like yours that she advertised as a TV stand, with a price of $240! Apparently her dressers sell like hotcakes. I see people loading them into their cars every weekend.

Maybe a new sideline for you!


Katy July 25, 2014 at 10:19 am

That’s really smart of your neighbor to paint everything the same color when reselling. That way she can buy a gallon of paint and use it for multiple pieces.

Maybe I need to do the same!



Diane July 26, 2014 at 4:56 am

Yes…turquoise is the IN color. She emphasizes in her ad that all her pieces are solid wood.


erin @ dfmi designs July 24, 2014 at 4:21 am

First and foremost, I would like to say that I too am a Buffy fan! 🙂 The dresser looks like a great find indeed! 80% of the furniture in our home has either been drug off the side of the road for free or bought low cost and painted. I get so much enjoyment from reviving damaged, high quality pieces. 🙂 Plus, so much more unique than having a matchy-matchy set.


patti July 24, 2014 at 4:40 am

Can’t wait to see how it turns out! I am a big fan of well built furniture and seeing the possibilities in older items which leads to my hoarding syndrome which is why I live vicariously through posts like this until I finish my own projects!! Keep us posted!


Jane F July 24, 2014 at 5:48 am

Sounds like a fun project! Just curious how you stored your clothes previously and what you plan do with the old storage containers/dresser.


Katy July 25, 2014 at 10:21 am

I should have mentioned that my husband and I share a tall dresser. We each have a single drawer for our T-shirts and then we share one for short/pajama pants. My husband is ecstatic with the idea of having a bit more storage space for his never ending T-shirts.


Sloan July 24, 2014 at 7:01 am

We are a TV in the bedroom couple, also. We like to go to bed at the same time and my husband is not a reader. He also watches Arizona basketball games, but we are in Georgia, so they play at 10pm our time. He just watches in bed while I read and then go to sleep.


Gladys (The Pinay Mom) July 24, 2014 at 9:05 am

I don’t like having TV in our bedroom but my husband loves to watch his “favorite shows” while the girls think the living room TV is theirs.


Allison July 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Love the campaign dresser. I bet you’re going to be really happy with it when the project is done. For years I could not figure out how to make our entryway storage work cheaply and aesthetically. Finally I bought a dated big brown dresser on Craigslist and ordered a custom-sized paint-grade bookshelf from our local cheap bookshelf chain. It took several months of weekend work sanding and painting, but now I have a gorgeous custom unit in the front entry that stores all of my family’s shoes, scarves and hats (and library books, milk bottles, etc.) Plus it fully blocks a doorway that we never use.

Show us photos when you finish this one!


Molly July 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm

We know you’re a closet soccer fan, while the others in your house are out and proud.

It’s ok, Katy. It’s ok. 🙂


Katy July 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

So booooring!


Sarah July 25, 2014 at 12:49 am

I agree, Katy. Except my boyfriend and I decided to furnish our home with made-to-measure closets to make the most of the space we have. Not a very cheap option, I know. But certainly a high quality one. And I happily spend my money on craftmanship and a local, small business with hard working people.
That having said, up until now (we moved into our own home in November after renting apartments for 6 years) we had mostly second hand/outlet store/hand-me-down-from-family furniture. Which made our interior somewhat an odd mix of styles. It’s so nice to now live in our own home. We carefully choose our furniture, not always cheap options or second hand, but definitely high quality things, piece by piece as our budget allows it. Some of our old furniture will still serve us some time before it gets replaced by something we really love. And then the old things will be sold or handed down again to relatives (I have more than 15 younger cousins).


Diane C July 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Gotta confess I’m ridiculously proud that almost everything in our fancy new house (As in OMG, do we *really* live here??) came from a consignment store or Craigslist. I love pointing out all my finds to my guests. I know that chest is going to look awesome! Go, Katy!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: