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Upcycling a Welsh Dresser

IIf you had to put my interior style into a
bracket, I think I’m a bit of cliché. I love that warm, homely look. I love
ditzy prints – Cath Kidston in particular can bring me out in a hot flush. I
love natural colours and warm tones and I want my home to be somewhere where
people kick their shoes off and relax on a squishy sofa with some wine and
nibbles and just feel…at home. 

Part of that, for me, isn’t just about the
colour of the walls or what you choose to put on your floors, but the finishing
I love knick-knacks. I always have. I like that
little items have some sort of meaning and they may have a special history all
of their own. The only problem is, when you have magpie-like tendencies like
me, is finding somewhere to store them all – particularly out of reach from a
curious mini-magpie son of mine.
I’ve always wanted a Welsh dresser, but our old
house didn’t offer up much room, so it was banished to the list of things that
“I want but don’t need/can’t afford” like the chaise longue that I’m
actually certain we need (reason unknown). But when we moved in January, our
new house had even much space to fill – fill with “rubbish we don’t
need”, that is, in Stephen’s opinion.
So the hunt for the Welsh Dresser was on, fueled
mainly by my love of a good eBay bidding war and my mum.
For about a week, we trawled eBay for dressers.
There are tons on there that you can buy and collect in all it’s upcycled
shabby chic glory, but I didn’t want to shell out in excess of £300.00 for the
pleasure. So we went back to basics.

We found this beauty for £100.00 after a thorough search. While not eBay’s way,
I did contact the seller to see if they wanted a set amount for it and they
happily told me it was mine.

We had to collect it ourselves – just outside of
Liverpool – a good tip would be to consider how far you’d go for the item you
want and weigh up petrol too. And don’t forget to ask for dimensions – this
just about fit into my dad’s car.  
While I can take credit for dressing the
dresser, the upcycling was all down to my mum…

Step One – Sand your dresser with some fine sandpaper.

Step Two – Remove the doors and any doorknobs to
make painting easier and cleaner.
Step Three – Prime your wood. My mum used a
primer and then a separate matte wood paint, but I think I’d definitely use some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint next time, as you can paint right onto un-sanded wood.

Step Four – Leave to dry and reassemble your

Step Five – Rub some beeswax into the bare wood of the dresser – if you have
painted it like we have.

Step Six – The fun part – dress it!
My dresser tells such a wonderful story – from the complete Road Dahl collection that my dad bought for William, to my brother’s graduation
photo, or the oriental glasses I found in the charity shop in my village, or
the Welsh Lady bell that I found in this post here. I’ve got a blue and white
floral plate that my auntie bought for me in Radlett, when we rummaged in the
charity shops there. I’ve got my homemade mini bunting that I made in this post here. I’ve got mason jars, full of sweets, old books, a nod to
Kirstie Allsopp, little trinkets, fairy lights, messages on little signs, paper
straws, cups, napkins, hearts and even Christmas decorations that I feel are
too pretty to hide away from Spring to Autumn.

So that’s my dresser – the place where knick-knacks live. 

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  • Reply
    14th October 2013 at 7:34 am

    Ahhh, I love this Charlotte. A Welsh dresser is definitely on my "one day list" especially as the hubby is welsh and I'm half welsh. It seems only right really!!! But there just isn't a good spot for one here, but in the next house DEFINITELY! x

  • Reply
    Hurrah for gin
    14th October 2013 at 1:04 pm

    That's amazing! Looks like it could have cost a couple of grand from Laura Ashley! X

  • Reply
    mascara & mud
    14th October 2013 at 1:29 pm

    love love love it!

  • Reply
    Super Busy Mum
    14th October 2013 at 2:34 pm

    This is GORGEOUS! I also love all of the little details on the dresser too. You've done a fabulous job!! x

  • Reply
    14th October 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I can't even begin to tell you how jealous I am of this. I love it a lot and have noticed it in various posts of yours before. You did a great job of it.

    I wish something like this would go in our house. xx

  • Reply
    Time waits for no mum
    14th October 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I love this! It's gorgeous, such a great piece and I love the way you've dressed it, what a great feature for your room.

  • Reply
    14th October 2013 at 8:27 pm

    It looks fantastic! I'm so jealous, too!

  • Reply
    15th October 2013 at 1:26 am

    It looks beautiful! I would love to have that in my house.

  • Reply
    15th October 2013 at 9:17 am

    It's so pretty Char! I was bidding on one round the corner from my house but I missed the final bid cause I was on a plane over the weekend. It went for £40 and I missed it by about £2 – GUTTED! x

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 9:22 am

    Thanks Kaz! £40 was a STEAL! I know a friend who is selling hers for £100 but it's down in Surrey. I lusted after one that was up for £500 on eBay, but then I thought NO, must recreate myself. I'm obsessed with doing up furniture at the moment. xx

  • Reply
    15th October 2013 at 9:39 am

    Same. Got like a billion blog posts to catch up on but there just aren't enough hours in the day! Got my eye on another dresser at the minute on eBay, currently at £42 with 1 day left. If I get it, I may be nagging you for advice on how the flip I can update the thing! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thank you. I'm really proud of it. Though my mum is the real genius! You should get searching for one on eBay! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:21 am

    Get one Hayles! You seem like a dresser kinda gal! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:22 am

    Thank you so much! I'm proud of it – most of our house is 'work in progress' and this always reminds me to keep working hard and get it sorted. xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:28 am

    You should get one. I know someone who is selling one in Surrey actually. You can paint them so many colours and make it fit in your home! Dooooo it! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:28 am

    Thank you pickle. I am obsessed with collecting nice things to display on it. Running out of room though! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:29 am

    Me too! Swoons at inanimate object! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:29 am

    Now that's a compliment! Thanks pickle! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Taylor
    15th October 2013 at 11:31 am

    Thanks Lucy. Oh you definitely need one! I can't wait to hear how that house move goes. I bet you'll find a lovely home when the time comes. 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    Eilidh T
    16th October 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Such a beautiful piece of furniture! I've nowhere to put my knick knacks at all 🙁 xo

  • Reply
    Laurenne @ This Mummy
    24th November 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I have just bought a Welsh dresser off eBay to paint up, I knew you had a gorgeous one so just searched your blog – and it turns out we have bought pretty much an identical one to the one as you have! Can I ask are the cup hooks you've added just those little hooks you screw in?

    So excited to see what ours could look like!!

    L x

  • Reply
    27th January 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I love this so much! It's exactly like my mental picture of the perfect Welsh dresser, I need to do some serious decluttering & selling of DVDs so that I have room for one.

  • Reply
    Emily Eldridge
    4th September 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Looks fab! Well done! How much paint did you use for the whole project please? I am planning one myself and struggling to decide what size paint tin to buy! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
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