Is it bad to be a garbage picker?

I seem to remember the name having negative connotations when I was a kid – something like “EW! He’s/she’s a garbage picker!” with subsequent teasing.

Not that I was a garbage picker…


but I certainly am now, and I tend to wear it like a badge of honour.

Am I wrong in my perception that “garbage picking” aka recycling/repurposing has come of age and is now a somewhat admired activity?
I’m going to go with “yes” on this, so that my children aren’t (as) mortified when I stop to pick up a piece of beat up furniture on the side of the road.  I’m a garbage picker and I’m proud!  I’m making the world a better place one project at a time!  (Yeah, let’s go with that.)

Case in point – my neighbour called me to tell me she’d seen this adorable dresser at the curb on garbage day (Thank you Sherri!).  I wasn’t going to go check it out – my garage is already pretty full – but temptation got the better of me and look what I found:

Dresser makeover - curb find to beige two-tone


This is in decent condition?  The drawers are perfect – with the exception of missing one slider – the handles are brand new and worth about $6 each and there are very few nicks and dents in this.  Why would someone put this at the curb?!

Beige 3-drawer - 3

Clearly I live in a very spoiled neighbourhoood – but it’s to my advantage (and I may be a bit spoiled myself) so I’ll go with it.

I could have easily given it a light sanding and repainted it white and been done with it – but where’s the excitement in that?  I decided to change it up a bit and make a two-tone in a more contemporary (but subtle) colour.

The top was stripped down to bare wood so I could stain it, and the sides were brought down to a nice smooth finish so that once painted over they wouldn’t look painted over.  The drawer handles had been replaced once (you can see the double holes) so I decided to start fresh and fill in everything with a bit of wood filler.

Beige 3-drawer - 6

Dark walnut stain with a CIL SMART3 for Furniture and Cabinets – the colour is called “Mocha Light”, but I couldn’t find it on their site to connect to?  It’s in their ‘whites’ flyer if you go to Home Depot to find it.  I haven’t used CIL before, but I was pleased that they had something with a melamine-type finish (durable) and that it was water washable.

Beige 3-drawer 2 - 1

I thought the other handles were too sparse and that the silver finish just wouldn’t work with this new, warmer-coloured dresser – so I used a Rustoleum Hammered finish spray paint (aged pewter) on some other handles I had here and they turned out beautifully!  Aged and yet current.

Beige 3-drawer 2 - 4

A couple of coats of varnish to protect the top and voila!

Beige 3-drawer 2 - 7

It’s so much warmer and ‘grown up’ now.  You could put this in a kids bedroom if you wanted, but with this colour scheme you certainly don’t have to like you would have with the white version.

Beige 3-drawer 2 - 9

It’s a small dresser – 29.5″ wide, by 16″ deep by 31″ tall so it could easily be used as a storage console by the front door, or you could tuck it INTO a closet and have a chest of drawers beneath your hanging clothes?  Oooooh, I know – what about using it as an oversized night stand?  I LOVE that idea!

Beige 3-drawer P

I think you need it in your home – but only because I can’t fit it in mine – otherwise I’d be all over this bad boy!

Have a great one!


Too funny


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