Before and After – Tallboy Makeover

I was doing some housecleaning on the blog recently and found some ‘treasures’ that I thought could be brought out of the archives and back into the spotlight.

Granted, the photo quality and editing are still reflective of my early days as a blogger, but the content is good – so I hope you’ll join me for “Flashback Week”!


No, not “Tall Boys” – although hubby is a “Tall Man” and I certainly check him out.  (hubba, hubba – wink)

In this case though it’s those high-standing dressers, usually with 5 drawers, that are in abundance on Kijiji: my go-to store.

The great thing about tallboys is that more often than not, they are available for free.

You read it right… FOR FREE!

Garage sales, the free section on Kijiji, your Great-Aunt that has one stored in the basement somewhere….  FREE!

Sure, they’re probably pieces of cr@p, but it’s cr@p with potential!

Proof;  I obtained each one of these before and afters FOR FREE…

Tallboy makeover

Tallboy makeover, dresser makeover, painted dresser, painted tallboy, refinished furniture
The white one above didn’t need a ton of work – but it did need to be stripped down to the bare bones to get rid of sloppy paint jobs of the past.  A coat of paint on the same handles and a painter’s tape stencilled area on the face of each drawer and this tallboy makeover sold right away.
This tallboy makeover was a doozy… I had to strip off 7 layers of paint!
No charge for the lead poisoning – thank you very much!
 Tallboy makeover, dresser makeover, painted dresser, painted tallboy, refinished furniture
I’m sorry for the poor lighting and photo skills – this makeover was just something I wanted to try…  creating a large focal point on the front of the dresser.  I didn’t have a colour scheme in mind and ended up just using leftover paint from other projects – but it’s quite striking isn’t it?  I think if I do this again, I’ll have a more cohesive palette – but again, this sold within a week or two of finishing.

This tallboy makeover I wanted to look like craftsman toolbox… complete with aluminum handles.

Pretty cute for a boy’s room eh?

Tallboy makeover, dresser makeover, painted dresser, painted tallboy, refinished furniture
The aluminum strips were about the same price as getting handles for the drawers, so it was a neat project to try out.

A lot of work, but I think the “afters” show it’s well worth it!


Now I’ve shown you a few options for all of those free tallboys you’re going to go in search of – don’t forget to send me pics of what you come up with!

Have a great one!



2018-06-18T13:42:00-04:00August 2nd, 2015|BEFORE & AFTER, REFINISH/REPURPOSE|8 Comments


  1. Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Shelly, you are unbelievable! I especially like the last 2, and the toolbox is just fun! Mark would put it in his garage and use it as a toolbox!

  2. Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Hey Shelly,
    looks awesome, great job.. :)

  3. Ann July 13, 2013 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Fantastic job Shelly! In the past I have refinished lots of desks, etc…I’m sure they didn’t look this great.

  4. Shelly July 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much everyone! Your kind words are greatly appreciated!
    Oh, and Alex, I did use it as a toolbox and everyone that came by thought it was a giant craftsman! lol

  5. Kelly G July 10, 2015 at 3:29 am - Reply

    What did you use for the handles on the craftsman dresser?

    • Shelly @ July 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      I used some aluminum stripping from Home Depot. It’s sold to edge garage doors I think and comes in long strips – maybe 8′ long? I just had Hubby cut it down to the lengths I wanted and then I screwed it into the top of the drawers. VERY inexpensive – maybe $8 for all the handles.

  6. Linda Page August 2, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

    You keep amazing me. You should have your own furniture boutique!!!!

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