Crafts & DIY
Man grabs free dresser on side of road for “ugly duckling” challenge and makes it beautiful
I never would have looked at this dresser and envisioned something so beautiful.
Jaclyn Abergas

Jay Zaluski is a healthcare worker who is really passionate about DIY projects and furniture restoration.

He has joined DIY YouTuber, Desert DIY’s, Ugly Duckling Challenge.

In the challenge, participants “transform an ugly, run-down item from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.”

He found an abandoned dresser on the side of the road to restore it back to life.

The difference is amazing.

The dresser has faded light grey paint, and lots of chips on the top and the sides.

One of the wood pieces at the bottom kept falling out.

It turns out to be the front part of the bottom drawer, which is missing.

One good thing about the dresser is the drawer handles, which are still in good shape.

Upon further inspection, it seems only half of the drawer handles are still intact.

The top drawer’s bottom part is very thin and falling out.

Basically, this dresser needed this challenge.

YouTube - Flippingdrawers
YouTube - Flippingdrawers

It needed a lot of work.

First things first, Jay used a paint scraper tool to check how easy (or hard) it’ll be to remove the paint before he decided how to attack the ugly duckling challenge with this dresser.

It was easy enough to remove so he used a paint-stripping liquid and a sander to remove the paint faster.

And once he stripped off the paint, he found the original state of the dresser.

YouTube - Flippingdrawers
YouTube - Flippingdrawers

It originally had a dark stain.

Someone painted it white and then painted it a light grey color.

For the rest of the dresser, he used a paint scraper, paint-stripping cream, and sander to remove the paint.

You really need to have a passion for DIY projects to transform this particular dresser.

Because the white paint embedded itself in the wood crevices, Jay had to use a scraping tool to take out all the paint so he can start from scratch.

YouTube - Flippingdrawers
YouTube - Flippingdrawers

He literally had the perfect “solution”.

It’s amazing how the liquid and mineral spirits were able to remove around 90% of the paint in one swipe.

Because some of the parts of the dresser still had a beautiful dark stain after the paint was removed, Jay cleaned it up and sanded it to make it shine.

He also spent a lot of the time scraping out the paint, especially in the tight corners of the dresser.

YouTube - Flippingdrawers
YouTube - Flippingdrawers

See? You really have to like DIY to have the patience to do this.

Once that was done, he used a sander to bring the dresser back to its original state.

Now that the outside body is cleaned up, it’s time to work on the bottom missing drawer.

He had the perfect fix, too.

YouTube - Flippingdrawers
YouTube - Flippingdrawers

It’s a good thing the front part of the drawer is still intact because it helped Jay figure out what he needed to create the drawer.

Watching Jay restore this abandoned dresser into a beautiful swan makes one appreciate and understand the value, hard work, and skills that go into the creation and construction of the furniture we buy.

Or any product, for that matter.

It’s not easy and quick because if it were, then everyone would be doing it.

But it is worth it.

YouTube - Flippingdrawers
YouTube - Flippingdrawers

See this ugly duckling dresser turn into a beautiful swan in the video below!

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