A Little Craigslist Gem

Craigslist. Some love it. Some love it...not. I personally find some gems on craigslist every once in a while.
Here's what I found recently for $20.
 (Excuse the dirt background. We're in the process of adding sod.)
 I know this dresser isn't much to look at, but when you're a DIYer, you look beyond the exterior. Sure, there are lots of scratches, but that means real wood. The dovetail drawers and curves at the bottom sold me, smelly drawers, nail polish spill and all.

The Process:
Sand. I used my orbital sander with 100 grit sand paper first, then moved to 220 for a finer/smoother finish. This was only to get the scratches out, NOT sand to the bare wood.
 Paint. For this dresser, I decided to use chalk paint. You can find this chalk paint at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Home Depot, and other craft and home stores. It's about $9 for a small jar, but don't forget to use a 40% off coupon if you shop at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I know everyone loves Annie Sloan chalk paint, but very few stores carry it, and those that do are in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, it's expensive.

Chalk paint has the added benefit of skipping the primer step. That skipping using primer before painting really appealed to me.

 The drawers were also sanded and little gaps of chipped veneer were filled with wood filler.

After one coat of chalk paint, I noticed yellow spots coming through the paint. Bummer. I researched why this was happening and all I could find was that it happens with old pieces painted with chalk paint. Informative. There is a solution!
 The paint looks dirty, but it's those yellow spots coming through.

Use Shellac for stain blocking after your first coat of chalk paint.

I actually used two coats, right over the chalk paint. Wait for the first coat to dry (maybe an hour) then brush on your second coat.
This is the first time I've used shellac and I LOVE it!
It's a resin from a bug found in India or Thailand, dried, then dissolved into what we now use to finish wood. Because it has an organic/natural base, the price can vary from season to season based on availability. Interesting, right? I got the full class lesson from my local Home Depot associate.

Paint a second coat. And a third if needed.

Instead of staining the drawers, I decided to...you guessed it, shellac them.

 Now go back and look at the drawers after they were sanded. Big diff! And this is Shellac, not stain then poly, just shellac! I love the natural color of the drawers.

Lastly- Wax finish.

There are tons of tutorials out there on how to use wax, but essentially I used a sponge paint brush to cover a section of the piece, then went back with a white cheesecloth to rub and buff it out. It doesn't sound like enough to protect a piece, but indeed it works.

The Results
 Just Beautiful...
 Not perfect, but still GOR-GEE-OUS! See those wood filler spots below, hardly noticeable unless I point them out to you...like I just did.
Most of the old knobs were missing, so I chose these plain white ones from Home Depot to make the whole piece pop. I think it works.
She's already been sold, and I have to admit, I was a little sad to see her go. But we'll always have shellac.

It was a process, but I'm so happy with the results!

So you see, you can find some gems off craigslist. If you're uneasy about craigslist shopping, you can read my post about Buying and Selling on Craigslist HERE. 
Lots of good advice there.

Find your piece and get to work!