Removing 1950’s Build-In Dressers


Making more room in our master bedroom

Get Rid of the old to create the new

Sometimes even though it may at first seem like extra work we need to take on getting rid of things that do still serve a function to make room for new improved spaces. This was our dilemma in our Master bedroom. We really want to create a focal point around the bed for this bedroom design. As you can see in picture #1; the only available space in our bedroom for the bed to rest against is the wall with the window. This is a terrible location for many reasons. Our second dilemma as shown in picture #2 and Picture #3; was that every wall space that was large enough for the bed to rest against was occupied with build-in dressers from the 1950’s that did not function well.

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If you missed our pervious article leading up to this decision and you want to get caught-up start with this article first. Please click here: Bringing the Bling to the Master Bedroom

Our Vision for the Space

We want the focus in this room to be the bed area; therefore we needed to create a space for the bed that was large enough to showcase the bed, new bedding, a new custom headboard, nightstands, and new lamps. Don’t forget the multi-colored faux painted wall that will anchor all of this together.


For us to make this all happen we decided to remove the 2 dressers on the long wall. This wall measures 5 ft tall x 13 ft wide, allowing more then enough space to accommodate our king size bed and side tables without feeling cramped.

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Picture #4; shows an example of a faux painted wall that I created for Michelle’s parent’s fireplace. (Not an easy task faux painting up at 17 ft in the air off of an extension ladder)

This was created with my personal technique of ragging. The finial color on the fireplace wall was created with 3 progressively darker shades of brown.

In our next article about the Master bedroom we will be showing you, step by step, exactly how we create this finish on this wall for our bed to rest against.

So now you now our vision for the wall space in the bedroom so lets get to removing the dressers.

Dresser Removal

Removing the old dresser was pretty straight forward. All we used was a hammer, the trusty old wrecking bar and our reciprocating saw. As you can see in Picture #5 right and left views; this task was not difficult. We started by removing the drawers, nest the surrounding trim work. We used the saw and cut out and remove the drawer frames. We then just used the hammer and wrecking bar to remove the drawer railings.

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Wall Patching:

The next step was to build simple square box frame with 2×4’s for the new drywall to attach to. (Sorry we misplaced the camera for a short time and did not get a picture of the frames)

We got our handy framing nail gun out and attached the new frames to the out dresser frames, using a scrap piece of ½ inch drywall as a guide, to ensure that we would be as level as possible when finished.

Next; as you can see in the #6 pictures, we cut ½ inch drywall to size for each opening and attached it to the new frames using 1 ¼ inch drywall screws.  After attaching the new drywall we noticed that the surface of the patches was not level with the old wall surface. By using a 4 ft level we noticed that the entire wall was bowing in different area because of poor initial installation when the room was built. We will fix the problem next.

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We had already purchased a large bucket of low dust standard drywall compound (mud) to use, not taking the unevenness in to account.  Normally to level edges like this we would first use a coating of fast drying, either 20 minute or 45 minute, drywall compound to speed up the process because the mud need to go on so thick.

Starting with a 4 drywall knife we applied 1 coat of drywall mud along the entire surface that was uneven. After allowing 24 hours for this to dry we can back with a 6 inch drywall knife and applied a wide band of drywall mud and we taped all of the joints paper drywall tape. Again allowing 24 hours to dry, we now used a 12 inch drywall knife and featured out the edges as much as possible.

After this completely dried, we placed our 4 ft level across the patch opening and noticed that the area still sunk in to much and would be noticeable. We had to come back and apply 3 more thin coats of drywall mud over the entire surface area of the old dressers. After this ordeal we did finally achieve a smooth surface area. Pictures #7 right and left views show the finished drywall patches.

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We used our favorite 150 grit sanding blocks and sanded the surfaces smooth. Using a PVA style primer we painted the surface and finished them up with 2 coats of the yellowish wall color that we painted when we moving in. You can see the finished wall view in Picture #8. This wall will not be the future home of the bed.

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Picture #9 shows how nicely the bed fits against this wall with lots of room for the night stands and the future new custom headboard.

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In the next article we will be showing you step by step how we faux paint this wall.

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home improvement ideas-home renovationsby: Tom Corliss – webmaster @ Home Information

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Removing 1950’s Build-In Dressers — 1 Comment

  1. Hey Joy,Happy to follow your reno. My husabnd and I moved back to the area this time last year and have been completely gutting the house we bought and renovating it room by room. A very exciting, yet overwhelming, process. Our basement renovation is about one year away, but I will like to see your basement transformation and hear all you learned in the process!Thanks for sharing it,Christie Blankenship

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