Dresser with DIY Copper Pipe Drawer Pulls

Today I am sharing our new navy dresser with DIY copper pipe drawer pulls, and it seriously makes me happy every time I look at it.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this photo I recently shared:

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It’s kinda sad but we actually bought this dresser off of craigslist a year ago {yikes!} and it’s just been sitting in storage ever since. The main problem is I was so indecisive when it came to transforming it, so I just let it sit there until I knew for sure what I wanted to do. Do you ever do this?

I know I have taken photos of this dresser numerous times whenever I thought a makeover may be soon approaching, however, I had issues finding any of those photos. Luckily I did find the original craigslist ad from when I took a screenshot and sent it to Eric to see if we should buy it, haha.

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Here is the photo from the craigslist ad. It said it was a basset tall boy for $50, not too shabby, eh? Well as it turns out it’s not a Bassett, and also not 8 drawers. It had 2 top drawers but the bottom 3 are large drawers with 2 knobs each, which makes them look separate.

Even so, I thought it was a great piece of furniture, at a very reasonable price. One of my favorite things about this dresser is the built in jewelry compartments and cedar lined drawers.

It was made by Sieling Modern Furniture, a company out of Railroad Pennsylvania that sold most of it’s furniture to NY and Chicago, but was short lived and went out of business around the 70’s. I really enjoy reading about the history of furniture and this article, {which the photo below is from} was a really interesting read. I also remember reading a while back that the billboard was put up around the 1940’s near the railroad and could only be seen by those traveling by train back in the day. Now I can’t seem to find that article but thought it was interesting regardless :)

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I also found this ad for a job in the Gettysburg Times on September 18th 1967:

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Do you have any Sieling Furniture or know anything about the company? If so I’d love to hear about it!

Okay now on to the Transformation…

So the first thing I did was give the dresser a light sanding, followed by some custom mixed navy blue paint. Afterwards I followed it up with a couple coats of Polyacrylic. I’ve gotta admit that I generally use wax on painted furniture and use the polyacrylic for wood surfaces, but I like the added luster it gave.

Since the dresser is pretty square I wanted to add some legs to the bottom to give it some added height and character. I purchased a 4 pack of wood furniture legs nearly a year ago {pretty soon after we had bought the dresser} at a True Value store, and based on the packaging I think it may have been there since the 70’s, haha. It was $7.99 for all four legs which was pretty awesome.

I painted the wood with the navy blue paint and then taped them off to paint the bottom with Krylon’s copper spray paint.

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Here is the before and after photo of the furniture feet:

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I was originally inspired by the whole copper pipe drawer pulls from my friend Brynne of The Gathered Home, who made an AH-MAZING desk with them. However I knew I wanted my drawer pulls to sit away from the dresser so I browsed the hardware store until I came up with a solution… copper pipe bell hangers! The bell hangers basically hold the pipe in place and allow it to sit off of the drawers.

I forgot to take a photo of them by themselves so here is stock photo to give you a better idea:copper-bell-hangers-for-diy-drawer-pulls

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Materials Needed for DIY Copper Pipe Drawer Pulls:

Copper Pipe

Pipe Cutter

Pack of Copper Bell Hangers

Pack of Copper Slip Cap Fittings

Epoxy

Bolts and Nuts

Screwdriver

Overall I’d say the drawer pulls cost us about $28 total since we already had the pipe cutter, bolts and screws on hand. I knew I wanted to go with longer drawer pulls versus knobs because the drawers are pretty heavy and it was difficult to open them with the type of knobs it originally came with. Plus copper pipes are awesome, amiright? :) We bought a 10 foot 1/2″ copper pipe and then cut it down into sections with the pipe cutter.

I figured this would be a good time to test out the whole cleaning copper with ketchup thing I’ve been seeing. I had read you could mix equal parts ketchup and kosher salt, rub it on the pipe, and wipe it off with warm water, so that’s what I did. I actually removed any gunky stickers first with fine steel wool. The ketchup/salt worked like a charm! I later tried it with just ketchup and it seemed to work just as well.

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WOW, did those clean up pretty! I’ve gotta admit that these pipes can get dirty fast with smudgy fingerprints, but I don’t mind. {By the way, there was a comment left by Karen that said if you spray clear spray paint on top of the hardware, it will prevent smudge marks and oxidation, so clever! Thanks Karen!}

The bell hangers come with long screws in the center so we replaced those with shorter bolts that fit inside the dresser drawers and added bolts to the other end. The we simply placed the copper pipes inside the 2 bell hangers and tightened the screws. Sooooo easy! For the top drawers we just used one bell hanger and smaller cut pipes. Make sure you used flat headed bolts so they don’t take up much space next to the pipes. I then added the caps to the end of each pipe for a more finished look. Update: I actually wound up adding epoxy to the caps and then sticking them on the ends to keep them in place. If you don’t mind them being on there permanently, this is a great solution!

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And here she is all finished! Isn’t she lovely?

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Here is the before and after:

Dresser with DIY Copper Pipe Drawer Pulls-upcycledtreasures

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So what do you think? I love how the copper next to the navy gives it an almost nautical look. Are you sucked into the copper craze or not so much? I am using gold pipes in my office but was excited to incorporate some copper into other parts of our home.

You may also want to check out:

How to Build a Copper Pipe Desk:

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DIY Painted Rug

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DIY Copper Pipe Bed and Computer Tray

Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. says

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I’m obsessed with copper right now too and I love how it pairs with the navy. Never knew about the salt/ketchup cleaning method; definitely going to have to remember that one! Pinned :) Have a great day!
    Breanna recently posted…Ice Ice Baby!My Profile

  2. says

    This is one of the best diy projects I have seen in a long time! I absolutely love the legs and hardware that you incorporated. You created a gem, even if the original ad was slightly misleading. I also love that you included a little education about the furniture maker. Great finished piece!
    Julie recently posted…Resin Wall Plaque Goes GreenMy Profile

  3. Katie says

    I love this transformation. How do you add legs to a piece of furniture like this? I have an end table that I want to add legs, but can’t figure out how to attach them.

    • says

      Thanks Katie! The legs came with the plates and hardware to attach them to the bottom of the dresser. So we basically just screwed them into the bottom. It was fairly easy and they are very sturdy. I wasn’t sure at forest because the dresser is so wide and they seemed kinda small, but it’s all good :)
      Katie @ Upcycled Treasures recently posted…The Makers Link Party #21My Profile

  4. says

    I was literally thinking “I wonder if I could use pipe to make new kitchen cabinet handles for I house I want to / fantasize that I might buy” and saw your link at MMS. Now I HAVE to buy the house, don’t I? Do you think these fittings would hold up for a vertical installation?

  5. says

    Your talent seriously blows me away each week. I get so much inspiration from your blog. We picked up an old dresser a few weeks ago and it’s sitting in our garage waiting for me to do something with it. My hubby wants to keep the wood grain, but I want to paint it. I’ll have to show him your transformation. Would love if you shared you talents with us at the Merry Monday Linky Party tomorrow at 6pm PST.
    Erlene recently posted…Spring Fling VoxBox ReviewMy Profile

  6. Karen says

    If you get tired of cleaning the copper, remove all the hardware, spray with clear spray paint. The clear coat will prevent fingerprint smudges and oxidation.

  7. says

    What a really cool makeover!!! It was worth all the wait so you could figure out exactly what to do with it. It looks nothing like the original! I love that you found the ad in there from the 60’s! I found a bank statement from Oakland, California (not far from where I live) from the 50’s in the back of a desk drawer. I love treasures like that!
    karen recently posted…Trashy Tuesday A Study in Curbside ShoppingMy Profile

  8. says

    Wow, you knocked this out of the park. What a wonderful transformation. The copper pipe provides a wonderful polished industrial feel. I love it!! I’m hopping over from Merry Monday. Leaving hugs and inviting you to share at my Thursday hop ( starts tonight 8 PM MST)

  9. says

    Wow! Not only a fabulous transformation but I love the pulls you made! I think I’ll have to pin them for a project sometime!

  10. says

    It definitely paid off to take the time to figure out what you wanted to do with this piece because it is awesome! The color and finish of the paint paired with that super cool copper hardware is a stunning combination. I have several projects on hold until I have a vision for them – I hope they turn out even half as nice as this! Great ideas and execution. Thank you for the inspiration!

  11. Gioconda says

    Wow as a copper lover I have to say Bravo this idea of the copper hardware is so great and ingenious that I have a project and I so doing the hardware pulls I of course asking for your permission to do so thanks lovely and elegant transformations.

  12. Diana says

    Hi,

    I think this is absolutely beautiful! I love the idea of using copper to up-cycle things for my home, but my father mentioned that copper can discolor over time. Have you had any issues with that? Or any ideas how to prevent that from happening?

    • says

      Hi Diana,

      The copper definitely can get smudgy over time, but you can always spray a clear sealer on top after you clean them. I have received comments that this will help keep them clean and shiny. I honestly haven’t done it and a little bit of oxidation doesn’t bother me. :)

      ~Katie
      Katie @ Upcycled Treasures recently posted…RV Tour: Before PhotosMy Profile

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