anthropologie dresser knock-off TUTORIAL {The Real Housewives of Bucks County}

i’m excited to introduce you to Jess & Monica from The Real Housewives of BC. i met this talented duo through Crafting with the Stars…..which they WON! congrats girls! they worked their little hearts out and definitely deserved the title. today they are sharing their Anthro knock-off dresser tutorial. happy friday! ~linda

Thanks so much, Linda, for introducing us to your Craftaholic fans! Rather than remaining anonymous, we thought we’d tell you a little about ourselves…

We’re Monica and Jess, and are the two crazy women who write The Real Housewives of Bucks County. We’re BFFs, DIYers, and moms (bummer that there’s not a trendy acronym for that)…. 
We’ve feel like we’ve been through DIY bootcamp this past month as contestants in Sew Dang Cute’s Crafting with the Stars.  4 BIG projects in 4 weeks = 2 tired bloggers! Linda thought it would be fun if we gave you a peek into our CWTS projects and shared a tutorial on one of our favorites, so here goes…

 Round 1:  Anthropologie knock-off dresser

Round 2: Antique Table Turned Vanity

 Round 3: Fabric Wallpaper

Round 4:  Little Boy’s Bedroom Featuring a Pallet Wall
Phew… that’s quite a lot of projects in a very short time! We love all of them, but we thought we’d give you the inside scoop on how we created the Anthropologie dresser.

Anthro Ordinal Dresser Knock Off
So, I have to be honest… When Jess and I told my hubs that we were taking his “Toolbox Dresser” he wasn’t thrilled (it’s been holding his tools in our garage for 5 yrs) and he might have been a tad skeptical that we could turn it into Anthro’s Dresser.  We’re a wee bit competitive, so he gave us just the challenge we needed.
Step 1:  Sanding
There were many layers of paint to remove.  Don’t be intimidated.  We got through white paint and the original glossy finish. We did use some 60 grit sandpaper because the higher numbers were just taking too long. Yes, it was 11 pm and yes, it was dark, but a girl’s gotta protect her eyes!
Each drawer needed to be sanded and then all of the framework for the dresser. Every trace of creamy white paint needed to go! (And No, we didn’t plan to wear matching, frumpy outfits…)
We used an orbital sander and a little mouse sander as well.  The mouse is great for getting into the nooks and crannies! We did have one minor injury, but that’s kind of expected when crafting at 11pm.
Step 2:  Template & Cut
We just free-handed a template of the little shape that we needed to cut on each drawer.  It was a bit annoying and took us a few tries to get it centered and even, but once we did, we just traced around it and were ready to cut.  For the bottom of the dresser, we needed to get rid of any scrolly-ness, so we drew on some straight lines and said, “bye bye old school scrolls!” as we cut.
Sometimes we’re a little intimidated by power tools, but the more we use them, the easier it gets.  We did all the cutting with a jigsaw.  It’s as simple as tracing a line (well…with a quickly moving blade!)
Step 3:  Create a Faux Metal Finish
While I was busy doing a jig (AKA jigsawing), Jess used a few spray paints to get the faux metal finish we were going for.  We used Rustolium’s Hammered Metal and Valspar’s Metallic Finish.
At first, it looked like graffiti gone wrong… So we added more of the metallic spray and then we used Martha Stewart acrylic paints in  copper and metallic turquoise.
And we liked the results much better. 
This is where we called it a night for work night number one.  It was about 1am… bedtime!
Step 4: Fill the Holes
The Anthro dresser didn’t have any holes, but unfortunately ours had 6 holes per large drawer.  Have no fear… mod podge is here! Using a little woodworkers trick, we took sawdust from the sander and added modpodge (glue was recommended, but I only had glue sticks).  Just mix it up until it’s nice and thick and can be molded with your hands.  The ratio was about 3:1 dust to modpodge.
We used the end of a kids paintbrush to neatly push it into each hole.  Two reasons this method rocks: #1- it’s FREE and # 2- it almost perfectly matched the wood because we were using sawdust from the same piece of wood.
Step # 5: Stain the Wood
Stain always scares me! It can ruin all your hard work.  BUT… at least we knew we could just sand it down again if we made a mistake (which we did).  The Anthro dresser had amazing wood tones and we needed to replicate that, so we used a grey stain that we had left over from the Farmhouse Table Remix.
And now for the mistake we made… See the big, globby brush mark of stain on the left?  FAIL!  We quickly learned that if we held the brush completely parallel to the wood and just barely touched it, we’d avoid ugly blobs.  When the staining was done, we did a quick sanding with some 120 and 220 grit, just to make it seem more natural. 
Step 6:  Poly Time
This is such a fun step because it gives instant gratification.  The second you brush it on it reveals all the rich, woody, goodness!
Step 7:  Add Numbers
We had purchased a stencil, but the font wasn’t a perfect match, so instead we printed letters using our printer and then traced them firmly with a pen to leave a tracing indent.  Oh, you think it’s hard to see?  We did too! I think I went a little blind trying to paint inside the lines.  We know there are other methods to do this, but once again it was past midnight and we were in “Get-er-done” mode.
The numbers looked a little bold at first, but the next morning we gave it a final sanding and made them look more weathered.  We also did a final coat of Poly once the numbers were finished.
Step # 7- Hardware
We had two extra drawers, so we decided to grab some cool hardware at Lowes.  We love how it fit with the style, but still made our piece a little unique.
Phew! That was a lot of work! Two very tired bloggers!
(Yes, we make our husbands take cheesy pics of us at midnight… poor guys!)
So there you have it… Ugly Dresser turned Anthro Ordinal!
We hope this has inspired you to look past what you see at first and unlock the potential in something you might already own! My hubs openly admits he was wrong and he was pretty impressed with what we did to his “Toolbox Dresser” (and don’t worry, we’ll buy him a new toolbox!)
Thanks for letting us introduce ourselves and some of our projects.  We hope you’ll come visit us over at our blog sometime!  Linda, thanks so much for having us and we hope that we’ve made you proud as your Crafting with the Stars contestants!
get a FREE 8×10 canvas! just pay shipping. no joke. its for real.

stop by tomorrow to check out the inspiration board for my Craft Room colors :) -linda

Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

Latest posts by Linda (see all)

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 1

    That dresser looks amazing!! I can’t get over it, I will need to try that!

  2. 2

    What an awesome job! It looks incredible! Makes me want to go saw something :)

  3. 3

    it looks nothing like the original dresser they stated with its awsome, what a fabulous knock off il be heading over to see their other projects thanks for sharing xxx

  4. 4

    You have me so hooked! The dresser is incredible! And I can’t wait to see about the pallet wall and the vanity!

  5. 6
    Ann Schermer

    What a great project and wonderful instructions. Love it!

  6. 7

    Wow – this looks so amazing. I have TWO dressers to refinish – thank you for the inspiration!

  7. 8
    ira lee

    this is awesome!!! like prob everyone else, i have drooled over this cool dresser. it looks great!!!

  8. 9

    Wow. Quite impressive!! I love everything about this re-do, you guys ROCK!!

  9. 10

    Oh my goodness! I LOVE this! I think it loooks even better than the Anthropologie one!

  10. 11

    Wow, this is fantastic! And so much work, oy. I love the tip of using the sanding debris + Mod Podge as wood filler, that’s genius.

  11. 12

    Just found you via Apartment Therapy profiling this dresser. I am speechless at how awesome of a job this is. I’m in the middle of stripping off paint off an old desk so I commend you for the insane amount of work that went into this. The AFTER is way better than the original Anthropologie one. Amazing!

  12. 13

    Your dresser looks better than the original !!

  13. 14

    I love this! Came across this project on Pinterest. I live in England and as you probably guessed we don’t have much room. I can see a larger version of this in my kitchen! How far back did you cut the dresser drawer. It looks like you not only jigged the front but went back a few inches. Can you tell me how you did that, if you tappered it off etc?

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. 15

    amazing!!! two talented and very AMBITIOUS girls. I have to try this—flea market and yard sales tomorrow!

  15. 16

    I have 35 years experience stripping, sanding, staining, painting, recycling and up cycling vintage and antique furniture. It’s really fun to learn something new about it. After applying stain, you find the color is too dark, and or “drips, runs and errors”; put Goo Gone on a rag and rub them out. The Goo Gone cuts the mineral stain, allowing you to correct errors and colors that are too dark. The sooner the better, but I have even waited overnight to do it. Of course, working at night can lead to morning surprises, but many of them can be remedied by rubbing down with Goo Gone. Please wear gloves!

  16. Pingback: Fab Find Friday - East Coast Creative Blog

  17. 17

    I love the way your dresser turned out WAY more than the Anthro one!! Great work, I feel very inspired :D (I also love the technique of the lefty who started painting the letters from right to left. Been there!!)