Campaign Dresser Restoration

Beautiful Campaign Dresser Restoration

My eyes just about bugged out of my head. There it was, listed right there on my local Facebook garage sale group; the one type of furniture I dared not dream I would ever own. The gorgeous, expensive, long coveted campaign dresser! And can you believe it? It was FREE! What the what??

Somebody’s very hasty move was about to be my dream come true! And it wasn’t only the one dresser, but an entire bedroom set with two mirrors and a hutch to boot! Oh happy day! Two people were promised the pieces, but didn’t show up to collect, so much to my hearts delight the owners told me if I could take them all away in the next 30 minutes they would be mine. Friends…let me tell you, I am not a speeder, and I had no one to help me come lift these big boys…but I booked it down the highway in my little-van-that could, and determined that sheer willpower would help me move them into my van.

First up on my to-do list to revitalize this lovely piece was to add some legs and lift her up off the floor. Prettypegs is this amazing Swedish company with an incredible assortment of furniture legs where I found the perfect set!


Free Furniture Find

The dresser was quite beat up and would require some serious tender loving care. So first up on my to-do list to revitalize this lovely piece was to add some legs and lift her up off the floor. Prettypegs is this amazing Swedish company with an incredible assortment of furniture legs where I found the perfect set. I found just the set of legs to bring style and a better height to this campaign dresser. Say hello to Estelle 120 in teak!

Quick side note: Oh my goodness ya’all, Prettypegs coffee table collection is to die for! Nope, no one told me to say any of this, I’m just officially a huge fan. 😀 

Prettypegs Estelle 120 legs

I considered painting the campaign dresser, but that dark wood was just too lovely to paint, and I knew it would shine once I restored it. So I was going to have to stain these sexy little furniture legs to match (which was really too bad since I adored the teak finish!) The brass toe on these legs would be gorgeous next to the brass campaign hardware…a match made in heaven!

Staining Prettypegs

I simply tapped off the brass fitting, and stained it using a dark walnut stain from Minwax. Attaching the legs would be a cinch since the universal fitting plates very simply screwed on to the bottom of the dresser. I didn’t even measure, just eyeballed where I thought each leg should go…I recessed them about half an inch so the fitting wouldn’t show.

While the legs were drying, I used this same stain to “color in” any gouges. I had to chip away the ledge at the top, and having no idea where to find a matching edge band tape I decided to stain it as a temporary solution. After a couple coats no one would be the wiser without careful examination of the piece.




Time to get to work on making the brass fittings on this dresser shine! I discovered I could not remove my fittings without pulling off the wood, so I would have to polish them while still attached.

First I tried Brasso metal polish, letting it sit on the fitting for a couple minutes before buffing them. You could definitely see a difference! However they weren’t getting to that same hue as the beautiful brand new legs from Prettypegs. It was time to improvise… I happen to have some soft cleaner from Bar Keepers Friend that I often used to clean copper…I had not idea what it would do on brass, but it was worth a test. This worked very quickly to bring a bright shine! I would caution you to test whatever you decide to use on a small back corner fitting first, some of my fittings immediately shone, while a few came out a slightly splotchy due to the rust (see pic below). The Bar Keepers Friend soft scrub did a great job bringing out that brass colored sparkle, but I could see that it is very harsh on the fittings and should be use gently (a little goes a long way). Whereas you can see below that the actual brass cleaner on the right still left that dull greenish hue on my pulls and fittings (even after 3 separate cleanings!).


After cleaning up all the pulls and fittings using the Bar Keepers Friend soft cleanser, I cleaned up any residue that got on the wood with water, then polished the whole dresser using Old English polish for dark woods. This healed any residual scratches, or areas where the wood was starting to look dull.

Pretty peg legs on campaign dresser

I love having a beautiful all-wood stunner on my hands! I often paint wooden pieces that don’t match the space, but this baby just needed a little TLC to restore it to it’s original glory.

Campaign dresser makeover

If you think that is the end to this story, I assure you it is not! The crazy thing about restoring this piece is that it took me about 30 minutes of active work, and during the 10 hours of drying time before I attached the legs I lost my mind and gave the entire dining room a makeover. Yes, the entire dining room! Once I dragged that campaign dresser into the space (pre-war), I suddenly saw the space for what it could be and was so inspired and motivated I worked for the next 10 hours to make it happen. But that is a story for another post

Campaign Dresser refresh

See the rest of this makeover where a mismatched dining room set got an incredible makeover, and a little blue armchair got a sophisticated makeover by painting the upholstery (can you believe it!??!).

The Painted Dining Room Set

I’d love to know what you would have done with this campaign dresser to fit in your own home? Would it look better sanded and re-stained in your home, or painted? What color? Have you refreshed any amazing furniture pieces in your home lately? Let us see by sharing via social media with the hashtag #HMCmaker . I love seeing my readers employ those mad skills! 🙂

I’d like to say a special thank you to Prettypegs for graciously gifting me these stunning legs! As you all know I don’t make recommendations lightly, but there is a slew of easy and stylish DIY projects just waiting for you (and me) with the drool worthy assortment you’ll find there! I follow Prettypegs on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for inspiration and to see their latest and greatest. Trust me, you’ll get some great ideas…

 Like this, love this -1200 x 100

23 Comments on Campaign Dresser Restoration

  1. Melanie
    January 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm (2 years ago)

    I have a similar story with a Campaign dresser I’m painting a dark teal to use as a Tv stand. I had wanted to add legs but wasn’t sure exactly how to do it/ how it would look. Love yours! but mine seems to have a different ledge below the bottom drawer. Did the board below your bottom drawer truly sit on the floor before you added the legs? or did you remove a section?

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 22, 2019 at 11:19 am (2 years ago)

      I was lucky, I did not have to board below the drawers.. good luck on yours! Sounds amazing!

  2. Laura
    June 11, 2017 at 7:52 am (3 years ago)

    I too thought I would never own campaign style furniture. Low and behold, I found a complete set! A Henredon 7 drawer dresser, gentleman’s chest, two nightstands, And a desk! Yes, you heard that correctly! For a meer 500 buckaroos! Typically I won’t spend more than 40 bucks on a piece of furniture, but I couldn’t pass this up. I think of Campaign furniture like a VW…you can’t go wrong with any color! However, this set was is such pristine shape, I couldn’t bring myself to painting it. All was needed to do was polish the brass, but my laziness is another story lol! And that’s my story!

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 19, 2017 at 10:51 am (3 years ago)

      Awesome! Congrats! Haha, I’m as excited for you as I was for me. 😀

  3. Karen
    February 17, 2017 at 5:44 pm (4 years ago)

    I found a dresser by Ernhardt that is Campaign. It was free as well. Any idea what it’s worth? I’m actually painting it but polishing the brass. Help

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 19, 2017 at 8:54 am (4 years ago)

      How exciting! I’m afraid I have no idea what it is worth…but I know I’m excited to own it! lol!

  4. Ariel
    January 25, 2017 at 8:23 pm (4 years ago)

    This looks lovely! Great job 🙂

  5. Erin Spain
    January 25, 2017 at 8:09 pm (4 years ago)

    Words cannot express how JEALOUS I am! I’ve been looking for one of these forever! It’s gorgeous.

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 26, 2017 at 7:09 am (4 years ago)

      LOL! Erin girl, I totally got lucky.

  6. Amanda
    July 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm (4 years ago)

    This room is fabulous!!!! Do you know where I could get a similar mirror? I love it!

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! Sadly, I have no idea where you could get a similar mirror. I found mine at a garage sale! But if I ever find a great equivalent, I’ll be sure to share. 😉

  7. Terry
    October 20, 2015 at 10:17 am (5 years ago)

    Stunning! I’m drooling! You are so lucky to have gotten a grand piece like this for free! You did a lovely job on it! I would be so happy if you would come share some of your pieces at my Making Broken Beautiful Party. It runs every Thursday thru Sunday. I do hope you will come and inspire!

    Have a great week!

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 20, 2015 at 10:47 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you so much for the compliment! If I get a moment, I’ll try to remember to pop in! 😉 Thank you!

  8. Gilly Morrison
    August 26, 2015 at 7:50 am (5 years ago)

    Love this Ursula! Those other people who failed to turn up must be out of their minds. I think you did a perfect job on this restoration.

  9. Heather
    August 22, 2015 at 4:28 pm (5 years ago)

    No.freaking.way!! It was free??? Wow – what an amazing score and transformation! Swooning!!!!! Pinned 🙂

  10. Corinna - A Designer At Home
    August 22, 2015 at 7:51 am (5 years ago)

    Ohemgee! What a score! And I’m really happy you saved the wood. It really is a BEAUTIFUL piece!

  11. [email protected] Charm
    August 20, 2015 at 8:32 pm (5 years ago)

    That looks amazing Ursula! That is seriously the best find I have ever heard of!!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 20, 2015 at 9:53 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks Brenna! I was pretty over-the-moon to get it! 😀

  12. Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique
    August 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm (5 years ago)

    What a find Ursula… and ‘free’ is the icing on the cake! Those adorable little legs really finished off the dresser perfectly too.

  13. susan
    August 19, 2015 at 10:56 am (5 years ago)

    You did a beautiful job! I can’t believe that was FREE, awesome!!


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