My first Craigslist purchase

Everywhere I look, bloggers and DIYers have fantastic luck with Craigslist.  Truth be told, it is a resource that I rarely turn to because I never have much luck.  The listings for Maine are difficult to sift through because the state is so large and very few of the listings are within an hour’s drive of me.  But, my luck turned when I was recently scouring the site for a second-hand dresser to use in our nursery.

I was looking for a long dresser with 6 – 8 drawers that would serve as storage and a changing table.  I was also looking for something that I could easily refinish.  After a few days of checking (I found that you really need to look every day because new listings are added quickly) I found just what I was looking for, and it was in relatively-nearby Bangor, Maine…

Although Chris claims that it looked like it could have been in our parents’ bedroom in the 70s, I happen to think that the clean lines will give it that retro-modern look once it is all fixed up.  Chris also thought I should have only paid $10 for it (it was actually $50!), but I argued that a solid wood dresser is actually rather hard to come by, especially one with drawers that work smoothly. Here’s hoping my vision proves him wrong.

Let’s get back to my Craigslist experience for a moment.  I was lucky that I was dealing with a guy who communicated quickly by email and was nice, honest and reasonable.  I sent an initial email to him asking if the dresser was still available. Once he responded that it was, I immediately Googled his name to see who this guy was.  His MySpace page came up with a profile that said he was married and a proud father.  I figured he was OK.  He was moving, so he wanted to get rid of this thing pronto.

I told Chris that he had to come along to look at the dresser, not for his opinion, of course, but for safety purposes.  But then I ended up with some time to spare when I was in Bangor one afternoon and decided to call and check on the dresser myself.  I did a few drivebys and the house looked okay and it was in a busy neighborhood, so I stopped.  I quickly left Chris a voicemail with the name of the guy, the address, and the time that I arrived (just in case, you know?!)  As it turns out, the guy couldn’t have been nicer, his daughter was adorable and his parents (who were there to help him move) were very kind.  I explained that I couldn’t do any heavy lifting, so the guy and his dad loaded it into our SUV.  They might have dropped it once, but who’s counting?

The dresser is now living in our guest bedroom until I can spend some time refinishing it.  There will be a few challenges (namely this corner, which I think happened when they dropped it, but I can’t be sure)…

Nothing some sturdy wood filler/putty can’t handle, right?

We picked out a paint color for the dresser this week, so soon it will be Dandelion Wish from Valspar.  Please ignore how orange it looks on the screen.  It really is yellow and it matches the fabric we picked out perfectly!And soon this big piece will be in the nursery and storing adorable baby boy clothes.  (Yes, this is my excuse to give you a shot of the newborn Red Sox baseball cap, which was our first little boy purchase!)

Can’t wait to show you our finished project.  Have you had luck with Craigslist or do you find it frustrating?  Tell it all!

P.S. The fabulous Emily A. Clark is posting today about how to find the best deals on Craigslist.  You should head on over to check it out!


  1. Erin, That’s going to be a fabulous style for your nursery. Can’t wait to see it painted!

    I love that you looked this guy up on MySpace first :) That’s actually a great idea. Thanks for linking to my post.

  2. Nikki says:

    I think that the dresser will look great, it looks like a nice solid piece. I’m sure you will be able to work wonders with that corner. $50 was a deal.

    I have still sold more than I have purchased on CL, but that is mostly b/c I live in a fairly small town and there just isn’t much on there. I still check very frequently for items that I have been on the lookout for. I’m practicing patience.

  3. Elle says:

    What a great find! I’ve been searching craigslist for the same reason – a dresser/changing table all in one.
    You are smart leaving the VM for your husband. I’ve done the same several times!!! I’ve gone to some ‘random’ places to nanny families (that find me through an online site) or to a massage at a lady who works out of her house & I always leave a quick VM to my husband with general directions/address — just in case. I hope to NEVER need it, but better safe & have more info out there, right?! I’ve always ended up at a safe & nice place, but ya just never know how the day can turn.

    Can’t wait to see the final product of the dresser!

    PS- Moved from Maine (Brunswick) about a year ago & we MISS IT. Love seeing little things about it through you all the time! :)

  4. Heather says:

    Good purchase! And good approach to dealing w/ Craigslist. I think the dresser has great “bones” and will be super retro-modern in that color. Awesome!

  5. I think you found a great deal. Looks like a really nice dresser, and the color you chose is awesome.

    This is going to be so fun. =)

    And, I totally went to a shady-shady neighborhood for the desk chair. I usually don’t bring Ryan, but I’m really glad I did this time. It was creeepy. But, all’s well that ends well, right? 😉

  6. Christina says:

    I came across your nursery on Babycenter and was amazed at how much it reminds me of my own nursery design plan, so of course I fell in love with it!! So many similarities including elephants, the poms above the crib, reused 6 drawer craigslist dresser (almost identical dresser style actually, and an equally identical unsure husband!) and similar colors as well! I’m planning on a light blue rather than gray and a cream-sicle type orange rather than yellow. I do however have one question for you about the dresser. I love my dresser, but my husband was also unsure about the height of it. Do you know how tall yours is? And how has it worked out for you?? Beautiful job btw!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Christina,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m sorry to be slow in responding. Somehow I keep forgetting to bring a tape measure upstairs to measure our dresser! It is 31 inches from the floor to the top of the dresser and it has been working perfectly for me (I’m about 5’4″ and my 6′ husband hasn’t complained either!).

      I would love to see pictures of your dresser/nursery when it’s done!


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