Bowfront Chest …Secondhand Steal

I finally got my Bowfront Chest of Drawers.

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So about 10 months ago, I posted on Facebook and Instagram that I was in need of a bowfront chest that looked like this.

FB post

I have been diligently searching Craigslist, Salvation Army and the Goodwill stores.

About a week ago, I gave up and decided to buy two bedside tables that I found on Craigslist for $120.

Just as I was about to call I found this at the Goodwill.

bowfront chest of drawers

Queue the Cherubs and harpist, I was in love.

What I loved even more was the price.

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That right just $59.  That was my lucky day.  Someone had actually bought it but didn’t pick it up within the 3 day window.  Their loss was my gain.

The going price for this type of chest is usually between $500 and $1,500 and that’s if you can find it.  I pinned this one about two years ago.

Lawson Bowfront Chest from Ethan Allen $1,599

I inspected then ran to the register with the ticket to purchase.

The plan was to put it in our master bedroom as my bedside table.  It would act like a bachelors chest.  Now that we have a bed and the room is coming together, I’m not sure what to do with it.

It needs a bit of love though.

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One of the back legs needs veneer repair.  If I decide to paint this then I will just fill it with wood putty.

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There are some stains on the top that I plan on sanding out.

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Some idiot scratched an “X” in the side of it so I’ll need to repair that as well.

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A very sad attempt at repairing a loose drawer front was done with hot glue and tiny screws.

The first thing I did was vacuum it from the inside out.

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I removed all the drawers and wiped the inside down with a solution of vinegar and water. It had a stale musty basement smell to it.

I disassembled the top drawer so that I could fix the hot glue mess.

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I was dying to know who made this piece and I found my answer on the inside of the hot glued drawer front.

I tried Googling “Dixie Furniture” but didn’t find any good info.  Looking at the overall construction of the piece, I’d say that this isn’t any top of the line Henredon chest of drawers.  Still the construction is better than most of the stuff you find in stores nowadays.

Bowfront Chest of Drawers

Before I decide how I want to finish it, I need to live with it in its intended space for a while.

We carried it up into the bedroom and placed it on my side of the bed.

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The chest of drawers measures 34″ h x 46″ w x 20″ d.

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When we first put it in the room, I was a little worried it was too big.

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But over the past few days, I think I’ve gotten used to it and it doesn’t seem so oversized anymore.

I’ve already repaired the top drawer and I’m thinking of lining the inside of the drawers with some really nice fabric.

So how do I want to finish it?

I’ve started toying around with some ideas.


I’m attempting to bring more color into the room so naturally painting the piece navy blue really tickled my fancy.

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Source Unknown

You know that somewhere in my DNA you will find the color formula for Robins Egg Blue.  I have to fight the urge to paint my whole house in it.

gray painted chest of drawers

The idea of a smooth French Grey with a dark glaze seems like a pretty safe choice.

But I don’t want safe, I want flair.

two toned painted chest of drawers

This is more my speed.  It is actually very similar to the photo I posted on Facebook.

I photoshopped a combination of the French Grey and the stained drawers just to get an idea of what it would look like in my space.

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Some of you may not agree but I think this looks flippin sweet. Perhaps it’s because I can totally envision how I’m going to accessorize the chest.  My only concern with this option is the neutrality of it.  It blends in with the headboard, the carpet and the drapery in the room.

The final option would be the tried and true dark brown stain.

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This is as appealing to me as the last option. I love warm dark wood-tones and there really aren’t any other large wood toned pieces in the room.

Who knows what I’ll end up doing.  I just know one thing, I’ve been forbidden to paint it coral :-)

I’m still on the hunt for another chest similar to this one for the hubs side of the bed.  It may be smart to just hold off on doing anything permanent to this chest until I do.

Signature Post



  1. roselyn says

    Smart move, to Photo shop your options. Gives you time to visualize each one. Even though you think the white may blend into the headboard, I think it adds depth to the piece. As well as, a little more dark wood to the room. My choice . Either way, I’m sure you will do this piece justice.

  2. Ayisha says

    Hi Karen. Once I removed those tiny screws, I peeled all that hot glue away. It came off like caulk. The dovetails were in good condition and must have never been glued because the entire drawer came apart with little force. Once I fitted the pieces back together everything fit rather tight. I used Titebond wood glue on the dovetails. In the areas where there were gaps, I just mixed some more glue with sawdust and smooshed it in the gaps. I clamped it and let things dry overnight. If you’ve worked with wood glue before, you know it dries stronger than nails. Ill post details when I actually refinish the chest of drawers.

  3. Karen says

    Oh that navy!!! And with your bedding? Gorgeous! You’re probably right to hold off but if I were you, I don’t know if I’d be able to. Can I ask how you repaired the drawer? I’m so curious since I’ve seen this kind of problem with used pieces before and it has scared me off.

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