Goodwill Campaign

No – Goodwill is not running for a political office. Just stick with me here.

Months ago, (not unlike my last post… whoops!) I was unsuspectingly browsing my local Goodwill Store for a diamond in the rough. It’s very rare that I find anything but my mom & I periodically (every Thursday) hit up the G-Dub to see if they, by chance have anything just sitting there for next to zero dollars like I see on these other blogs & of course, on Pinterest. Well, according to my Instagram, 34 weeks ago my wish came true.

I’d been looking online and at many local vintage, antique and thrift shops for a campaign chest like the ones we’ve all seen on Pinterest, here: this amazing desk from Centsational Girl– & on Apartment Therapy. Having worked for Henredon in the past, I knew they’d once manufactured some of the most coveted Campaign chests “back when” but they’re difficult to come by & when you come by them, they’re priced insanely, especially since we all really just want them for their awesome, recessed hardware – am I right, or am I right?

At any rate, I’m browsing The William, casual & I walk by this hideous yellowed dresser & I didn’t even give it a second thought until I gave it a second look & realized what I was looking at. The piece I’d been waiting for! Kind of… it was more of a chest of drawers than a bachelor’s chest but listen, it was $20. Twenty dollars. WHAT?! Comparable pieces I’d seen were 10 times that amount or more & the Henredon ones? Let’s not even talk about it. Of course I grabbed the tag off of the piece & immediately purchased it. It’s not a Henredon piece but a mass-produced, Campaigner “Dixie” Chest. Thank God we were in mom’s car that night or I would’ve had to leave it & go back the next day. No time fa dat!


So, as you can see, it was awful. If I had to guess, some child had the whole set in their bedroom in 1950/60-something then once they went off to college, someone decided it would make a nice workbench in their garage. A white, laminate top was added at some point too & the outside of it was filthy. The hardware is silver & I wasn’t thrilled because I really wanted brass hardware but I figured I could always spray paint the hardware if I really wanted to. When I got it home, I left it in the lanai screened-in porch for the night. I opened the drawers to let it air out & I wiped down the entire outside with Clorox wipes, inside of the drawers too after I vacuumed them out. It had that nasty-old-furniture-smell. YUCK. Well, remember what I said, I Instagrammed the original picture 34 weeks ago. It stayed in the screened-in-porch until today. In fact, it was sort of a fixture out there but I was ready to get it painted & move it into my room. It had been 34 weeks, after all! What the rush, right? It was just time, okay?

I’ll admit, my prep work was lax at best. I busted out the sander & smoothed some peeling paint & some of the edges but that was it. I didn’t even prime. Shame on me. Originally, I was going to chalk paint it but I wanted it shiny & even with the wax over chalk paint, it still looks pretty matte. Matte isn’t a bad thing but it wasn’t what I was going for. Anyway, I browsed around the paint store my garage & the only gloss paint that we had was “Classic French Grey” from Sherwin Williams, the color I used on our shutters, yes, exterior paint. I’m thinking this is why it covered so nicely in two coats. Originally, that chest was to be a shade of Kelly Green but that’ll be in its next life. For right now, the grey works & especially with the silver hardware & I’ve been on a grey kick for a steady 3 years now so this should come as no surprise…


I kept the white, laminate top for now because I’m not sure what I’m going to do to it nor am I sure how I’m going to do anything to it. It doesn’t bother me but it will eventually. Also, I plan to change the top drawer into a “flip-down” so I can store the stupid HD receiver in it & close it up when I don’t want to see it.


I’m thrilled to finally have it cleaned, painted & most of all in my room after 34 weeks! Can you tell that I still can’t believe that I’ve had the thing for 34 weeks? I’m not sure if I should be upset with myself or just get over it that it wasn’t a top priority.

Here’s a picture of it next to the Eames chair & I love the way the two look together. Granted I’ve not accessorized it yet, it still looks good.


By the way, did you know that originally, Campaign furniture was designed for military use? The hardware on the edges was used so that when a family would move, as they so often did & still do in the military, the furniture would be protected from any damage that could be caused during moving. The pieces were actually easy to disassemble for transit too! Imagine taking your furniture apart when you move? No, thanks. Also, while Campaign-style furnishings have been trending for some time now, they actually date back to the early 19th Century.

Since then, by the way, I purchased two, walnut Campaigner bachelor’s chests off of Craigslist – with brass hardware, even! They’re at the tattoo shop behind the counter – another blog post entirely as I’ve just recently been working on a light remodel of the tattoo shop. Did you know my parents own a tattoo shop? I’m sure I’ve mentioned it but if not, now you know.

I’ll keep you posted on all of that. Until then, tweet me @JamieBertolini – talk soon!


4 thoughts on “Goodwill Campaign

  1. It looks good, considering. I like the luttle campaign boxes on folding legs, and Henredon of any decade. Is that your blue thing on car top, what is it? Tatoo’s, why did I think your Dad is a preacher? I guess you can do both. Must not be a Baptist like my Dad.

    • Are you talking about that video? That’s an add that WordPress added, I need to figure out how to get rid of it. Dad is the pastor of our church, it’s a nondenominational church & the tattoo shop is their business, separate from the church but it’s an excellent platform for outreach 🙂 thank you!

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