This has been my most challenging project to date.
I bought this dresser off craigslist. We drove a long way to see it (my husband was super excited about that), and it was a definite fixer upper. It was totally dated and smelled really bad.
I thought it had some serious potential though. My husband did not. I think his exact words were “this is crap, nothing can be done with this, just walk away”. He has no vision.
So we piled it in the car along with the matching headboard, and we were on our smelly way home.
Cleaning this was disgusting. All of the grooves in the carving required hours of work and many nasty q-tips.
Once clean I painted with chalk paint. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It soaked up the paint like nothing I had ever seen. Five coats later it was finished.
I then started the glazing process. It took forever. Getting the right amount into the carving without getting too much was sooo hard. If too much got in I had to go in with a toothpick wrapped in cloth to get it out.
I then glazed the top. I looked down and a huge patch of glaze soaked in way too much. So here I was with this dark spot right on the top of this dresser I painted 5 times! Determined to make this work, I then started dry brushing on the stain and it started evening out. Thank heavens!
After several coats of wax later, it was finally finished. The pictures don’t do it justice. It turned out to be my favorite piece.
I really had to think hard about whether I wanted to sell it or not. Monica, the nice lady who bought my blue desk, bought it to hang her tv above.
Hello Shanna! Just wanted to let you know I featured your dresser turned TV stand on My Monday muse today! 🙂 Beautiful work! 🙂
Yay! I’m so excited! I have never been featured before. I just started my blog a few weeks ago, so as you can probably tell I’m a newbie. I’m still trying to figure all of this out but as soon as I do I can feature you right back. Thank you so much! Do you have a button?
good job! I like how it turned out.
Stuff and Nonsense says
what a huge undertaking
to turn that piece from
beast to beauty
but it looks lovely now
just stopping by
from ATPF to say hello!
So nice of you to say so! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Monica Livas says
Thanx for coming to THT. Your piece turned out great.
clicked over from better after..this actually looks very similar to my bedroom dresser now that were about to redo..can you tell me what colors you used (paint and glaze)? Thanks!
what a beautiful makeover! i LOVE WHAT YOU DID TO THE NEW DRESSER. tHE COLOURS ARE PERFECT!
Sarah @ Alderberry Hill says
Thanks for linking to Make the Scene Monday, you are being featured later this evening!
Sarah, Thank you so much! That’s so exciting!
Thank you for joining Simple & Sweet Fridays.
Wow- this is an amazing transformation and what a lucky lady who bought it!
I Play Outside The Box says
That looks great!
Absolutely gorgeous piece. This one is my favorite that you have done so far, even though I’m going from most recent to most dated. I’m so jealous you have such patience and skills to make something so ugly so stunning!
Boy do I here you…I just finished up one and I felt the same way…plus I ditched the mirrors also
I here you..I just did one…o my
Shades Of Amber says
Your dresser turned out amazing! Way to hang in there, persistance really pays off you’ve proved that. Thank you for linking up and Happy Holidays to you!
You did a wonderful job with this piece…
Great job. This looks fantastic. I think my grandma had one of these. Who knew it could look this good. I am hosting my first link party, I would love it if you could link this up.
I am relatively new at blogging as well. About 8 months now. Good luck!
Thanks Lauren! I linked up to you. If you ever want to do guest posts for each other or even just chat about our blogs let me know. Being knew to all of this I always have questions!
Lauren, your dresser looks beautiful. i have the matching chest of drawers. i am going to paint it ascp florence. i’m not surprised you had trouble with your glaze. chalk paint is very porous, so it likes to absorb the glaze like a sponge. you can get the same look with dark wax or if you know you want to glaze, just use a paint with a little sheen to it like eggshell. works for me. thanks for sharing, dee from my painted stuff
How elegant! But having worked on detailed pieces before it IS a ton of work! And I really have to be patient with working with the stained wax. Love it when it’s completed but it takes time. That all said, I am totally impressed with how it turned out. As I said in the beginning…. Elegant!!!!!
Thank you Kadee! Yes, they are a lot of work, but they are worth it in the end!
I found a dresser that looks EXACTLY like the before picture of this dresser. And of course, you’ve inspired me to buy it, and make it look like your after picture. I’ll be picking it up tomorrow. Can you be specific in what products you used to do this restoration plus the steps? Do I buy white chalk paint spray or actual canned paint? This will be my first time so I’d like to get it right !! Much appreciated! Thank you!
also what type of chalk paint did you use.. I’m not sure where to purchase this!
hello? Do you reply to anyone’s questions about how you did this? I see you haven’t with other previous comments???!
Hi Jade! Sorry I can’t always answer my comments on the day that I get them. I have been working day and night to get ready for a craft show where I was all day today. On that dresser, I just did what I do on all of my other pieces. I painted it with an ivory DIY chalkpaint (I’m not sure what color the ivory was, it was awhile ago), you can always buy ivory chalkpaint (Annie Sloan has great chalkpaint) if you want, it doesn’t come in a spray you would have to buy it in a can. I’m not sure if you are from Wichita or not so I’m not sure where to tell you to buy it. I then glazed it with a DIY stain mixture (if you are working with chalkpaint for the first time you might not want to do the glaze on your first project it’s a bit tricky especially on ivory paint since you have seconds before it stains the paint). I then waxed it and buffed it off after 24hours.That was all I did on that piece.
Thanks for replying! Is chalk paint something I can buy at my local lowes or home depot? Also, did you use a dark wax at the bottom? It looks like that is where brown is peeking out between the grooves.
Diana Rambles says
I *LOVE* it! Thanks for linking up to my Pin Me Party!
You’ve inspired me, but it seems all the dressers I find that are ornate and have the cool design and look to be perfect for glazing have plastic accents that look like wood in the front as part of the design – have you come across this in you hunting to finds? If so do they work for projects like glazing?
Shanna, I am in awe! It is GORGEOUS!!!
Thank you so much Karin!
i’ve painted a piece like this before and those details are a beast! looks beautiful!
Thanks so much Cassie!
Jen @ West Street Story says
Found this project via Throwback Thursday and all I can say is WOW. This is unbelievable!!
Judy Haughton-James says
Amazing! One would never believe that it looked like how you got it! Painting it white was a great decision! Looks great!
Thank you Judy! Paint can do amazing things! Have a wonderful week!
Shannah @ Just Us Four says
This is so stunning! you did an amazing job!
Thank you so much Shannah! Have a great week!
Love Love this dresser …. I have the exact same one its black but it doesnt have the knobs…Do you know where I can get them or what they are called….
Thanks Lilia! I actually have no idea. Maybe get on ebay and search for “knobs for Mediterranean dresser”? Good luck!
I bought a vintage 1971 dresser similar to this one with lots of grooves and detailing and im not sure if its best to spray pain this or brush. I read your post but not sure which method did you use? i purchased spray primer paint to use but still decided which white shade and method im going with. im pretty new to painting, especially something like this piece that I want to turn out gorgeous..can you explain the necessity for the glaze?
Hi Erykah! You really can do it either way. Have you used a sprayer before? If not you might want to start on an easier piece that’s less ornate. Sprayers can cause drips if you aren’t used to one. On this piece I did it by hand since it was one of my earlier pieces. Now I would use a sprayer since it can take a lot of time getting into all of those grooves with a brush and I have used a sprayer numerous times. If I was just getting started I would do it by hand. Glaze is definitely not necessary and I do many pieces without it. The glaze just adds a bit of a darker tint that settles into the nooks and crannies. My client had asked for that look so that is what I used. It is a time consuming process on pieces like this so just know that ahead of time. I hope this helps!
Thanks so much for your reply. I had been researching all evening and have since decided I will use Annie Sloan chalk paint and wax and with a brush of course. Your piece really came out beautiful!
Judith I Pallott says
Love looking at your site. Your work is superb!
Do you know where I can find dresser pulls similar to what you have shown here?