January 6, 2012

Vintage Dresser

Well it seems I must continue with my projects, like it or not. When you live in a place long enough there is always something or other that needs to be fixed, painted, repaired or replaced. During my present empty nester years the prospect of increasing my income to buy beautiful new stuff is non existent. Not significantly anyway. Soooo I get creative and when I need something (or want, which is a better word), I go a few blocks away to my said it, thrift store. I find oodles of stuff there. Of course half the time or more, I can't take home what I want. I have no room!

Well it turns out I needed a dresser since I used the one I had as a media center (see my post here Re-purposing a Vintage Dresser Re-Do). Just as I suspected I found a vintage piece at the T.Store. The poor lovely was pretty neglected but I had a vision! I already had leftover chalk paint and paste wax, so the next step was just to paint it. Once I start painting it's ok, it's getting to even start to do it that's a problem. This blog works as a catalyst to help me hurry up and finish the "durned" thing!  I'll then have something to write about and pictures to post on the link sites. So here goes! The thrill of it all!

Vintage dresser. You can see it's missing a wheel or two, also a handle.
When buying a used piece it's important to clean it thoroughly after bringing it home. I removed all the drawers first. Then I washed it down with Murphy soap and a soft bristle brush. I then placed  small containers with baking soda in each drawer  and inside the dresser to remove musty odors. Antique furniture should be aired out and allowed to dry thoroughly after cleaning. I cleaned and disinfected with water and vinegar solution inside and out. I use 1 cup of vinegar, to 1 gallon of water. I don't want to keep spreading the dirt so I use a lot of rags. It had what appeared to be nail polish stuck to the top, but it came off when stripped.  I then wiped it down again with a tack cloth and applied wood conditioner. The top was stained in Minwax Wood Finish in red mahogony.  I then applied  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White to the body of the dresser and drawers. After it dried I used AS Paste Wax with a tad of burnishing stain mixed into it and applied for distressed look. I didn't sand over it this time, but if I want a more chipped look, I can. Lining the drawers with a vintage style paper gave it that old style look. Sorry I don't have pictures of it all, I believe my camera was broken then.

I love its lines, even if it's not the french look I like. BTW, space under the stairs renovation seen here. 
Vintage look drawer liner. I found an old picture of a lady in one of the drawers. The clothes she wore and car in the background dated it to around the early 1940's, she probably had it from before that
Top after stripping and cleaning. It's discolored where nail polish stain was.
Red Mahogony stain
Minwax Color Express Wiping and Finishing Stain gives the white a burnished look. I kept the chippines, no wood filler applied.

The newest old lovely!
She's a beauty!
Stained wood top glows!
Unfortunately one of the handles was missing. I found a replica of the original online. I ordered two and used them on the top drawers. Whew! That was some search! Sure I could have changed the handles, but I liked the original and wanted to maintain the integrity of the piece. I even ordered old wheels online for it. The new ones just didn't look right. I was undecided whether to use the original mirror or the vintage, chippy, old one I had bought moons ago. Right now I kept my old one. which I bought 10 years ago. I didn't have to do anything to it. It was already a shabby, chippy old lovely!  When I finish painting the one that came with the dresser, I'll change it up.......ummm, maybe.

The rest of the bedroom is another project as stated in my sneak preview photos on sidebar. Stay connected!

Well the dresser is done and thank goodness I have a place for my "stuff"! Now to move on to the rest of the place. Where do I get the strength......moan.


  1. Hi you did such a pretty job on the dresser! I am visiting from Sundays Best and your newest follower too! Come over and visit my blog sometime if you get a chance!

  2. Oh my! My mother had the exact same dresser - in fact she might still. I have to say, hers needs an update too. Maybe I'll ask for it and give it a siffing -up just like you did. Well done!!

  3. such a smart move to not paint the top! unfortunately, i have a peely mess on my hands because of a not so smart decision.


    come visit anytime.


  4. Your chest turned out so well. Love the transformation!
    Mary Alice

  5. Your dresser came out great. And I love your step-by-step instructions. I never thought of using Baking Soda inside a piece of furniture to eliminate odors. Thanks for the great idea. I'm your newest follower and I hope you can pop over to Cottage and Creek and follow back. You did a wonderful job on this piece and it's just lovely.

  6. Beautiful makeover on the dresser! I love that you stained the top and painted the body. Your color choices are lovely. Thanks for the tips on pre-cleaning, too.

  7. So beautiful now, the bones were there but painting it brought out her beauty one more time. Your instructions were great, never knew that baking soda in drawers takes the "musty" smell out. Now it's just lovely... thanks so much for sharing your furniture makeover creativeness at Sunday's Best!

  8. I love what you've done with the chest of drawers, really pretty! Sharon

  9. You did a fabulous job on this makeover! Very pretty.


  10. That dresser is so pretty. I just adore the lines and love how your refinished it. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

  11. Oh wow, that's gorgeous! What a nice piece you found.

    Thanks for popping by today - maybe we can keep pushing each other to finish all those repurposing projects.... :)


  12. Gorgeous dresser. I like how you kept the wooden top. this is an oak dresser from the early 1900's. You can tell by the way the sides are made. It probably has dovetail joints in the drawers too. You got a beauty here.

    1. Yes, it does have dovetail joints and some little wooden bead work trim at the bottom which I'm working on to replicate. I might have to add the beads one by one! Thanks for the info.

  13. Turned out so nice! Love the color of the stain!

  14. Great makeover - looks beautiful!

    Thank you so much for sharing last week on Thingamajig Thursday! Hope to see you again this week!