Saturday, August 9, 2014

Antique Chest of Drawers

There's actually a funny little story behind how I came to own this pretty chest of drawers.  

About 6 months ago a friend texted me and said she had the chance to buy a cute antique dresser and she sent me the picture of it.  I was jealous and told her so. ;)  She said she was pretty sure she was going to keep it, but in the event she decided not to she would sell it to me.  I told her I would gladly buy it if given the chance. :)

Fast forward 5 months:  Someone had tagged me on our local classifieds page on FB.  It was the chest of drawers in the pic below.  The man who was selling it was having an online auction for it and said whoever had the highest bid by 9 pm would get to take it home. So, I was watching and bidding, and all of the sudden the post was gone at 7:00!  I thought the man had sold it behind the scenes and was completely bummed and a little perturbed. ;)

At the same time this auction was going on my friend that had texted me 6 months ago texted me again and said she had decided not to keep the dresser and asked me if I wanted it.  I said sure even though I could not remember what the dresser had looked like.  I was happy and then told her about the auction on FB and that the posting had just disappeared.  At the same time I had also posted on the classifieds page if anyone knew what had happened to the post with the chest of drawers for sale. 

My friend saw my post on the FB page and quick texted me and said no worries the chest of drawers was mine.  Lol!  Here, I was the behind the scenes sale!  She had never picked the dresser up so the guy that was selling it to her still had it and posted it on FB.  She called him quickly and told him she had a buyer for the dresser and so he quickly took the post off! Go figure.  So, I ended up with it and was thrilled! 

Oh, isn't she lovely?!  Look at all those details! 

Upon closer inspection there was a lot of veneer damage and on one side the whole side had to be stripped off.  There were also lots of chips on the drawers fronts.  After taking the old veneer off I sanded smooth, filled in all the little chips with wood filler, and gave it two coats of shellac to prevent any bleed through. 

I had a little trouble deciding on a color so asked on my FB page and gave a few options.  Most people liked choice A (which is the one I was leaning towards anyway) and so it's the one I settled on.  It's Smokey Slate from Behr.  I knew I was going two-tone on this one, so I paired it with this creamy white.  I think it's so becoming on this chest and am completely happy with the choice!


I get a few comments here and there about not painting wood (lots of comments on Hometalk).  Please, please don't anyone ever tell me that again! :)  All those lovely details just pop now and you can appreciate the craftsmanship of the piece so much  more when you can actually SEE the details.  I am getting off my soapbox now. ;)

 I love the applique on the middle drawer.  I sat in my garage with my tiny paintbrush, listened to my music, and watched my daughter paint flowers while I did the inside of the applique.  It was a happy moment for me. 

The top tier is mahogany and was on good condition.  It stained up beautifully.  The bottom tier was not mahogany and it was a little rougher.  I sanded it all down, stained it, and was a little disappointed with it.  But, I realized it is what it is and just went with it.  It's not perfect but it's beautiful in it's own way.  After all it's already lived a long life and is wearing its history. 

I had considered keeping the pulls that were on it, but realized they weren't the originals, so decided to go with new knobs (which is one of my most favorite parts).  I will simply say they look incredible on this piece. 

I lined the drawers with this sweet fabric.  So glad Hobby Lobby finally got something new! ;)

 She's also sporting this cute little hanky drawer.   How sweet is that?

 It originally had wooden casters, but one was missing and one was broken so I just took them off.  I hate to do that, but...

colors = Smokey Slate from Behr
             Cream Silk @ 75% from Behr
both color matched at Sherwin Williams


  1. I love it!! You are right it just pops. Love the colors. You did a great job. And what a wonderful story behind it.

  2. this piece is just beautiful! I love all of it. I have one similar to this so I think I'm going to try your technique on mine when i get a chance to get to it. may I ask what is your white color that you used?

  3. Hi Lisa, you've done a beautiful job in bringing this piece back to life. Gorgeous! Cheers Fiona

  4. Oh how beautiful! The details totally pop now! And what a yummy color combination!

  5. I am in love with this painted chest of drawers. Your color combination is perfection, and features the different design elements. It was not pretty or attractive in the wood finish. Wish I lived close by, because it would be mine.

    Ran across this on Facebook. Thanks for sharing.

  6. What a gorgeous piece, Lisa! It has so much personality now. I guess you were meant to have it!

  7. I just left hometalk where I saw this first and although I commented there, I had to tell you again how much I LOVE this piece! You have such a great eye for what will work together. Love the unexpected pop of color in the drawers too! Looks like this piece was meant to find you! XO

  8. Oh my it's gorgeous, right down to the knobs and fabric interior lining.

  9. Lisa, this is my new favorite. :)


  10. Love it! colors are great. I'm wondering how you remove stubborn veneer - I have removed about 95% of one project but can't get the last bits the bottom...don't want to have to remove the door from its hinges!

  11. I used to be one of those that thought beautiful wood shouldn't be painted. Then I found your site! You take the boring and make it interesting, the abused, you make pretty, and the broken, adoptable. I love just about everything you do. You are so right about paint can make the detail pop that you wouldn't ordinarily notice or barely notice. The sad thing is, when I go to shops I see so much painted furniture that shouldn't have been touched by wantabes, they just don't have your touch. Keep up the good work.


Love your comments! Please feel free to leave one!! <3