Thursday, October 29, 2015

Antique Chest of Drawers

The woman I bought this dresser from said it was her grandmother's and that she, herself, had used it as a little girl.  There was a spot of nail polish on the top and she remembered how it got there. I love stories like that. 

My client actually emailed me saying she had been following me for a while (love that, too) and wondered if I had any 3 drawer dressers for sale.  I just happened to have this pretty thing waiting in the wings and it was a perfect fit.

She sent me pictures of her room and said she liked when I kept some of the drawer fronts wood.  Well, I got to looking at this baby and realized, because of the detail, refinishing the drawer fronts instead of painting them would be a big ol pain in the rear.  So, I put my thinking cap on and came up with a way to make both of us happy. :)

I actually hand sanded the middle sections of the bottom two drawers.  My son had a friend over while I was doing it and he said, "Wouldn't that be easier with an electric sander?"  Why, yes, yes, it would, but I didn't want to take the chance of sanding through the veneer or accidentally popping the appliques off by hitting them with the sander (yes, I have done that before). I then stained the drawer fronts with Antique Walnut from General Finishes to match the top (Java would have been a little too formal looking for the room it was going in, IMO) and painstakingly taped off the middle section so I would have a nice crisp line when I painted.  It was a lot more work but the result was worth it. 

The first time I painted it I did all the detail a different color than the body and it was just too much.  I didn't like it and ended up painting over it (sometimes the reality of a vision just doesn't work out).  Then. I was afraid it was too simple, but I love how the simplicity lets the design of the drawer fronts stand out. 



The top drawer was actually oak while the rest of the dresser is mahogany, maple, and cherry.  I didn't like how it looked especially with the designs in the middle of the drawers being black.  I like it much more all white. 

I love the finish and the light distressing. 

Her room is pretty neutral with pops of turquoise so I love how these knobs are understated yet have just enough color to give them some interest.  The antique brass edge also ties in with the original pulls which I had to leave because they had made such deep grooves in the drawers that I couldn't sand them out and it looked funny with different hardware. 

I lightly glazed the details.  See the curly cues in the wood?  I'm still on the fence about painting them white, cuz once I do it's done, there's no going back!  Hmmm....

The top was pretty rough looking before and now it's just lovely. 

I really like the warmth of the wood with this soft white. 


  1. Stunning! I love the two tone look and it works beautifully with the scrollwork on this piece. Great job!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! Such a nice update for a lucky person

  3. This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Breathtaking, really.

  4. I truly enjoying looking at your work. You have an eye for color and detail. you use a brush or an electric sprayer?

  5. Oh my gosh I ADORE this dresser!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have missed a few of your posts - been MIA - glad I found this. Oh, Lisa you really are the best in the business, ma'am!

    I adore how this unique old dresser has such lovely "new clothes" to come into this millenium! : - ) Well done, indeed!

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