furniture makeover

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

I’m still working on finishing up baby girl’s nursery, but I’m getting so close to done! One of the first projects I tackled for her room was a dresser makeover. I actually started it in December and I think I finally got it done in January. It was by far the hardest furniture makeover I have ever done! 

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverI had been searching for the perfect dresser to makeover and double as a changing table for a few months. I finally found this 1960’s Drexel in French provincial style on a local Facebook garage sale group. I got it for a steal, and I knew it was going to need some lovin’….I just had no idea how much!

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverClearly it had seen better days, but since I was planning on chalk painting, I didn’t think much of it. First things first… I bought a lead test kit at the hardware store to make sure we weren’t dealing with any dangerous paint. No lead was detected, so I was in the clear! The top of the dresser had some chipped paint and I had just planned to sand the top a bit to smooth out the finish before painting. However…the paint started peeling off in sheets. So, I kept sanding the body of the dresser until it was completely smooth…which meant I was down to the wood. Not an easy task.

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverBy the time I got to the drawers, I finally had my “ah-hah”, “duh” moment and I pulled out the Citri-strip. This stuff is a miracle in a jug. I used gloves to apply the stripper on all of the paint and let it sit for about 30 minutes or so, then I came and scraped off the paint with a paint scraper. It came off so easily! It took me maybe an hour to finish all 6 drawers (including the time I waited for the Citri-strip to work).

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverAll that was left to do was paint and wax! I’ve been in love with the two-tone look for dressers and wanted to try it out on this piece. I painted the body of the dresser with Simply White by Cece Caldwell, and the drawers were done with Carolina Sun Yellow. I have to say, out of all of the chalk paint brands I have tried so far, Annie Sloan is still my favorite. It is so easy to apply and goes on very smooth. I had to add a lot of water to the CCC paint and it still wasn’t as smooth as the ASCP. However, Cece Caldwell has more color options and I love that yellow! It’s so sunshine-y and happy! :)

I still had a ton of Annie Sloan clear wax on hand, so I finished with that. I love the wax from the ASCP line as well. 

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverI had the opportunity to get matching hardware for the drawers that were without, but decided to find something that was a bit more simple. I really wanted to find some clear acrylic drawer pulls, but I was working with a less common hardware size. I could have filled the wholes and started from scratch, but I really didn’t want to have to do that. I found these lovely bronze pulls from D. Lawless Hardware and I am so happy with them! They were very affordable and I think they look great on the dresser. 

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

I can’t wait to show you more of baby girl’s colorful room! It’s pretty much our new favorite space in the house. :) 

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Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover

There are certain projects that have sat on my to-do list for way too long because I was dreading them. They sit there forever because I think they’re going to take too long, or be too difficult. And then I get to the point where I can’t wait any longer and I think to myself “why didn’t I do this sooner?”. This project is one of those. 

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover

We have had this dresser in our guest room since we moved into the house. It was my husband’s dresser pre-marriage. It is a really nice, solid wood dresser. I’ve always wanted to stain it and add some hardware so that it would fit in with the rest of our furniture a bit better. 

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover

For some reason, I had it in my head that it was going to be this crazy labor intensive and time consuming project. It really wasn’t that difficult at all. I spread the project out over several days. I would take care of one step, leave it to dry, and then come back a day or two later for the next step. 

I wasn’t sure what type of wood I was working with {I’m now thinking oak, based on the wood grain that showed up when I stained it}, so I used wood conditioner to be sure. Wood conditioners are very important for softer woods. They penetrate the wood to allow the stain to absorb well and evenly. For the stain I used Minwax Polyshades in Mission Oak {satin finish}. I am in deep love with the Polyshades line since it cuts out the need to apply separate coats of poly. 

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover

You can see in the above photo what the dresser looked like after a coat of wood conditioner and a coat of stain. I panicked a little bit because the color looked eerily similar to the orangey yellow kitchen cabinets I’m dying to paint. The second coat did the trick though and it ended up being the exact color I was hoping for. 

I wanted the finished dresser to have a sort of vintage library feel – a little card catalog-esque. {Remember libraries?}. The drawers don’t really need hardware. Do you see the line on each drawer? That is basically a built in drawer handle. 

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover

Even with the built in handle, I really wanted to find card catalog pulls. I searched high and low and oh my goodness – they are ridiculously expensive! I was not about to spend $50 or more on hardware I didn’t technically need. When I was about to give up, I stumbled upon these drawer pulls from D. Lawless. I’ve seen other bloggers talk about this store before, and I don’t know why I hadn’t checked it out until now. They will now be my go-to store for hardware! They have a great selection and the prices are unbelieveable. 

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover

These guys only cost 60 cents {!!!}, instead of the $7-10 a piece like some I’d found. I wanted them to have an aged brass look. I spray painted them with Rustoleum’s antique gold and then used a bit of rub-n-buff on them. 

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover The dresser looks perfect in this eclectic little guest room of ours. It’s the perfect space to display some of our favorite vintage items. :)

Vintage Library Style Dresser Makeover

What to-do list items have you been avoiding? Time to get on that! ;)

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P.S. Please excuse the photos in this post. Our guest room is basically a cave and gets very little natural night. Also, I’m in no way affiliated with D. Lawless. I just think they’re awesome and I’m super happy with my find! 

 

“Vintage” Blue Chairs {test driving chalky paint}

As promised, I tried out the Americana Decor chalky paint a bit more and I back today with my verdict!

"Vintage" Blue Chairs {test driving chalky paint}My mom had a set of chairs that belonged to my great-grandmother sitting in the attic. She wanted to update them a bit to have extra seating for when my parents host their small group. They were a bit beat up, and the fabric dated, but were the perfect candidate for chalk painting. 

"Vintage" Blue Chairs {test driving chalky paint}My mom chose the color “Vintage”. It’s a lovely shade of light blue — not too purple or green. It’s the Goldilocks version of blue. It took two coats to get the right amount of coverage on the chairs. One coat looked too thin and streaky. I imagine we could have gotten away with just one coat of paint had we been using Annie Sloan chalk paint. 

"Vintage" Blue Chairs {test driving chalky paint}We used Annie Sloan clear wax on one chair and American Decor clear creme wax on the other. Now that they have cured, you can’t tell that two different waxes were used. However, I would choose the AS wax 10 times out of 10. It is a much better consistency and easiest to apply. The Americana Decor wax is very runny and difficult to work with.

"Vintage" Blue Chairs {test driving chalky paint} My mom picked out a neutral fabric to cover the seats. It adds a nice bit of texture and brightness to the chairs. They coordinate so well with her dining chairs and other accents in the room. They look amazing! 

"Vintage" Blue Chairs {test driving chalky paint}

 So, my final thought on Americana Decor paint is I would definitely use it again for a small scale project like this. The paint is inexpensive and more easily accessible that others. For larger projects, I will stick with the pricier brands. It almost evens out in the end since I’ve consistently had to use more of the AD paint to get the right amount of coverage. As far as the wax goes, I will always use the big name brands.

I would still like to test drive some of the other brands of chalk paint as well as a homemade version. 

What is your go to chalk paint? Any favorite colors in your favorite paint?

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