the boxwood save.

Mr. Q picked up this dresser the other day.  I was drawn to the wreath applique on the middle drawer.  It hearkens back to my shabby chic days.  I still like a well placed applique.

boxwood save beforeThis one had some veneer problems at the bottom that someone tried to fix with a red marker.  Not with much success.

Anyway, here is where our story begins.  I had just seen a gorgeous dresser that Miss Mustard Seed herself painted recently.  She used an undercoat of Luckett’s Green, some well placed vaseline, and then a top coat of Boxwood.  She also left the top unpainted.  When I saw this dresser, I thought to myself “yes, this would be perfect for that very same look!”

I got to work.

I stripped the top, sanded it and then just waxed it with dark wax.  So far, so good.  Easy and the results were lovely.

Next, I painted two coats of MMSMP in Luckett’s Green.  Then, I strategically rubbed some hemp oil in areas where I wanted to distress the final color to reveal the Luckett’s underneath.  Next, I added two coats of Boxwood.

Let me add here that I know all of the rules.  Or at least I think I do.  I mixed my paint ahead of time and let it sit to be sure the pigments were dissolved.  I shook.  I stirred.  I let it rest again.  I shook.  I stirred.  The paint looked good to me.  No lumps.  I stirred frequently while painting.  Basically once between each side, and between each drawer.

I let it dry, and then I started distressing.  I worked on the body of the dresser first, and it was turning out absolutely beautiful.  I was excited.  Then I started on the drawers.  They weren’t looking quite as good as the body, but I thought it was just me.  Finally, I waxed everything and put it all back together.

bad boxwood

Oh my.

I don’t even want to put my name on this one.

It’s awful.  If anything, it looked even more awful in person than it does in this photo.

The green on the drawers had far more yellow in it than the body of the dresser.  And I hated it.

I was crestfallen (isn’t that a great word?).  Horrified, really.  I had spent ALL day on this.  And it was hideous.

Sometimes I just have to walk away.  Put the dresser in the corner with its face to the wall to consider its bad behavior.  Go three days without even looking at it.  In the end, I figured I had a number of options.

I could try repainting the drawers with another batch of paint, as I have done in the past with two other dressers in milk paint greens.  But the danger in this plan is that I could end up with the same problem all over again.

I could repaint the entire thing in another color all together.  Specifically I was thinking of some Annie Sloan chalk paint because I knew I wouldn’t have the same coloration problem.  But, I also knew I wouldn’t be able to replicate this fabulous chippy look with Annie Sloan.  And this dresser just needed to be chippy.

  Final option … I could try painting just the drawers white and see how it looks.  I just loved the way the body of the dresser had turned out and I didn’t want to cover it up.

I mean, really, just look at this gorgeous leg.

boxwood leg

Would you want to cover that up?

So … I sanded the drawers really well (remember, they had already been waxed), mixed up some MMSMP in Linen, and painted it on.  I could see a lot of chipping showing up pretty quickly.  I was nervous.  Would it be too much chipping because of the wax?

boxwood save 2

And here it is.  Yes, there is plenty of chipping on the drawers.  But I really think the chippyness works with this style of dresser.

I love the white and green combo.  It’s fresh.

You can see that in most spots I got chipping right down to the wood on the drawers, but some spots just chipped to the green undercoats.

boxwood save 3Here is the top.

boxwood save top

 This dresser has a fresh spring garden appeal to it.  I’m sure it will be perfect in someone’s fabulous home.

If you are interested in purchasing it, leave me a comment.

9 thoughts on “the boxwood save.

  1. Call me crazy, I liked the first look. Now granted, I didn’t see it in person, but the color reminded me of a cabinet in my Great grandmother’s kitchen. I do like the finished look too.


    1. Well, that is good to know from both you and Barb because I did consider leaving it as is for a bit. I just wasn’t sure if someone would like it, or if everyone would look at it and think ‘yikes! what happened there?’


  2. I want to make a comment on the beautiful mahogany top. I like both ways, with tops painted and not painted, but when the top is mahogany and not damaged…I wonder if MMS choose not to paint the tops because it is easy upkeep from then on. A furniture restorer once told me that he couldn’t figure out why people stain mahogany with mahogany stain. He said the raw wood should be waxed. Why stain when the wood already is what it is? He meant this for all good woods. Makes sense to me. If you want to send me your address ( I’ll send you a jar of a little known product (cause I’ve enjoyed your bog so much) that I use so that one often doesn’t have to sand the top at all. Funny how you said when you were into shabby chic because I’ve been moving the really old antiques out of my shop and am completely changing my look. This weekend was the first weekend I was open and a woman said, “I just love your shop but my house isn’t shabby chic.” I wasn’t going for shabby chic!


    1. I’ll email you Ginene, thanks!

      As for the shabby chic comment, I’m not sure what the official definition of shabby chic really is anymore. To me it’s pink, white, pale green, floral, distressed paint jobs, but in pale shades … basic Rachel Ashwell, right? But it seems that some think anything painted and distressed is ‘shabby chic’. Someone made a comment about my booth being shabby chic at Junk Bonanza too, and I was surprised. Although many of our items would have worked in a shabby chic room, I wouldn’t have considered them shabby chic on their own.


  3. Love all the detail on this piece I think you made the right call. I am very partial to yellow-greens so I liked the color of those drawers on your first go round but they did not look like the same color as the rest of the piece. As for the Shabby chic comments drives me crazy too! Either you stay current or you don’t. Almost no one I know personally ever has a clue when I speak of the Swedish-Belgian look. It’s like I have two heads.


    1. Yeah, that was my problem too, the drawers just didn’t look right combined with the body. Swedish-Belgian, French Nordic … I pretty much love anything in those categories.


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