french farmhouse dresser.

Remember how my dresser in the ‘room formerly known as my craft room’ looked before?  If not, here is a reminder.

studio south wall

It was looking a little worse for the wear.  You can see that some of the veneer was breaking off the top edge above the drawers.  And I never liked those drawer pulls.  Plus, it didn’t really fit with my vintage farmhouse theme for the room makeover, so I gave it a little spruce up.

First I took all of those pulls off, which had two screws each, and filled one of the holes.  You all have seen tutorials on how to do that a million times, right?  If you’ve never tried it, don’t be intimidated.  It is really easy to pull off.  You just need some patience to fill them with wood filler, let them dry (there will be shrinkage no matter what the manufacturer says), fill again, let dry (sometimes I even need a 3rd pass with the filler, but not always), then sand.  Easy, peasy, but putzy.

Next I also sanded the numbers off.  I didn’t want to see the outline of them through my new paint.  The rest of the dresser got a light sanding too.  Then I painted with Cece Caldwell’s Young Kansas Wheat.  A few years ago, if you had told me I was going to paint anything in a warm, greyish beige color I would have told you that you were crazy.  But, I didn’t want this piece to be the showstopper in this room.  I wanted it to blend a bit, especially since it is so big.  This color works very well for that.  After all, when one of the other pieces in the room is a saturated blue cupboard with a rooster feed sack, well, that makes enough of a statement for one room.

Are you wondering why I didn’t use milk paint on this piece?  Especially since I wanted a rustic, farmhouse look?  It was mainly because of the existing white latex paint.  I didn’t want to see an undercoat of white through any chipping.  For some reason, I just have a thing about white undercoats.  They remind me too much of primer maybe.

Dresser painted in Young Kansas Wheat

Let’s chat about the stencils for a moment.  I used sections of two different stencils to add something to each drawer.  I wanted it to be subtle, but maybe not quite this subtle.  When I painted the stencil before waxing the piece, there was much more contrast between the dresser color and the acrylic stencil paint.  When I added the wax, the Young Kansas Wheat chalkpaint got darker, the acrylic stencil paint did not.

dresser stencil closeup

The top drawer has been waxed, the lower two are not waxed.  See the difference?  At first I was disappointed, but I’ve gotten over it now and I like the subtlety of the stencil.

The knobs that I added are from Hobby Lobby.  They are brand new, but look old and grungy.

It’s probably a stretch to take a piece like this with very traditional lines and try to turn it into something ‘vintage farmhouse’, but I think the color, the distressing, and the new hardware help.  The stencil just adds that little bit of french-ness that I love.  So maybe this dresser isn’t exactly what you picture when I say “french farmhouse”, but it’s working for me.

dresser stencils

I’ve added some rustic wooden crates to the top of the dresser for more height, and more display space for some of my favorite collectibles.  My vintage cameras, my mini furniture and some of my ironstone pieces are right at home here now.

dresser full

Eventually I would like to replace this piece with something a little more ‘me’, but for now I need the storage and this piece will serve that purpose until I find the perfect thing.

I was waiting for one last piece, a rug I ordered from, to complete my room makeover.  It arrived last weekend, so if you have been following along, stay tuned later in the week when I’ll be posting a final reveal of the whole room.

11 thoughts on “french farmhouse dresser.

  1. I like the pale stencils and the display on top made from crates, but I’m crazy about the tiny furniture. I hope I find one soon that will display my doll ironstone and cast iron pots and pans.


  2. Hey there’s no room for the Cricket now. I do like the shelves/wooden crates though. I also like the new color and stencils.


    1. Yep, the Cricut got put away in the cupboard. I can pull it out when I need it, but it was mainly just gathering dust. I thought it was silly that I keep my toaster put away in a cupboard and pull it out only when we use it, and we use it a couple of times a week. Yet the Cricut was out front and center even though I only use it a few times a year.


  3. I happen to really love how subtle the stencils are! It can be hard if it’s not what’s expected, but it’s incredible. And the turnaround, so fast!


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