trash to treasure.

Today I’m sharing some true trash to treasure projects (my favorite kind) with you.

trash to treasure

  Last summer a lovely gal named Jen purchased a pretty yellow dresser from me via craigslist.  She wasn’t sure how she would get it home, so Mr. Q and I offered to deliver it for her and in exchange she gave me an old dresser that she found in her garage when she bought her house.  By the way, I also featured her darling house on Q.

The dresser in question was in pretty rough shape.  The former owner had started stripping the paint, but never finished.  Once I got it home and inspected it more closely, I realized that both of the lower drawers were fairly shot and had bottoms that were warped beyond repair.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it was FREE after all!

t to t before

Now, I’m going to make a confession, sometimes I have trouble thinking outside the box.  I have tried to work on developing this ability, but it does not come naturally to me.  This dresser is a case in point.  After realizing the drawers were shot, I threw a drop cloth over it and started using it as a painting bench.  It was six months later before it occurred to me that I could just remove the drawers and work without them.  Duh, right?  I know.  Now you all know my dirty secret, I’m not really as creative as I appear online.

Removing the drawers entirely meant I needed to have a new ‘bottom’ added to the dresser, so of course I called on my miracle handyman/neighbor Ken.  My first thought was to just add some fiber board and paint it, but then I remembered a stash of old bead board I have.  I knew they would lend the perfect vintage look!  Ken went above and beyond, as he always does, and notched the ends so that they fit into place perfectly.  He also removed all of the support pieces for the middle drawer.

t to t inside before

I had completed the stripping job on the top of the dresser last summer, and I knew I was just going to wax it with some Cece Caldwell aging cream, so I decided I would also leave the bead board unpainted as well.

Here is the top after the application of wax.  Isn’t that veneer pretty?

t to t top

That left me with two decisions to make.  Whether to paint over the red or not, and what color to paint the inside.  I’d had several people tell me how much they loved the look of the half-stripped red paint on the dresser.  It was basically pre-distressed without any work from me.  I’ve had mixed results trying to sell red pieces though.  Oh, how I wish this dresser were green or blue instead.  But, the red was just too delicious to cover up.  So I sanded it a little, waxed it and called it good.

Next I pulled out my Fusion samples and painted the inside in their Laurentien.  This was the perfect application for Fusion paint because it doesn’t require a top coat.  Have you ever had to wax the inside of something like this?  It pretty much is one of my least favorite things to do.  You feel like you practically have to crawl inside the thing to get that wax worked in.  In addition to not needing wax, the Laurentien also covered in one coat!  Eureka!  How fab is that?

interior painted in Fusion Laurentien

I have always been a fan of the red/turquoise combo, how about you?

trash to treasure dresser

I added simple glass knobs from Hobby Lobby to the drawer.

glass knob

By the way, have you noticed anything about my photos so far?  Yep!  I’m back in the photo cottage!

trash to treasure dresser

We are having an amazing March warm-up here in the Twin Cities.  The snow is gone, we’ve had brilliant sunshine and temps in the 60’s.  It is a spring miracle.  Woo hoo!

As I was setting the dresser up in the photo cottage, I decided I needed to add a little something more to the staging.  So I grabbed one of the metal industrial stools that nnK found for me (they were throwing them in the trash at the school where she works, so of course my number one spotter grabbed them for me).  I wiped it down with a damp paper towel and then painted on two coats of Laurentien.  After the paint was dry, I sanded the edges for a distressed look.

metal stool in Fusion Laurentien

And that was it.  It was truly that simple.  No mixing, no measuring, no prepping, no waxing.

Now, you know me.  I love my chippy, distressed finishes.  Nothing will ever replace my MMS milk paint for giving me that look.  But it is a challenge to work with some times, and the results are always somewhat unpredictable.  Plus, it’s not always the right paint for every project.  I can see Fusion taking the place of chalk paint for me though.  Especially on projects like both of these.  It does take a little more elbow grease to distress than chalk paint, but I like not having to wax.  I should also mention that it flows off your brush like dream.  With chalk paint I always feel like I really have to work the paint with lots of passes with the brush.

Furthermore, I am totally loving this color, Laurentien.  I initially thought it would be too bright to use on anything of size, but I it totally works on both of these pieces.  I don’t know that I would ever paint an entire dresser in this color, but it works well for adding a pop of color.

 I’ve staged the dresser with some vintage suitcases and a pile of 50’s tablecloths inside, but you could also use some locker baskets or a wicker basket.  Some wooden fruit crates would be great as well.  You could also just fill it with stacked quilts, or even stacks of fabric if you have a sewing room or stacks of towels in a bathroom.

trash to treasure dresser

Quirky pieces like this add a ton of character to your home.  No one else will have one just like it.  And of course this is for sale.  Anyone interested?

Linking up with The Painted Drawer Inspiration Friday.

P.S.  A quick note.  Although the Fusion people sent me free samples of their products to try out, there were no strings attached.  They just asked me to try it.  All opinions in this post are my own and I am not being paid to provide them.

22 thoughts on “trash to treasure.

  1. I love this Linda! I am not very good either at thinking outside of the box–this was a great save though! And I think you made the right decision on keeping the red. I am a new Fusion Merchant and am so glad you are enjoying the product. Laurentien is a gorgeous color and pairs perfectly with that red. I am loving my Fusion and think, like you said, that it will probably replace my chalk paint (although also like you I love MMS Milk Paint and it has it’s own great, chippy uses). Hope you don’t mind, but I’m sharing this post on my FB page to help my readers learn more about Fusion. Have a great week!


  2. I think it’s a great piece. I’m seeing more and more red/turquoise combinations and I really like it. Of course you have it staged beautifully too. This could be so pretty used as linen storage in a dining room or kitchen with all the pretty patterns showing.


  3. I absolutely love it! I think would use it as a potting bench depending on its height. I am fairly tall 5’8″. Of course it would be the perfect height for all my petite friends I am sure. The colors are wonderful together! Very nice save. I really can see it loaded with a stack of old quilts. I even have one that I believe is a match for the turquoise color combined with bits red and yellow that my Grandmother made. I am starting to hear a lot about Fusion paint there is a shop in Greenville called the Painted Poppies who carry it. That’s goiing on my list to try.


  4. Love, love, love this!! Everything about it!! The colours, the styling, that fact you have a cottage to take pictures in! This is the first post I’ve seen from you, my local Miss Mustard Seed dealer had the link posted on her page and now I’m hooked!! You had me at the red and turquoise…….


    1. I turned a potting shed in my backyard into the ‘photo cottage’ last summer. You can read more about the transformation here. It was one of the best ideas I’ve had! I used it all the time now (except during the bitter cold months). Thanks for your comment Lori!


  5. Those colors together are perfection! I just did a night stand with red over Aqua and it sold in one day….I must say I feel pretty cool knowing Quandie used the same color combo! WWQD indeed!!


  6. I really like the color combo and the fact that you left some of the old paint made it for me. Again, wish I was closer and it would be mine! Don’t tell my husband, if I buy one more piece of furniture its not gonna be pretty around here!


  7. Love the dresser and I must try the fusion paint. Did your friend change her mind on those awesome chairs? I hope so!

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. In fact, I haven’t managed to get those chairs painted yet! I don’t think my friend has changed her mind about them, but she has maybe forgotten about them! I need to get on it. If she does change her mind when I finally have them done, you will be the first to know.


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