As part of my ongoing attempt to clear out a back log of furniture in my carriage house, last weekend I painted this guy.
I don’t even have a ‘before’ shot of this one, I was so anxious to just get it done. I sent Mr. Q out to pick it up last fall. From the picture on craigslist, I thought it had more of a mid-century vibe. I was going to paint the body white, and then do an ombre effect on the drawers. However, when I saw it in person it wasn’t at all what I expected. It is big, and sort of ‘heavy’ looking.
Honestly, I was so uninspired by this piece in person that I was just going to turn around and re-post it on craigslist as is. However, the finish was in such bad shape I simply couldn’t do it. I decided it would be better to just give it a quick chalk paint makeover with some Annie Sloan in Aubusson. I then realized that I needed to go with a wood top to balance out all of that blue, so I stripped the top. Unfortunately, that only made it more obvious that someone had used the top of the dresser as an ashtray. Jeesh. Have you ever seen that? Burns about the length of half a cigarette all the way around the perimeter of the top. Clearly someone had rested their lit cigarettes on the edge of the dresser and left them to burn there. Why do people treat furniture with such disrespect?
I tried bleaching the burn spots, then sanding them down, then bleaching again, then sanding again. They lightened up a little, but were still pretty apparent. So in the end I decided to try and cover them with General Finishes Java gel stain. I think it did a decent job of covering the marks.
If you look closely you can see that the Java gel went on darker in the areas around the edges where I sanded heavily. But this is such a great improvement over how it looked before that I am happy to call it good.
By the way, in case you are wondering, I topped the Aubusson with some of my custom mixed dark wax. I’ve mentioned this before, but for those of you who missed that, I mix 1 part dark brown Briwax with 4 to 5 parts cheap Johnson’s Paste Wax to create my own dark wax. The Briwax on its own is very dark, but mixed with the Johnson’s it is just the right color. I would never use it indoors, because it’s quite smelly. It’s also probably bad for the environment and one’s health. But when it’s nice enough to work outside, I sometimes pull it out because I really like the end result I get with it, and let’s face it, it’s cheap. I bought the Briwax for $1 at a garage sale, and the Johnsons is about $6 per can.
I’ll be the first to admit that this piece isn’t my usual style, but I like to think that I saved this dresser from an uncertain future.
And now it is done, and hopefully will go to a good home and I can move on to some of the pieces I have waiting that are more ‘me’.
I was continuing my British theme from last week’s Union Jack desk while staging the photos of this dresser. I used some London map paper on the wall and my Perfect English Farmhouse book.
And on the other side, look kids, Big Ben!
So, do any of you need a big blue dresser? Ooops, sorry you missed it, this one is sold.