big blue.

As part of my ongoing attempt to clear out a back log of furniture in my carriage house, last weekend I painted this guy.

big blue title

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.

big blue top

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.

big blue closeup

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.

big blue angle

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.

big blue staging

And on the other side, look kids, Big Ben!

big ben

So, do any of you need a big blue dresser?  Ooops, sorry you missed it, this one is sold.

13 thoughts on “big blue.

  1. Lovely color Linda and the top looks good to me. I totally understand having a piece of furniture that just does not inspire and you just want it to be gone. You did a great job on this one even if it was not your fav.


  2. I actually love what you did with ” Big Blue!” I always have a hard time finding out what the price is for your pieces, Q. What is the easiest way to get them?


    1. Well, the easiest way would be for me to just post them on the blog. I honestly don’t know why I don’t do that. Usually when I’m writing a post about a piece I have just finished it and haven’t really given any thought to the price. It would make sense for me to include a price though, duh. Big Blue’s price tag is $185. I should add prices to my ‘fab furniture’ tab too. I’m going to get on that!


    1. It has a label from W & J Sloane. If you google it, you’ll find a bit of information about them online. It is a very well made piece of furniture. I can’t find any examples like it online though.


  3. Way to persevere! I love to leave the tops unpainted when possible.
    I have a technique question for you if you don’t mind…
    When you leave a top unpainted, do you paint the underside lip or strip/sand it like the top?


    1. None of the above. I usually just leave it alone. Usually it just blends with the stripped/waxed top fairly well, and you really can’t see it unless you are ducking down and looking under.


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