farmhouse dresser no. 5

farmhouse title

Ladies and Gentlemen this is farmhouse dresser no. 5!

Any Lou Bega fans out there?  Am I the only one?

A little bit of Quandie in my life …

OK, moving on.  Mr. Q and I picked this dresser up one dark night a few weeks ago.  It was conveniently located just a couple of miles away.

farmhouse dresser before

The gentleman that I purchased it from said they had used it “up at the cabin” (a true Minnesotan thing).  I suspect there are many fabulous pieces of vintage furniture tucked away in cabins all over Northern Minnesota.  In fact, a small sidebar, after I posted my recent possum belly table makeover, my friend Meggan texted me and said “look what was shoved in the corner by the fridge” in the cabin her family had just purchased.

meggan's table

Isn’t that crazy?  Another possum belly table.  Meggan’s table is in much better shape than mine was and even has the original metal possum belly drawers!

By the way, I shared Meggan’s house on the blog a while back, if you missed it you can find it here.  I bet her new cabin (which, by the way, is on its own private island!) is going to be fabulous as well!

Anyway, back to this dresser.  It definitely has a certain rustic charm.  Initially I was planning to strip the top and paint the body white.  Every once in a while I like to go back to basics.  I actually mixed up the MMS Ironstone milk paint and painted one coat.  Then, I stepped back and looked at the dresser and decided white just wasn’t going to cut it.  So I added some French Enamel (blue), nope, too blue.  Then I added some Luckett’s Green.  Hmmm … too dark still, so I added some Eulalie’s Sky.  Well, you get the idea.  I mixed a bunch of different colors and ended up here …

farmhouse dresser 5 title

This dresser had all but one of its original brass key hole escutcheons.  I had a couple of spare escutcheons lying around and I was just going to replace the missing one, but then I came across these little metal numbers that I forgot I had.  The color was perfect.

farmhouse dresser number

And thus, farmhouse dresser no. 5 was born!

When I pulled open one of the drawers, I thought for a moment that I might try to salvage the lining paper …

farmhouse dresser inside before

Unfortunately it was in pretty rough shape, and for this dresser to truly be functional I knew its new owner would prefer a fresh and clean surface inside the drawers.  After ripping out the contact paper liner, I found that the insides of the drawers had been painted already.  Some were pink and some were a very dingy white.  I gave them all a fresh coat of Fusion in Lily Pond.

farmhouse dresser inside after

You know I like to use Fusion on interiors because I don’t have to top coat it with anything.  Once cured, it is fully washable.  Also, this is just one coat and it covered beautifully.

The dresser came with glass knobs, but originally it probably had brass drawer pulls.  There were still two holes in each drawer.  Once again, I am having issues with my choice of fill material.  Remember I switched to a different brand and it resulted in purple paint?  Well, of course I knew not to use that again, so this time I tried a Minwax wood putty.  Here is the description of this product:

Minwax Wood Putty® is designed to fill minor surface imperfections in wood that has already been stained and finished. Unlike Minwax Stainable Wood Filler, it never hardens. It requires no sanding and no finishing, and comes in a variety of pre-mixed colors to perfectly match Minwax Wood Finish stains. Ideal for bare, stained or finished woodwork, paneling, molding, trim and doors.

Easy to use – no sanding or finishing required!

Yeah, well, I missed one small detail.  See it there at the end of the second sentence?  Yeah, it never hardens.  But you know me, I like to learn things the hard (pardon the pun) way.  Naturally the milk paint did not adhere to the wood putty.  That last sentence should have read no sanding or finishing “possible!” instead of “required!”

farmhouse problem

Dang.  And of course it’s the two holes on the top drawers that are the worst.  It couldn’t have just been the bottom drawers.

To add insult to injury, I didn’t notice this problem until after I sanded the dresser, which was several days after I painted it.  And remember that custom color that I mixed?  Yeah, I had used up every drop on the dresser.  I had no more paint.

My choices at this point are 1)  dig out the wood putty, refill with wood filler, and repaint the entire dresser (or at least all of the drawer fronts).  Or 2) leave it alone and assume there are people out there who don’t mind these sorts of imperfections.  I know that I don’t.  It’s not like I was aiming for a flawless finish.  I was aiming for a chippy, vintage, “I have some history” sort of look.  I am OK with this dresser looking like it spent the last 85 years up north in someone’s cabin.

farmhouse corner close up

Would I have preferred that this didn’t happen?  Yes.  Do I want to do all that work to fix it?  No.

But seriously, what do you think?  Would you be OK with the dresser as is?

farmhouse dresser

 Seriously, I want to know.  Would this bug you, or would you just ignore a minor imperfection such as this and embrace the shabby charm?

38 thoughts on “farmhouse dresser no. 5

  1. Unfortunately I couldn’t live with the holes – they are just too obvious. Rather than adding to the “chippy” look they just look like poorly covered holes. You do such wonderful work on your pieces and this one just doesn’t fit in with your other creations. Sorry to be negative but trying to be honest.


    1. Thanks for your honest comment Rhonda! I understand where you are coming from. I suspect you are not alone in this point of view! I hope I get lots of honest feedback on this one.


  2. It would be perfect for a farmhouse, cottage or bungalow vibe where the preference is a distressed look. But to be honest the holes would probably bother me – shocked right? Lol!
    Don’t you just love all the unexpected issues: the unpaintable putty and trying to find just the right paint color and the bleeding thru at times. I appreciate that you share these issues with us and how you deal with them. In the end you definitely have a winner on your hands the color is so pretty as are the knobs.
    Actually haven’t heard anything from Lou Bega in some time….not since that A Little Bit of this and that song. He is entertaining though.


    1. Yeah, the holes are bugging me too. I was hoping more people would say that they were hardly noticeable and then I could tell my inner critic to just be quiet. But it sounds like I am going to have to go back to teh drawing board on this one!


  3. Being honest, as you asked, I think the two filled holes will prevent some people from buying this piece. I know how frustrating it is decide the best way to remedy this and then do it, but, it would be off-putting for me to buy it this way. What about refilling the holes and painting a vertical stripe down one side of all the drawers in a contrasting color? I love the asymmetrical look and I would find that very interesting and appealing.


  4. Gosh, in the photos the holes don’t look very noticeable. But I suppose if I looked at it in person, it would probably bother me, too. You could always try to sell it “as is” to someone who would love the imperfect charm, and then if it doesn’t sell, re-do it!
    I really love the color — wishing I had a place in my house for it!!!


    1. Thanks Michelle! I like your way of thinking. That is something that I’ve been known to do in the past … try selling as is, and then if it doesn’t sell, change it.


  5. I love the piece! It is so cute and would be perfect for many places, but the holes would get on my nerves! I am somewhat of a type “A” personality when it comes to finished products and I understand exactly how you feel! I would try selling it as is, or what about painting a branch in white with some beautiful flowers going down the branches? Does the piece lend itself to something that would camouflage the holes, even if you filled them in with another filler? Trying to help you out in this unfortunate situation! I mixed paint once, and I vowed to myself I would never do it again. I had to end up painting the entire piece over because I ran out of paint for the last drawer! I was ready to go into orbit! Hope this all works out for you!


    1. LOL! It is a bit of a risk to mix your own paint for exactly that reason! I’m not much of a free hand branch painter. I just don’t have that skill. Wish I did.


  6. …I like the painted look of the inside drawer, which was a ponder for me last week. Cleaned that drawer right up, tho probably isn’t necessary for all drawers….my two cents on the holes are they’re a focus because they were pointed out by everyone. Being in the same business somewhat, I would probably try to sell it and if it sat for too long without a new home I’d try some interesting new thing (a stripe possibly?) when I had a renewed energy for it again. Gotta keep moving forward right? The color is great and someone may love her with a slight imperfection. Who the heck is perfect anyway? Just my thought…


    1. You totally hit the nail on the head with your “renewed energy” comment. That is so true for me. I hate to “re-do” something, but if I wait a while I do find renewed energy, or at least it doesn’t feel quite so much like having to do the same work over again. And I think you are right about the focus too. Just looking at the dresser as a whole, they aren’t that noticeable. Thanks for your insightful comment Linda!


  7. This is a beautiful rustic dresser! Over the weekend, I did a similar milk paint concoction – Eulalie’s Sky plus Grain Sack plus Trophy plus Tavern Green plus French Enamel…had a hard time finding that perfect shade! As for the knob holes – I actually think they are just fine. They add to the rustic character IMHO and when you step back and look at the dresser as a whole it looks charming. Great work!


    1. Thanks Diane! You know, it’s funny, but just putting new pulls in never even occurred to me. Duh! Of course, finding pulls that are the right width might be harder than it sounds. Often these old pieces didn’t have uniform drawer pulls. But I have a few in stock. I should see if I have something that fits!


  8. Along the lines of what others have said, the holes are bad. Love, love the look until I see the holes. While it would be frustrating and a lot of extra work to redo it, I would go that route (or find glass handles to use both holes). I think the majority of people who saw this at a shop would bypass it because of the holes, or not pay the full asking price.


  9. Of course different handles are the answer those glass handles would give almost the same effect. That is a great solution! By the way I forgot to mention the enameled numbered piece is charming too.


  10. Yeah, I hate to admit since I love shabby, but the holes would bug me too! Got any wallpaper tricks? Still a great piece!


  11. Sorry Linda but it would bug me. I think if I loved the dresser I would replace the single knob with a handle. But of course it’s probably some unique space between the two holes that would make it a huge undertaking to find ones you like and that will work.


    1. Well darn it Donna! I know you have excellent taste, so if it bugs you I probably need to fix it. And I am afraid of the same thing, that I won’t be able to find pulls that fit the exact spacing of these holes. But it sure would be easier to change out the pulls instead of repainting the whole thing.


  12. I would hate it like that but would just find pulls that would work rather than repaint it. Even getting them wider, the holes would be hidden but the pull itself.


  13. I love custom mixing milk paint. But I always run into that problem. Even if I remember what I did I don’t get the same color. Last mix I did was even several different brands/types of paint to get this great coral color. Now the buyers want something else that color. Lol
    And yes I love the imperfection and history of the dresser. Now that you said something my eyes go to it. Hadnt noticed before though.


    1. That is the tricky part with mixing milk paint! And honestly, sometimes even with the paint straight out of the bag you don’t get the same color on two difference pieces, you know what I mean?


  14. You’ve probably resolved this issue … but if the holes are really bugging you, what about adhering paper or fabric to the drawer fronts? Are you familiar with Sweet Pickins milk paint? The creator, Sausha, does AMAZING things with paper napkins of all things …. I think your lovely custom color would look fabulous with vintage, floral paper …. I can see it! 😀


    1. I am familiar. I’ve used her “In a Pickle” and “Sweetie Jane”, both of which I loved! I’ve pinned her paper napkin trick as well, but haven’t tried it on anything yet. I think I might try it on something less substantial before tackling a real piece of furniture. But you are right, this dresser would be lovely with a floral paper on the drawer fronts!


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