a pottery barn wanna be.

Last week my no. 1 craigslist spotter (that would be nnK) spotted this dresser.

pb before

Pardon the bad ‘before’ shot.  I forgot to take one until just moments before I started painting.  As you can see, my operations have moved indoors for winter!

The drawer pulls have been removed for sanding, so you can’t see how fab they are.  But the drawers pulls were what pulled me in (get it? pull? ha!).  This isn’t my usual style, but the price was also a no-brainer at $25.  Add to it the fact that this dresser had never been used!  Instead it had been stored somewhere with stuff on top of it, so the top was in very bad shape.  Lots of deep scratches.  But the rest of the dresser was in very good condition.

pb staging

nnK sent me the ad for this piece within about an hour of it being posted, and Mr. Q went and picked it up about an hour later.  Items that are a bargain like this go fast on craigslist, at least here in the Twin Cities.  So, if you are wondering how I find these things, the answer is 1) with help and 2) by moving quickly.

Those drawer pulls gave me an immediate ‘pottery barn’ vibe, so the obvious color choice was black.

Here’s an example of a similar pottery barn dresser.  This one is part of a set that includes a bed.  If you get the queen size bed, the set is $3,569 … and that is a sale price!


Wowza!  Who are these people that are spending thousands of dollars on furniture?  All I know for sure is that I am not one of them!

Here is my pottery barn wanna be …

pb title

I asked Mr. Q to help with the prep on this one.  The top needed quite a bit of sanding due to the scratches, and it was getting pretty cold out in the carriage house.  So, Mr. Q sucked it up and sanded it for me.

Then we brought it inside and I quickly painted it with just one coat of Cece Caldwell’s Beckley Coal.  I chose chalk paint over milk paint for this one because I didn’t want a chippy look.  I probably wouldn’t have gotten much chipping since the previous finish was pretty dull and also because Mr. Q had sanded quite thoroughly, but I had some Beckley Coal on hand so I went with it.

pb angle

After sanding to distress the edges, I add a coat of MMS hemp oil.

This dresser was fun to stage for photos!

pb staging angle

I used a fab old birdcage that I purchased recently.  I plan to use it for a Christmas decoration, but for now I added some sheet music wrapped plants and used it in today’s photo shoot.

pb cage

I used some of my painted books …

pb books

 and I used my vintage postal scale …

pb postal scale

If have to say, if you’ve been thinking about trying your own hand at furniture painting, this is one of the easiest looks to copy.

pb wanna be

But if you don’t want to do the painting yourself, this dresser is available!

15 thoughts on “a pottery barn wanna be.

  1. I’d love this dresser. Sent you a text too. 😊 Please let me know if it’s available. I’m running out the door soon but will talk to you later. Thanks. Susan



  2. While I enjoy seeing the pieces you give new life to, I enjoy the photos you share of those pieces just as much!
    They are catalog/book worthy. Happy Thanksgiving.


  3. This is wonderful, Linda! If you ever come up with a suitable “buffet” type piece for my dining area…please let me know!


  4. So busy around with my children here and the new grand. Tried to comment yesterday kept getting interrupted. I have to comment this turned out so well.
    I love it of course I am a fan of black furniture. Love the lines of the piece.
    Well done.


    1. Thanks! I would have guessed that the styling of this one would especially appeal to your style because I think I remember seeing something in your home with similar freaky eye chart glasses on it. Maybe a sign? Am I remembering that right?


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