the book page dresser.

I sent Mr. Q off to pick up another dresser from craigslist a while back.  Sometimes Mr. Q isn’t quite as particular about condition as I am.  He gets all chatty with the seller and he doesn’t really scrutinize the furniture.  He also has a tendency to overestimate my abilities to save a piece of furniture … or maybe he doesn’t.  Here is the dresser in question.  It doesn’t look too bad in this photo unless you’re really looking closely.

book page before full

Here’s a photo of the top …

book page top before

Now you’re starting to get the picture.  Check out this close up though …

book page veneer damage close up

Yikes, right?!

Originally I had been hoping to strip and stain the top and paint the body, but obviously that wasn’t going to work.  My next plan was to patch the veneer using wood filler and then paint, but then I remembered a really cool idea I saw on pinterest of using old book pages to fill in missing veneer.  This piece was perfect for that!

I sanded the piece lightly, wiped it down and then painted it with three coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s Marzipan.  Covering a dark stain with a white tends to require at least three coats.

book page from side

Once it was dry I mixed a little water with some Elmer’s glue (homemade Mod Podge) and I used a small brush to paint the glue in all of the spots of chipped veneer.  Then I pressed my book pages onto those spots and painted another layer of the glue mixture over the top.  I used my finger to really press the paper into the areas where the veneer was gone.  I didn’t worry about trimming the paper yet.  Once the glue was dry, I used a very light touch to sand around the edges of the area which removed the paper just where I wanted it to.  Lastly I used a small brush to add some Miss Mustard Seed Tough Coat Sealer over the paper for durability.

book page close up

I found it a little hard to capture the look of this in photos, but it really is a cool effect.

book page from top

Once the book pages were in place I sanded the rest of the dresser and then vacuumed off the dust.

I got some awesome chipping/distressing on this piece, which I was hoping for.  Rather than fight the ‘beat up’ nature of this piece, I wanted to play it up.

book page top 2

For those of you who follow Miss Mustard Seed herself, you may have noticed that lately she has been forgoing a top coat on a lot of her pieces.  If you’ve ever painted with MMS milk paint, you know that the top coat deepens the color.  With wax added the color darkens it a bit, with the hemp oil it darkens even more.  So I know exactly where Marian is coming from when you have a piece all painted up and you love the color just as it is.  You don’t want to change it.

book page corner 2

Well, I was kind of loving the Marzipan as is.  I added a little bit of wax to a corner on the side and saw that it really brought out more of an almond color and I didn’t love that.  I debated.  Not adding a top coat means this piece is not water proof or washable.  But since the book pages aren’t really ‘washable’ either, I felt like I could get away without a top coat on this piece.  Also, since this dresser is very distressed anyway, adding a little more distressing over time isn’t going to take away from the look of the piece.  So in the end I just wiped the dresser down with a damp paper towel and didn’t add any sort of top coat.

You might have noticed that this dresser came with wood knobs.  I could have just painted them and put them back on, but I came up with another idea that played off my book page theme.  I purchased these label holder cup pulls from D. Lawless Hardware.  They are dirt cheap at 60 cents each.  Yep, you read that right, 60 cents (the screws have to be purchased separately).

book page pulls

They aren’t super functional.  I wouldn’t use them on a bigger/heavier drawer, but for the two smaller top drawers on this dresser they will be sufficient.  And don’t they look fab with the same vintage book pages inserted?

book page pulls 2

So, there you have it.  From uber shabby to rather chic.

book page dresser title

I think this piece would work really nicely as a sideboard in a smaller dining room, or as a perch for your widescreen TV.  It would also be perfect in a larger foyer for storing hats, scarves and gloves.  Or of course, you could always use it in a bedroom.  And it just so happens that this dresser is available!  Feel free to leave a comment if you are interested!

book page dresser collage

Sharing at the Making Broken Beautiful party.

54 thoughts on “the book page dresser.

      1. First of all – love the banter between the two of you! I think it is wonderful he’s knows you are up for any challenge. And you prove he is correct!
        The piece does look old. I think the lines of this one were the perfect match for the book page application. The bin pulls are dandy too.


  1. Love this one! On blogs, I have seen book pages used in various ways but I really like yours because of the subtle use of pages. The eye is delighted when it discovers these little bits of page tucked here and there, plus you have hit upon a perfect fix to an imperfection!


    1. Thanks Kim. I like the subtlety of this one too. You don’t notice the book pages right away, but then your eye lands on them and you have to do a double take.


  2. I absolutely love this! Great idea that I want to copy (imitation is flattery, right?) on some veneer piece that is almost beyond help. I wasn’t thrilled either with the very almond color of marzipan once sealed, but I found out if you have even slightly oily or lotioned hands and touch any color of unsealed milkpaint, you will leave your prints forever. ugh.


    1. Well Kristy, I was definitely flattering someone else with this idea since I’m pretty sure I saw it on pinterest somewhere so I can’t really take credit for it. But definitely copy away, it’s really a fun look and I think you’ll like it. As for the lack of sealer, hmmmm … finger prints huh? I’m going to have to do some experimentation and see if that is a problem with this one.


  3. Beautiful….love thecolor and the book page idea is so you! This dresser would have gone to waste if you and Mr.Q hadn’t rescued it. Well done.💚


    1. You know, I told myself that going forward I would start including dimensions in my blog posts. I even got out the measuring tape to measure this one. And then I must have gotten distracted by something else and I never went back to measure it. Jeesh! I’ll get them to you asap though, thanks for asking.


      1. The more I look, the more I fall I love. Alright, maybe you should shoot a price at me and tell me where you are located so I can see if I can make it work? Thanks!


    1. Thanks Denise! I know what you mean. If I had a spot for it, I’d be keeping this one myself because it is so ‘me’, but I just don’t have a spot. I debated switching out another piece I have for this one, but this one was just a tad too wide for that spot. I need a bigger house … just to fill it up with furniture 😉


  4. I thought I was the only one. When I use the CeCe Caldwell paints, I almost always prefer the unwaxed color. I started using AFM topcoat on it to try to hold the color. I haven’t tried it on anything dark yet, but it is a nice topcoat that is very easy to apply. I don’t see as much difference in the ASCP brand after they are waxed, so I wax.


    1. I’m out of the loop on what AFM is … so I googled. American Federation of Musicians? Probably not. Atomic Force Microscopy? Nope. I know I’m going to slap my forehead and say ‘duh’ when you tell me what that is … but what is it?


      1. My bad. I meant American Paint Company’s topcoat. I do use another product which is an AFM product (very durable, not great for furniture). It is called AFM Safecoat Polyureseal in Satin. I use it on my windows to protect from the elements. I chalkpainted all of my windows and trim. I have also used it on tabletops that need to be very durable. I get it at Natural Built Home in Mpls. It is the only durable nontoxic product that I have found. The APC is very nice, but I haven’t tried it on stuff that gets a lot of abuse.


      2. Ahhhh. Good to know about APC’s topcoat. I’ve never tried it. I’m still debating painting my stairs in milk paint and not sure what I’ll use to seal them. But then, I want them to look worn away as if by time, so I may just go ahead and put wax on them.


  5. I think this would look fab in a black and white with a dash of any color office or study. I thought of possibly purchasing it to put it in my office but size is an issue and I am changing the look in there currently so who knows if the color would be right but if this is still around at the Carriage house sale, I may snag it up. I love book pages as wallpaper, drawer liners, etc! So creative as usually Linda, you are one amazing talent!


  6. I fell in love with this fabulous piece immediatly! So sad I didn´t saw this idea earlier! I purchased a dresser with very bad veneer and I removed all of it on the top and a lot on the front and the sides. Was no funny job! Next time I´ll try this!



    1. I have removed veneer in the past as well, so I know it’s not a fun job! This was a much easier solution. Let me know how it works out for you when you try it.


  7. Quandie, thanks so much for referring me to this post to fix my chipped top problem on a family antique. I love the look of the book pages so much, I just might start searching for damaged pieces! My great-grandmother’s childhood dresser had old wallpaper pieces lining the drawer, which I’ve saved, and I’m thinking of trying to use the wallpaper in the cracks instead of book pages. Thanks for being a wonderful source of information and ideas!


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