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.
Here’s a photo of the top …
Now you’re starting to get the picture. Check out this close up though …
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.
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.
I found it a little hard to capture the look of this in photos, but it really is a cool effect.
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.
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.
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).
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?
So, there you have it. From uber shabby to rather chic.
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!
Sharing at the Making Broken Beautiful party.