the dragonfly.

It has been a busy, busy week here!  Two home tours on two different blogs and now to cap it off, a furniture makeover.  All to be followed by some serious napping time this weekend I think.

I’d forgotten just how long ago I picked up this pretty little dresser until I dug out the ‘before’ photos.

dragonfly before

Hmmmm.  No leaves on the trees, brown grass and last year’s hydrangea blossoms still on the bush.  This had to have been April, if not earlier.

I’m not sure my ‘before’ photo captured it, but this dresser had a really ugly finish on it.  It looked like one of those ‘antiquing’ finishes.  You remember ‘antiquing’ from the 70’s, right?  It was weird.  All I know is that it had to go.

I followed my usual m.o.  I stripped the top and then waxed it.  I used Miss Mustard Seed furniture wax instead of a tinted wax.  I love the pale wood top, and I’m happy with leaving all of its imperfections as is.  My sister took a look at it and declared that she prefers when I stain and poly the tops.  That’s OK.  There are lots of different opinions out there, I’m just hoping that there are potential customers out there who like the rustic patina of this top as much as I do.

dragonfly top

Next I painted the body in the Real Milk Paint Co. milk paint that Reclaiming Beautiful is now carrying.  This time I chose a color called Dragonfly.  Just for fun I snapped a ‘behind the scenes’ photo for you guys while the paint was still drying.

behind the scenes

This is my preferred method of painting lower pieces like this one.  I find it difficult to sit on the floor for too long, or to bend over for too long, so I hoist the furniture up onto the horses and this way I can reach everything with ease.  It also makes it so much easier to paint the feet.  Sometimes I stand while painting and sometimes I use my painting stool.  It is far easier to sand and wax things at this height also.  And yes, I did finish this one with a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax.

Here is the finished dresser.

dragonfly 1

I am officially in love with this color and with the perfectly distressed finish I got using the Real Milk Paint Co. paint.

The Dragonfly is a gorgeous rich blue green.

Dragonfly corner

By the way, those are my Endless Summer hydrangeas and that is the sum total of blossoms that were on it this year.  So sad.  And yes, the pink and the blue came from just the one bush.  I know that supposedly the acidity in the soil determines the color, but it seems odd to me that one bush has differing levels of acidity in different branches.  What do you think?


Anyway, I got plenty of chipping on this piece, which I think works perfectly with the age and style of it.

dragonfly close up

I discarded the knobs that came on the dresser.  I’m quite sure they weren’t original to the piece, they had a sort of tacky 70’s vibe.  These gorgeous glass knobs from D Lawless are much better suited.

dragonfly 3

I’ll be sharing a more in-depth tutorial on using the Real Milk Paint Co. paint on the Reclaiming Beautiful blog in a week or two.  It’s going to include a giveaway of some of the products I used.  However, the giveaway will only be open to those who can pick up the prize in person at their shop in Stillwater, so you locals might want to keep an eye out for that.  I apologize non-local readers, first you had to suffer through not being able to go to the barn sale, and now you miss out on a giveaway.  I’ll try to make it up to you down the road somehow.  But for you locals, if you don’t already follow me on the Reclaiming Beautiful blog, you should pop over there and do so (by clicking here).  If you follow by email you’ll get an email every time I post something new.  I promise you won’t be inundated with numerous emails since I only post over there 2 or 3 times a month and that way you’ll be sure not to miss the post.

Meanwhile, this lovely dresser is available to the first person that wants to snap it up.  For more details, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page (click on it just below my logo at the top of this page).

15 thoughts on “the dragonfly.

  1. Love this piece! The color and the top are gorgeous together. It’s fun to see the behind the scenes photo (the Q process). You have been a busy bee! That’s nothing new, though 😉


  2. Awesome post!!!

    Thank you and I LOVE this one!!

    Monique Gainor Reclaiming Beautiful

    Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse the brevity, spelling and punctuation.



  3. This is a lovely piece with such beautiful lines. And, except for that dated hardware, I did think this is so pretty I’m not sure it should be painted. At first glance I was surprised at your color choice – I expected something soft and sweet. I mean it certainly commands your attention. Then, in a flash, the light bulb came on and I began to imagine creating a room around it. I think I’m in love!


    1. I can picture this dresser in a room with a Cath Kidston sort of feel. You know what I mean when I say that, right Victoria? Maybe paired with this bedding …Cath Kidston bedding Oh, and by the way, had you seen this piece in person before I painted it you would have been quite sure I should paint it! It had a very ugly painted on looking finish. Yikes!


  4. Mom and dad used to refinish furniture and many times took layers of paint off of gorgeous antiques. That makes it difficult for me to paint things to this day, but I really love seeing what people do with the orphans they find. This chest is lovely! They also put the furniture higher to make working easier — they used an old desk, that I still have in the shop where they worked for so many years. Now, I’m going over to Reclaiming Beautiful to subscribe.


    1. I hear you Patty. I know people who painstakingly removed paint from wood trim and now can’t bring themselves to paint trim, even though that is so much more popular now. I feel the same way about wallpaper. I wallpapered every room in my house, then I stripped wallpaper from every room in my house and vowed ‘never again’ … now wallpaper is coming back. It’s all cyclical.


  5. The dresser turned out great. It’s a really pretty color too. Yes, I remember “antiqued” furniture. My dad antiqued our kitchen cabinets when I was a little girl. I can remember seeing him do all the painting and remember how happy my mom was. It was kind of a blue/teal combo. Very in at the time.


  6. Gorgeous! I repainted a china cabinet my mom ‘antiqued’ in the 70’s. I imagine somewhere down the line people will be aghast at what we are doing to furniture right now. Definitely cyclical!!


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