the owl pull dresser.

Do any of you remember the black Eastlake dresser that was in the spot where I now have the Belgian bench?

Dresser with owl pulls

I call it the owl pull dresser because of these fantastic drawer pulls.

owl pull

I painted it many moons ago, before I had a blog.  I wrote a blog post about it back in December 2013 where I shared the unconventional method I used to achieve this finish.  It was one of those situations where a mistake ended up paying off.

Basically after deciding to paint the dresser black, I got out the black spray paint.  In my original blog post I mentioned ‘satin’ spray paint, but thinking back I’m pretty sure it was flat black spray primer.  I spray painted the whole thing and then let it dry for about 30 minutes.  My original plan was to spray prime it black, then paint it with black latex.  However, once it was dry to the touch, I realized that I’d gotten really good coverage with the spray and maybe I could skip a step and not bother with ‘real paint’.  I thought I could wax it to add a bit of sheen to the flat primer and then call it good.

Not a bad plan, or so I thought.

Back in those days I was using Johnson’s paste wax.  Here is how Johnson’s describes their product: “Cleans and polishes floors and furniture, restoring, revitalizing and leaving a shine.”  Specifically take note of the word “cleans”.  The Johnson’s paste wax contains deodorized naptha which is a solvent, otherwise known as white mineral spirits.  I’m no chemist, and I could be totally wrong, but I think that might be the cause of what happened next.

As I started to work the paste wax over the painted surface, the primer started to soften up and combine with the wax.  I was basically wiping it right off with my cloth.  Yikes!

But wait a minute … hey … it looked kind of cool.

owl pull closeup

So I kept going.  I just worked the wax enough to remove some paint until I had a look that I liked.  Then I stopped.  This was a very messy process.  I went through a few rags that had to be tossed and my hands were totally blackened by the end (I know, I should have worn gloves!)  I then left the dresser alone for several hours before going back and buffing with a clean, dry cloth.

Here we are three (or maybe it’s four) years later and it still looks great.  I don’t know if I could recreate this finish in the same way twice though!

owl pull dresser

Did I mention that the mirror glass was missing when I purchased this dresser?  My original plan was to just remove the mirror frame and call it good.  But it is such an amazing frame, right?  It adds a lot of presence to the piece.  So I turned it into a chalkboard instead.

owl pull chalkboard

To stage it up for some fresh photos, I added a huge ironstone bowl (thanks again for that Skip) and my grandmother’s 1909 class photo.

class photo

My grandma, Carrie Moe, is the 2nd from the left in the front row (dark dress).  Sadly there are a couple of scratch marks over her face, and yes, they look intentional.  I don’t know if she scratched over her own face or if one of her siblings did it to annoy her (that sort of behavior might run in the family).  A few of the children are holding Norwegian flags.  My grandma was born in South Dakota but I’m guessing that the area where her family farmed mainly consisted of Norwegian immigrants.  You know, I’ve always assumed this was a class photo but now that I look more closely there are an awful lot of men in the photo (and no women).  That can’t be right.  I wonder what the group really represents.  Do any of you have any ideas?

At this point you might be wondering why I’m blogging about the owl pull dresser again today.  Well, it needs to find a new home now that it has been replaced by the bench.

bench long shot

So just in case any of my local readers needs a gorgeous black dresser, I thought I’d post it here.

For us this dresser was the perfect piece for next to our back door.  I kept hats, scarves and gloves in the upper drawers, and shoes in the lower drawers.  The hankie drawers were perfect for sunglasses and car keys.  It would also be awesome in a dining room filled with table linens and the good china.  It would also be fun to use as a coffee station don’t you think? You could easily put your Keurig between the hankie drawers, there is space to run the electrical cord through under the chalkboard.  Fill the hankie drawers with your K cups.  Perfect!  Of course, one could just use it in a bedroom too.

If interested, please be sure to check the ‘available for local sale’ tab for current information.

16 thoughts on “the owl pull dresser.

  1. Linda..your dresser is beautiful..but I do like your awesome bench better..!! I was thinking maybe the picture was a “class”..and the men were “teachers”..maybe?? Just a thought…Thanks again for your hard work..


    1. Thanks Linda! Obviously two Linda’s think alike, I like the bench better too 😉 As for the photo, I always thought it was a class too. But then it occurred to me that having 12 teachers for about 11 students hardly makes sense. Plus, my grandmother grew up on a farm in rural South Dakota, so I’m sure most of the men in the area were farmers, not teachers. Did all of the kid’s dads get in the photo, but none of the moms? That seems strange too. I’m heading out to So Dak this weekend, so I plan to ask some of the relatives if they have any ideas what that group photo was from.


    1. Ha, creative thinking there Cynthia. I suspect if it were ‘bring your daughter to work day’ they would all be wearing overalls and standing in a corn field 😉


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