the french laundry dresser.

french-laundry-title

My stay-cation week off from the day job went by really quickly, isn’t that always the case?  And I didn’t get nearly as many projects done as I’d hoped I would.  Of course.

But in addition to lots of little things, I did get a couple of bigger pieces of furniture finished including a lovely vintage dresser.  You may remember seeing the ‘before’ of this one a while back.

tall oak before

It had that orangey oak-y finish.  I have to say, this one had me a little stumped.  I kept looking at it out in my workshop and not feeling any inspiration.  Finally I decided I wanted to give it a farmhouse look, something old and chippy.  I mixed up some Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Farmhouse White and I started painting.  The first coat didn’t cover well at all, but that’s to be expected with white milk paint.  The second coat wasn’t much better.  Not a good sign.  By the third coat, the coverage was still not up to my standards.  Plus, I wasn’t getting any chipping at all.  Argh!

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to just cut my losses, so that’s what I did.  I got out the Fusion paint instead.  I had a little bit of Limestone (a warm creamy white) left in a jar, so I supplemented it with some Casement (a brighter crisp white) just to be sure I’d have enough.  And then one coat did the trick.  Now to be fair, I’m sure I would have needed two coats if I didn’t already have a base of white milk paint.

Still … once painted I didn’t have to wax or add a top coat (my favorite thing about the Fusion paint).

french-laundry-close-up

After the paint dried, I added this gorgeous French Laundry stencil using acrylic craft paint in a nice greige sort of color.  I wanted to keep it subtle.

french-laundry-stencil

I think this is one of the prettiest stencils I have, and it added just the little bit of extra something that this dresser needed.

french-laundry-dresser

Did you notice the screen hanging above the dresser?

stenciled-screen

I’ve always been fond of a pop of black in an otherwise mostly white space.  I even have a pinterest board devoted to the idea (here).  I didn’t intend for the screen to go with this dresser (otherwise I wouldn’t have used them same stencil on both), but I wanted to add that pop of black to my photos of this piece.

french-laundry-2

I think perhaps this is how this dresser was meant to end up all along, don’t you agree?

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17 thoughts on “the french laundry dresser.

  1. It’s gorgeous and sweet and perfect. I must get some Fusion paint- really tired of working so hard to get a piece beautiful then having to fret about how it takes the topcoat or whether wax will be durable enough to protect a finish. Love your blog always.

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  2. Your projects are always so beautifully done! I think this dresser would be perfect tucked into a hallway or even a laundry room for storage, it has such a great shape and size to it. Love the stencil done lightly and the minimal distressing – fantastic presentation!

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  3. What a lovely piece you are like the Pied Piper of furniture you pull out your brush and the coolest pieces appear. I have to agree this stencil is a beauty and the perfect addition for this dresser. I need to buy some Fusion in colors other than red. Remind me have you used black in Fusion? I have a couple of pieces around this age and with this stain color. I bought both with the thought of painting them. When I got them in my room they seemed perfect as is. You would croak. Lol! You would definitely put a paintbrush to them. Pondering pondering….

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    1. LOL, oh, I don’t know. In the right room I’m sure they look lovely. I have only used Fusion’s black on a hat box, I’ve never used it on a piece of furniture. The Fusion paint has a bit more sheen that chalk or milk paint, and I tend to like my black pieces to be a little more flat. That’s just a personal preference on my part though.

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  4. Fusion paint is the BEST !! For the stencil on the screen did you use a roller on the stencil or a tapping brush?? I want to try it on a couple screens! I have tried to paint on screens before, but it did not work so well. Thanks Linda

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    1. I used a stencil brush (the Martha Stewart brand from Michaels). You need to have a flat and firm surface with no give directly up against the underside of the screen to get good results. I also used black paint, although it doesn’t look black in the photos.

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