Way back in April, I purchased this dresser via craigslist.
As you can see, it was in pretty rough shape with splotches of white paint here and there. There was also a broken leg that you can’t quite see in the photo. Depending on the brightness of your computer screen, it may almost look black in this photo, but it’s just a really dark stain.
I call pieces with doors that open to reveal inner drawers a ‘linen press’. I can’t find an authoritative source online that confirms that, but if you google ‘linen press’ you’ll get lots of images of pieces like this. So let’s go with it, OK?
In this case, I painted the inside in a custom mixed Navy Blue Fusion paint (equal parts Liberty Blue and Coal Black). I love using Fusion paint on the interiors of pieces for a couple of reasons. First, it doesn’t have to be top-coated (adding wax or another topcoat inside a cupboard can be a real pain) . Second, it’s fully washable which can be handy with both drawers and shelves.
You’ll notice that I didn’t paint the outside sides of the inner drawers …
I purposely chose not to do so because these drawers fit pretty tightly. Adding paint to them would have likely caused them to stick. In addition, the paint would have gotten pretty scratched up over time. I don’t care how durable your paint is, having it rub against another surface like this will scratch it.
I love these drawers for storing pretty vintage linens.
But I bet you are wondering what I did with the outside. You’ve gotten a little glimpse of it so far just to tease you.
OK, OK. I painted the outside with Homestead House milk paint in Bedford (paint provided compliments of Homestead House). This color is a lovely pale greige; not quite grey, not quite beige, but a perfect blend of the two.
Then I added another gorgeous Iron Orchid Designs rub-on furniture transfer (you can find these from various sources online).
This is a good time to caution you about mixing chippy milk paint and a rub-on. If your milk paint is fairly chippy, or in other words it’s not well-adhered to your surface, it may come off with the transfer backing sheet. Basically, instead of the rub-on sticking to your dresser, the paint will stick to the rub-on … does my explanation of that make sense?
You can see where I had a little trouble with that on the bottom of the door on the left (in the above photo). The key to using a rub-on with milk paint is to make sure you prep your piece really well (scuff sand and clean with TSP substitute) to limit how much the surface resists the paint. Especially in the area where the rub-on will go.
Oh, by the way, I switched out the original pulls on the bottom two drawers because I was missing one of them. I chose glass knobs because I wanted them to fade away and let the transfer be the star of the show.
One more comment about applying the rub-on. For the bottom two drawers, I cut the transfer apart and did each drawer separately. I did that because I needed to adjust the spacing vertically just a tad to fit the drawers. For the top half of the dresser, I placed the full transfer over the shut doors and applied it that way. I debated cutting the transfer in half down the middle, but I think that would have messed with the design. I didn’t want a weird space down the middle. It was a little putzy to do it this way, but I’m glad I did.
My advice to you if you are going to try this is to be patient, go slowly, and don’t remove your taped on transfer sheet until you are sure you have the entire design transferred. I usually leave mine taped to the surface at the top of the sheet so that I can pull it up slowly, and potentially let it fall back in place if I find I missed something.
By the way, I used Miss Mustard Seed furniture wax as my top coat on this dresser. I waxed right over the transfer using a light touch and it worked beautifully.
So there you have it, the Bedford Linen Press.
Massive improvement, right?
And of course, this piece is for sale locally (while it lasts). Be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.
Sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays!