I worked on a quite a few pieces of furniture during my recent blog hiatus. I’m afraid this is a bit of a bad news/good news situation for you guys because it reminded me of how much more I can get done when I’m not spending quite so many hours editing photos and writing blog posts! But not to worry. I think I can find a balance between blogging and doing the actual furniture painting and that’s going to be my goal going forward so I hope you’ll stay tuned. And of course the good news is that I’ll have lots of furniture makeovers to share with you for the next couple of weeks.
Today we’re starting with piece no. 1.
When I saw the ad for this dresser on Craigslist, I have to admit I immediately hated it.
OK, hate is a strong word. But let’s just say I am not a fan of tiger oak.
I actually passed over the ad for this piece several times before I decided to look past the tiger oak-iness of the dresser. I then realized that I liked the clean lines, the height, the original wood casters and the key holes. It was a blank canvas really.
So Mr. Q and I went and picked it up.
I was just starting to prep it for its paint job when nnK (that’s new neighbor Karen, my neighbor across the street whose house is peeking out from behind the dresser in that before photo) stopped over. She took a look at the finish and said “you realize that’s fake, right?”
Um, no. I hadn’t really paid much attention since I wasn’t hoping for real tiger oak and in fact was trying really hard to ignore that finish and planned on painting right over it.
Sure enough, if you look closely where the finish has chipped off you can see that this is just a faux finish and underneath is a plain wood.
I’m not even sure what kind of wood it is. But I should also have been clued in by the fact that the piece is not heavy enough to be oak. Oak is definitely a heavier wood.
So yes, it’s a faux tiger finish. For those of you who cringe when people paint over ‘real wood’, you can chill. This one’s fake.
Aside from the really dried out finish, this dresser was in pretty decent shape. All I had to do was sand it, wipe it down with TSP Substitute and start painting. I think it took longer for me to pick a color than it did to paint it. I debated using a grey, or even pink. But in the end I chose Fusion’s Inglenook.
I really love this color, but I find it hard to get photos that really show the true color. It’s a blue green that can look more blue in some light, and more green in others. I’ve heard people describe it as a green, but I would be more inclined to call it blue. The look of the color also depends upon the color of other items around it. Put it next to a blue and it will look more green, and vice versa.
It’s definitely a color you should see in person and make your own judgement.
Once painted, this dresser was completely transformed but it was still a bit plain. I wanted to add a little bit more. So I pulled out an Iron Orchid Designs Le Fleur transfer that Mr. Q ordered for me somewhere online (I’m sorry I didn’t keep track of where this one came from, but if you google it you’ll find it at several places for less than $20).
The details on this transfer are absolutely amazing.
I’ve heard people say that they can’t justify spending the money on an IOD transfer for just one use, and I think we’ve already established that I am usually pretty frugal about such things myself. But for less than $20 and about 30 minutes of extra labor, this adds a ton of personality to an otherwise somewhat plain piece of furniture. When I add one of these transfers to a piece I can usually get anywhere from $50 to $75 more for the finished piece than I would have without it. In other words, it more than pays for itself.
As you can see, I switched out the original wooden knobs that came with the dresser for some large, sparkly, clear glass knobs from D. Lawless Hardware (these are the 1 1/2″ antique clear glass knobs).
I could have just painted the wooden knobs and I think that would have looked OK. It certainly would have been a cheaper option, but I wanted to add a little sparkle without distracting too much from the transfer so I went with clear glass.
I was having a bit of fun hanging this pair of vintage paint rollers on the wall above the dresser.
There is a story behind these. A couple of weeks ago when my friend Meggan, the thrift doctor, and I got together for some thrifting she brought me a gift. One of these rollers. I burst out laughing and said ‘you aren’t going to believe this, but I already have a paint roller just like this!’
They are an exact match. What are the chances?
So, what do you think? Did you prefer the faux tiger? Or is Le Fleur more your style?
If you are local and in need of a pretty piece to store things in, this dresser is for sale. Be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.