I brought this Thomasville dresser home a couple of months ago.
This is how the drawers were arranged for the seller’s Craigslist ad photo, so I left them like this for my ‘before’ photo too. I wonder, did they not realize they were in the wrong spots? Or did they just think the dresser was supposed to look like this? Or did they just not care?
Either way, this dresser was an amazing deal. Probably for two reasons; because it’s laminate and because one drawer pull is missing. I’m bummed about that missing pull because those original pulls were perfectly themed for the faux bamboo style of this piece.
This piece is made entirely out of laminate fiberboard rather than real wood. Let’s talk veneer v. laminate for a minute. I think these terms sometimes throw people off. What is the difference?
Technically the term veneer refers to a thin layer of hardwood that is bonded, or glued with adhesive, to a cheaper sub-surface that is hidden below. I sometimes call it ‘wood veneer’ to make it clear that it is still a wood surface, just not solid wood. When working with a wood veneer you can finish it in much the same way as solid wood. You can strip an existing finish from it and then wax, stain, oil, paint, etc. The main thing to keep in mind is that the veneer is very thin so you need to be careful when sanding it so that you don’t sand right through it.
Laminate on the other hand is a man-made plastic product. It can be manufactured to sort of look like wood or marble or granite, but it also can be just a solid color (like on this piece) … really, I think the sky is the limit with the look of laminate.
But laminate cannot be treated just like wood. It is a slick, impervious surface that can’t be stained or waxed and gives paint absolutely nothing to hang on to. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t paint it. With the proper prep and primer you are able to paint laminate and once the paint has cured (usually about 30 days) it will be just as durable as other painted surfaces.
You may remember that I tested out Dixie Belle’s Slick Stick on a laminate tabletop recently. It worked really well, so I knew that I would have success using it on this piece too.
Once again I followed the directions carefully. I started by cleaning my piece thoroughly using TSP Substitute. Next I used a damp brush to apply one thin coat of Slick Stick and allowed that to dry for 3 hours. Then I added a second coat of Slick Stick and left it to dry overnight.
I want to also remind you that the Slick Stick dries white. I didn’t distress this piece, so the white worked fine for me.
As soon as I saw this dresser I knew I wanted to paint it in a vibrant color. I had recently seen something painted in Dixie Belle’s gorgeous color called Peony. So I reached out to them and asked if they’d like to sponsor this project.
They jumped on board and provided me with all of the products I needed for this piece including the paint, the Slick Stick and the Clear Coat. Although they provided this stuff for free, all opinions are my own.
I went way outside my comfort zone with this color choice and I got quite the reaction from pretty much everyone who saw me working on this piece including Ken, nnK, Mr. Q and my sister. I think they were all wondering if I’d lost my mind.
But I went for it with three coats of the Peony. I used the Dixie Belle recommended technique of dipping my paint brush in a cup of water every 2nd or 3rd time before I dipped it in the paint. This basically waters the paint down allowing it to go on more smoothly. If you leave the paint thick you will see more texture, ie. brush strokes. However, to get good coverage with the bright pink over the white Slick Stick I needed three thinned coats of paint.
Once the final coat of paint dried I added a coat of Dixie Belle’s Clear Coat in the satin finish. I wanted just a hint of shine rather than a flat finish.
I have to admit, there is more than one reason why I generally prefer working with a flat finish. The first reason is that I love the look, of course. But the second reason is that a shinier finish highlights any flaws there may be in the paint job. Working on this piece reminded me that I am good at flaws and it’s probably best if I stick to a flat finish in the future.
Part of the reason for my delay in working on this piece was that missing drawer pull. I so very badly wanted to find an exact replacement. That hardware would have looked amazing with some gold wax on it. I searched for weeks. I tried Etsy, any number of hardware suppliers, and some Facebook hardware exchange groups, all to no avail. I found a few similar vintage pulls, but none that were an exact match. I even would have purchased three that matched each other and replaced all three if I could have found them, but no luck on that either.
So I finally gave up on that idea and purchased these white rose knobs from Hobby Lobby. Wait … are they roses or are they cabbages? I’m really not sure. No, they’re roses, right?
Anyway, I’d gone crazy wild with the color after all, so why not go a little over the top with the knobs too? I filled the holes left by the original drawer pulls using Dixie Belle’s Mud in brown and then drilled new holes so that the knobs lined up all the way down.
In the end, I think the new knobs give it a slightly more updated look, although I still would have loved to have that original hardware!
I staged this piece very simply with just a couple of books and a pretty floral arrangement.
Let’s face it, nothing was going to be able to compete with that amazing color!
So, there you have it. A gorgeously bright pink bamboo dresser.
What do you think? Have I lost my mind going with this vibrant color? Or do you think someone out there is going to love it? Ken predicts that it will take no longer than two weeks to sell. I hope he’s right.
I’m going to hang onto it for the full curing time before I list it for sale though, just to be on the safe side. However, if you are local and interested in knowing when it’s ready to go be sure to let me know in a comment or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).