the imperial garden dresser.

You probably remember this beautiful dresser that I shared a couple of weeks ago with its amazing … and huge … Prima Marketing Rose Celebration transfer.

Prima had sent me several of the new transfers in their line and this was the first one I tried.  What I didn’t mention when I shared this was that I chose my ‘least favorite’ of all the transfers they sent to try first, just in case I got it wrong and wrecked it somehow (which obviously didn’t happen).

Now, before you take that wrong, that definitely doesn’t mean that I didn’t love this transfer.  What that really means is that the rest of them are even more fantastic.  If that one was my ‘least favorite’, just imagine what the rest of them are like!

As soon as I finished that dresser I was on the hunt for another dresser to add a mammoth transfer to .

To be specific, this time it’s the Imperial Garden transfer (this one is 44″ wide x 30″ tall) and it looks like this.

If you look closely at the background you might guess why I fell in love with this transfer at first sight.  Do you see it?  It’s Venice!  See the gondola (lower left)?  And those classically Venetian buildings?  Since I’ll be spending my 55th birthday in Venice this year, this transfer felt special.

I wanted to find a dresser that would accommodate most, if not all, of the design.  If you’ll remember I had to trim about 6″ off of the sides of the transfer on that previous dresser.

So when nnK sent me the Facebook Marketplace ad for a dresser that someone she knew was selling, I jumped at it.  It looked right about the perfect size.

Mr. Q picked it up while I was at work one day last week, but as soon as I got home I took some measurements and discovered I was right.  It’s the perfect size!

The next step was to pick a paint color.  There were so many possibilities.  I could have gone with an off-white, of course.  But I also could have chosen a pale pink, either Dixie Belle’s Pink Champagne or Fusion’s Little Piggy (both of which I had on hand).  Either of those would have been gorgeous.  I also debated using Fusion’s Lichen, which is a pale green grey.  It was a perfect match for some of the greens in the leaves.

But I ended up choosing Fusion’s Inglenook.  I absolutely love the pale blue green color and I thought it would work beautifully with the colors in the transfer.

I also made the decision to leave the top ‘as is’.  I think this is a first for me.  But the dresser had been recently refinished and although the finish is a bit shinier than I would have chosen, it was in really good shape so I left it.

I figured that if I didn’t love the way it looked after finishing the rest of the dresser, I could always paint it later.

I also made the decision to remove the existing hardware and not put it back on.

These pulls might work for another piece down the road, but they would have fought with the design of the transfer.  So I filled the holes for the original hardware using Dixie Belle’s Mud before painting and I added glass knobs instead.

I followed my usual protocol of sanding lightly and cleaning with a damp rag, then I added two coats of Fusion’s Inglenook.  Once the paint was dry, I distressed the edges of the dresser by hand sanding them with 180 grit sandpaper.

Next I applied the transfer.  I used the same method I used last time (find that here).

Once the transfer was applied, I sanded over it very lightly by hand with 220 grit sandpaper to give it a more faded, vintage look.  That’s totally optional and just a matter of preference.  Some of you may prefer the look of the transfer without sanding it.

Adding the transfer completely transformed this dresser.

Although it was in nice shape before, it was kind of ho hum.  The previous owners did a nice job refinishing it, but I think they robbed it of its character.

But now it has plenty of personality again.

The little chair in the photos is from the Mac-Grove sales.  I started out painting it grey, but it ended up being a bleeder (ie. the red stain bled through the paint) so I zapped it with some spray on shellac and then ended up giving it a coat of the Inglenook while I was painting the dresser.

Then I used the left over remnants from another Prima Marketing transfer to dress it up a bit.

I love the petite size of the chair.

I also used a few of my hydrangeas to stage this piece.

They are looking pretty much amazing at the moment, so it was hard to resist getting them in a few photos!

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Prima Marketing products, check out their ‘where to buy‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint, check out their ‘where to buy‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Dixie Belle Mud that I used to fill the old drawer pull holes, you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

If you’d like to order the glass knobs I used on this piece, you can find them at D Lawless Hardware.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a gorgeous dresser, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details on the Imperial Garden dresser!


40 thoughts on “the imperial garden dresser.

  1. Another amazing transformation! I’m in love with this one, too. The curled appliqués really stand out and mesh really well with the transfer. You are on a roll! Oh, the chair turned out great, too. It has a really cute shape, just right to tuck into a corner to use when the grand babies come over.


  2. It is amazingly beautiful. Imagine me just loving it. Betty from Ontario, Canada. I can imagine it is already sold. Happy fall weather for you and sis on the wonderful sales you are most likely going to.


    1. We are going straight from summer to fall in one day. At lunchtime it was humid and 80 degrees, but now a cold front is moving in and the temp has already dropped to 66 (at 2:30). And just that fast, it feels like fall!


  3. Wow! I know that’s what everyone else said but seriously what else is there to say?
    I could add you really have a knack of
    putting a transfer on the right piece.


  4. WOW! Stunning! This transfer was made for this piece. Absolute perfection. The top, left as is, is just icing on the cake. How lucky were you that the top came already refinished so nicely. I think the sheen worked out wonderfully even thought I also prefer a more matte or a light glow to a piece rather than a true shine. Overall, your vision is once again spot on. Prima could not pay for better advertisement than the work you do. You have a knack for finding the perfect transfer for just the right piece and know when/what areas to cut back if necessary but I’m glad you were able to use the entire transfer this time. Great beautiful job!


    1. Thanks so much Christie! It was good luck to find a piece of furniture that perfectly accommodated the size of the transfer. I hope I can keeping matching up great pieces of furniture with amazing transfers 🙂


  5. Oh Quandie! I absolutely love that dresser. It almost looks like a old fashion store cabinet they used to wrap and sell stuff on. The curliQ’s didn’t even show up with the original finish but are my favorite part on the finished piece. I have an old family wash stand/dresser that has a similar wood finish that I will be painting now. For sure!


  6. Your work and design is amazing. I just started working with Fusion paint and am planning to repaint my daughter’s bedroom set and add a redesign prima transfer. May I ask if you need to seal the transfers for the furniture and/or the knob transfers? Thank you.


    1. I have sealed some of my transfers with furniture wax. I’ve also sealed them with the Real Milk Paint Co’s Dead Flat finishing cream and Miss Mustard Seed Tough Coat sealer. So I know from first hand experience that you can seal them with those products (and probably others, but I can’t speak to that from experience). But, I have several pieces of my own with transfers that are not sealed and they have held up quite well. I would say it depends upon how much wear you think your pieces will get. On the piece I shared yesterday (here), I used the knob transfers and I waxed over them to give them a little more protection. Knobs will likely get handled more often. Also, if you think you’ll be needing to do more cleaning of your piece than just an occasional dusting, you will probably be happier if you seal over the transfer.


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