the autumn washstand.

First things first, the winner of Friday’s giveaway is Kristin from Hazel Mae Home.  I’ve already contacted her via email and will be getting those transfers in the mail to her.  Thank you all so much for your glowing comments, the Rustic Teal dresser was a huge hit!

Now, on with today’s post.

I picked up this pretty little washstand at a garage sale this summer.

I love doing these pieces, and checking back through my fab furniture page I realized that I’ve done quite a few of them.  In fact this will be the 11th one.  I love these pieces because they make excellent bedside tables.

I started this one by stripping the top with Citristrip.  That process made me realize that the stain on this piece was very, very orange (you can see the orange color coming off with the stripper).

Because of that I briefly toyed with the idea of painting it black.  I just knew that the orange stain was going to bleed through a lighter color.  But somehow I just couldn’t let go of the idea of painting it a creamy white.

So I painted just a little test patch on one side.  Sure enough, the stain started bleeding through almost immediately and quite heavily.  So I dug out the Dixie Belle BOSS.

I’ve learned from experience that you need to follow the directions with this stuff or it may not work.  So I followed them to a T.  I started by painting one coat of BOSS over the entire piece.  I let it dry, and then did another test patch.  Nope.  Still bleeding thru.  So I added a second coat and once dry, tested again.  Nope.  Still bleeding thru.  That means you need more drying time.

So I simply left the piece to dry for a full 24 hours.

That did the trick.  It seems weird that you don’t need more product, just more drying time, but it works!

Once I had that bleeding under control it took just two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth to get awesome coverage.

I did something this time that I rarely do.  I painted over the hardware in place.

The person who owned this piece before me had cut off the ends of the eye bolts inside the drawers.  That damaged the ends so that I couldn’t get the nuts off again.  I could have forced them off (or cut them off entirely), but that would have left me with the problem of either getting them back on again later or opting to change out the hardware.  Then again, I could have just purchased new eye bolts (FYI, you can find those for about 50 cents each at, but I didn’t think of that until I was writing this post.  Duh.

But instead I decided why not try painting them in place?  And in the end I really love how they turned out.

Once this piece was painted, I sanded it to distress and then I added one of my favorite Prima Marketing transfers called SeedsSeeds comes in two sizes and this is the smaller version which is 11″ x 14″.

I couldn’t quite fit the entire thing on the door lengthwise so I cut off the bit left at the bottom and then used it on the top drawer.

Prima Marketing makes so many fantastic transfers that it’s hard to choose favorites, but I still absolutely love this one every single time I use it.

After applying the transfer, I lightly sanded over it with 220 grit paper to give it more of a distressed look.  Then I waxed the base of the washstand with clear wax.  In this case I used up the very last bit of the Miss Mustard Seed Lavender scented clear wax that I had.  I love that wax.  It was a limited edition though so I’m not sure if you can still buy it.

Then finally I waxed the top of the washstand with Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax in Brown.

By the way, that monstrous thing in the background of these photos is my Limelight hydrangea.

It has grown much larger than I ever expected and is well over my head.  I’ll probably cut most of those flowers off and use them in my front window box along with some evergreens for winter.

Thank you to Prima Marketing, Dixie Belle Paint Co and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint for supplying the products I used to transform this washstand.

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

If you’re wondering where to buy the Miss Mustard Seed Lavender wax (if you can still find it), check out her ‘find a retailer‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Dixie Belle Drop Cloth paint, Best Dang Wax in Brown or their BOSS, you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a gorgeous autumn washstand, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

30 thoughts on “the autumn washstand.

  1. Great tips on the products you use. I have sealed a couple of pieces with The Boss, I like it because it is not stinky! I did not realize that you need to wait 24 hours for the sealer to be effective, obviously I need to do more product research! And the washstand turned out great. Not sure when the orange stain was the thing to do, but I think furniture flippers are wiping it off the face of the earth! This cute washstand will sell quickly.


    1. You don’t absolutely have to wait 24 hours for the BOSS to work, you only have to do that when the stain (or smell) is especially tough. That’s why you need to do the test patches if you are planning to paint right away. So if you ever find that the BOSS isn’t blocking a stain like you think it should, it may be because you need more drying time.


  2. Woo hoo! Thank you! Excited to try out these transfers! And as always – another inspiring transformation! I have my Grandmother’s wash stand in my garage. Have to get working on it! Thanks again for the win!


  3. Thanks for sharing your thinking process with bleed through, which must be the boogey man of furniture painting! I like the painted-over and distressed hardware, frequently a “scene stealer!” as it gives over all the attention to your favorite transfer. Wish I had a little spot for this little gem!


  4. Wow! Love this. Why is there so much orange stain out there??? I see it on so many pieces and it’s a booger. I’m gonna have to get some Boss! The transfer is the crowning jewel of this piece!


  5. Washstands are so perfect for beside tables. Good info on dry time for the boss product. Love the painted hardware. Just like painted furniture it really brings out the details in the hardware. And of course the transfer just makes the piece sing.
    I’m staging a freestanding rustic shelving unit for some clients and I want to use some oversized black books.
    I have collected a pile of books but I have to paint them. Do you think chalk paint is the best medium for this? Then I plan to stencil the spines. Have you used the transfers on books? And if so which method did you prefer stencil or transfer? Thanks Quandie.😘


    1. I have used both black chalk paint and black milk paint to paint books. Both worked well, so if you have one or the other on hand you could use it. If you are going to purchase paint, I think I’d go with the chalk paint just because it’s a little smoother. I have not used the transfers on books. But I think I’d stick to stencils for books simply because you can use them over and over (assuming you’re doing quite a few books) whereas the transfers are a one time use. So it would probably be more cost effective to use stencils for this. Also, you said black books, so I’m assuming you’ll want a white (or light) typography and there isn’t a big selection of white transfers and they also aren’t really sized for books.


      1. Thanks so much for your professional advice. I have chalk paint on hand so I’ll go with that. Seems like you also don’t recommend using white paint but a pale grey or taupe for the stencil.


      2. Yep, that’s right Victoria. Good memory! I really prefer using a pale grey or taupe, but I have to confess I was doing some stenciling this past weekend and was all out of my preferred colors so I went with a warm white and that worked well too. If you look at my Instagram posts, the suitcase I posted yesterday was stenciled in Warm White over Dixie Belle’s Caviar.


  6. Beautiful, I love these washstands too!… actually I like pretty much anything vintage. 😉 And I don’t often paint right over hardware either – but the painted originals look amazing with this piece.


  7. Very nice! I love these washstands and wish I could find one in a reasonable price range. I saw a gorgeous one this weekend in a local soap factory that is set up in a 150 year old building. It had some of the most fabulous vintage and antique furniture and the carved woodwork was amazing. The owner had salvaged it all out of an old house that was being torn down and repurposed it in the factory. One wall was even covered with an 10′ x 12′ map of the region that was 120 years old. Simply amazing! The painted hardware on this piece works wonderfully! I usually prefer your gilding waxed hardware but on this piece, painting it the way you did lets the transfer and the rest of the details shine. Fantastic job as always!


    1. I do love using the metallic wax, but I think you’re right. For this piece I was better off painting the hardware and letting it blend in a little bit more. Thanks Christie!


  8. I think painting over the hardware was a good idea. It makes it look more authentique because lots of times people did just paint over it.


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