Here in Minnesota, I always feel a bit self conscious the first time or two that I bare my legs in the spring. Oh, who am I kidding, spring? As if! I don’t let those suckers see the light of day in public until at least June. This year I had a bit of a head start because we took our trip to Punta Cana in May. I was able to get a little color on them before I had to expose them to the world back home.
But this post isn’t about that kind of bare leg, it’s about the furniture kind.
I’m sure you’ve seen the bare leg look on other people’s pieces. They paint everything but the legs, or the legs and the top. Katie of Katie & Co. furniture is a master at this look (check out some of her work here). She paints some really lovely pieces.
I have mixed feelings about the bare legs though. Personally, I love the way they look, but I wonder if the average buyer will be saying ‘um, I think you forgot to paint the legs.’ But when I picked up this dresser at a lunch time garage sale a month or so ago, I thought it might be the perfect candidate for trying out the bare leg look to see how it goes.
The first thing I did was strip the top. The wood veneer on the top was in really great condition, but the finish was shot. Once stripped, I sanded the top smooth and then stained it with Varathane wood stain in Dark Walnut. Once that dried, I added a top coat of Fusion’s Tough Coat.
Next I prepped the body of the dresser, and then painted it in Fusion’s Midnight Blue. Once that was dry I added the top 2/3 of Prima Marketing’s Somewhere in France transfer.
I should note here that this color and transfer combo was inspired by a similar piece by Denise at Salvaged Inspirations (you can see her piece here).
The gold transfer over a dark blue paint color was so striking on her piece, I just had to try it on my dresser too.
Before I move on here, I have to add that I’ve also seen this transfer used over a burgundy color and over a creamy white, plus I’ve used it over black …
and it looks gorgeous over all of these colors! This really is a versatile transfer.
The Fusion paint doesn’t require a top coat for durability, but I like to go over the transfer itself with a little bit of their clear furniture wax which I think helps blend the edges of it more.
Next came those bare legs. I wasn’t really sure if I needed to strip them entirely, or if I could get away with just sanding them down a bit and then staining them. So I decided to just give it a try and see how it went. It seemed to work great. I sanded them, cleaned them and then wiped on the Varathane stain with a rag. Once dry, I added a coat of Tough Coat Sealer.
I think they turned out pretty good, don’t you?
Honestly, there isn’t a huge contrast between the dark stained legs and the dark painted body of the dresser.
So, it doesn’t totally jump out at you that the legs are bare.
Next time I might go for a more pronounced contrast between the body and legs.
I brightened up the original hardware by adding some of Prima Marketing’s Vintage Gold Metallique wax.
The gold drawer pulls work beautifully with the gold transfer.
By the way, I don’t know if you noticed, but in the ‘before’ photo the drawer with the little raised detail on the front was at the bottom of the dresser. That just looked wrong, so I moved it back up to just under the side by side top drawers which looks a lot more appropriate.
So there it is. A gorgeous French themed dresser in Midnight Blue.
What do you think of bare legs? Do you allow your’s to see the light of day before June? Have you left any legs bare on your furniture, and if so, did anyone point out that you forgot to paint the legs? Curious minds want to know!
Thank you to Prima Marketing for providing the Metallique wax and transfer and to Fusion for providing the paint and Tough Coat sealer.
If you’re wondering where to purchase the Somewhere in France transfer, check out Prima’s ‘where to buy’ page.
If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint and Tough Coat, check out their ‘where to buy’ page.
And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a French themed dresser, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page to see if this one is still available.