the beast.

When I was searching out pieces for my Chippy Barn collaboration, I found this empire piece.

In the end I decided to paint this one dark, and instead used the taller empire dresser that I shared last Friday for that project.

I paid top dollar for this piece at $100.  I don’t usually spend that much, but this one really appealed to me.  Plus, it’s a good sized dresser.  Plus, it was in relatively good condition.  Plus, it’s a solid, well constructed sturdy piece of furniture.  So I splurged.

I suspected right away that those drawer pulls were not original to the piece, they just aren’t the right style.  And did any of you notice that just one of them is on upside down?  Go back to the ‘before’ shot and see if you can find it.  Or maybe 7 of them are upside down and only one of them is right side up, I’m really not sure.

Anyway, when I removed them I found that there were original holes behind them for a knob.  Yep, they definitely weren’t original.

So I filled the two newer holes that had been drilled for the pulls before painting.

Here are my tips for filling holes like these.  First, place some painters tape behind the hole.  This keeps the fill you use from squeezing out the backside of the hole.  Next, fill the hole as full as you can with Dixie Belle’s Mud.  Let that set up overnight.  Once dry, add a layer of spackle over the Mud.  The spackle is not sturdy enough for the entire job, but will give a smoother result for the final coat.  Once dry, sand smooth and paint.

I challenge you to find those filled holes now!

Once the holes were filled in, I sanded the dresser lightly and then cleaned it with TSP Substitute.  I was planning on going with Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue on this one, but when I pulled it out I realized I didn’t have quite enough paint for this large piece.  So I decided to stretch my paint by adding some In the Navy.

Here’s a comparison of the two colors for you.

The Bunker Hill Blue is more cobalt, while the In the Navy is a very dark navy almost bordering on black (here is one of my fave pieces I painted with In the Navy).  The combination of the two is a gorgeous, rich navy blue.  It ended up being the perfect color for this piece.

Oh, hey, did you notice anything else about how I changed up this piece?

I removed the trim pieces that were on either side of the drawers.

That was totally just a personally preference kind of thing.  I didn’t like how ‘colonial-ish’ they looked.  I feel like the dresser has a much more current feel without them.  I know some of you are going to wish I’d left them on, but I’m making all of the decisions here so they came off along with those classic colonial drawer pulls.

By the way, I replaced those pulls with some simple wooden knobs that I had in my stash.

Also, I finished this dresser with a coat of clear wax.  You can see a couple of streaky spots on the top edge of the dresser in that photo above.  Those are spots that I missed with the wax and didn’t notice it until looking at the photo.  Ooops.  That’s an easy fix though, just go over it with more wax.

I got the idea for staging this piece from Flea Market Finds magazine … or maybe it was Country Living … uh oh, I can’t remember.  Well, regardless, a recent issue showed a room with shelves that housed the set of classic books that I found in my attic last December.  I got these books from my parents and had entirely forgotten about them.

I must confess, I never saw myself doing anything with these books other than donating them to the Goodwill eventually.  But there they were in the magazine, and they looked pretty fabulous in a color-blocking sort of way.  So I pulled them out of the attic once again.

You might be wondering why I titled this post ‘the beast’ and really it’s just because this dresser is quite a bit larger than it looks in photos.  It is 46.25″ tall x 41″ wide x 22″ deep.

I think this dresser is a great example of how much you can change the look of a piece with just some paint and a hardware change.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint, as well as the Mud, used for this project.  Thank you to Fusion Mineral Paint for supplying the clear wax (once again I used their new Hills of Tuscany scented wax).

You can find Dixie Belle products here.

And here is a link to info on where to buy Fusion Mineral Paint products.

If you’re looking for a beast of a dresser in a rich navy blue, check out my ‘available for local‘ sale page.

41 thoughts on “the beast.

  1. Great color. I love the heft of this dresser. Pretty much a statement piece. And I totally agree with removing the trim on the sides, good call. Thanks for your inspiration, as always.


  2. Beautiful! I agree with your decision to remove the trim piece, too colonial! The color is really stunning agains the white wall! Keep up the good work ❤️


  3. Love the color! I have some Bunker Hill Blue that I didn’t like after purchasing so I’ll add some In The Navy and find something to paint! Good call on the trim!


  4. Your title is accurate big piece of furniture.
    Love this color impressed that you are mixing two shades. Looks amazing and good call on the hardware much prefer these knobs. I’m also with you on removing that trim. 👍🏻👍🏻


  5. Wow, wow, wow. Love everything about this. The changes you made to the trim and knobs really changed the whole look of this piece – in a best way. And I’m totally ordering Bunker Hill Blue now. Mixing it with the In The Navy really brings out the best in both colors – then again, I am an unapologetic “blue makes everything better” kind of girl. 😍


  6. HI Linda! I love love this color. I have both In the Navy and Bunker Hill and i am for sure mixing them now. I can’t believe you cannot see those handle holes. I have the hardest time covering them up. Do you think it is the spackle over the mud that makes a difference? I have used the mud before but not the spackle. thank you for the Q-Tip! I am on the fence about removing the trim only because i feel it was part of who it was. Anyway, it is a marvelous piece.


      1. Nope, no spraying involved here. I did water down the chalk paint though. Dixie Belle paint is very thick. You can apply it as is, but you’ll see more texture that way. I like watering it down just a bit. Not only does it go on more smoothly, but it also goes further!


    1. Yes, I do think it’s the spackle that makes a difference. It is just a bit easier to get smooth. But it’s not hard enough to do the entire job on its own so you need both a filler and a spackle.


  7. Love that color! Beautiful mix. I usually really like the trim but removing it made this piece so much more modern-looking yet still vintage. Good job.


  8. I know I’m in the minority here, but I guess I’m just an old fashioned gal – I did love the wood, and the trim pieces. It spoke to me. The transformation is very nice, but I guess I am not modern and simple, I like some foo foo! The dresser would have looked lovely with glass knobs – before they drilled extra holes of course! I still enjoy reading about the process though 🙂 We all like different things – it’s what makes the world go ’round!


  9. I love the blue and agree that taking the colonial stuff away gave the piece a whole new feel. You’re making me want to paint all my furniture when what I really need to do is brush away the cobwebs on my walls and give them a paint job first ~ or maybe not 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.