Last Friday I posted about my struggles finding pieces to work on these days and based on the comments I received, many of you are feeling the same. As I mentioned though, I was ultimately able to find this dresser on Facebook Marketplace …
This one was listed at $100, which seemed high to me based on the condition of the mirror frame. But, it was close to home (and I always take those mirrors off anyway) plus I haven’t been finding much else, so I decided to bite the bullet and set up a time to take a look.
The seller had mentioned in her ad that this piece belonged to her grandmother and she was reluctant to part with it, but it had to go. So many of us fall victim to ‘family heirloom syndrome‘. We think we have to keep something, even though it’s not at all our style and we have nowhere to put it. And I often find that sellers base the price of these items on the sentimental value it has for them rather than the actual condition and/or value of the piece.
After taking a look at the dresser and testing out all of the drawers, I realized that I really couldn’t justify paying $100 for it. The drawers are a bit on the flimsy side and the bottoms of them had been replaced with old paneling. The top of the dresser is warped (which you’ll see in a side shot soon) and the original wooden casters were totally worn down …
Those won’t be going back on.
I was fully prepared to just walk away from this purchase, so I said “I’m sorry but I just can’t pay $100 for this dresser.” The seller then asked “Well, what would you pay?” I knew that I wouldn’t be able to charge top dollar for it no matter how pretty it might look in the end, the quality just wasn’t there. So I came in low at $60. But the seller accepted that, so the dresser came home with me after all.
I really had been thinking I’d play it safe and paint it either white (and add a transfer) or black (and add a stencil). But for some crazy reason, I ended up deciding that it needed a pop of color to brighten it up so I pulled out Dixie Belle’s Flamingo.
I know, right? It’s not for the faint of heart.
When I read the comment from Sherry on last Friday’s post, “I get so unnerved bringing a piece into the store and being the only teal or red piece in a sea of white furniture (with a loud “what were you thinking?!” resounding in my head)!” I had to laugh because that was exactly how I was feeling about this color choice.
Seriously, what was I thinking? This piece is definitely going to stand out in a sea of white.
Well, let’s review the nuts and bolts of this makeover.
Of course I removed the damaged mirror harp and tossed it. I’ll save the mirror and refurbish it separately in some fashion or other. I also had to remove those worn out wooden casters. Then I also removed the wood knobs and added them to my stash (as you know, I like using the wooden knobs on signs). I felt like this color required some pretty glass knobs, sort of like adding jewelry to a party outfit.
Those are the 1 1/2″ antique clear glass knobs from D. Lawless Hardware, in case any of you are wondering.
After prepping the piece with some light sanding and cleaning, I started painting with the Flamingo. After coat number one I was wondering if I had lost my mind choosing this color. After coat number two I was reminding myself that this particular color does not cover well at all, I knew that from using it before. By coat number three I was seriously considering getting out the white paint and starting over.
I decided to sleep on it instead. The next morning I got up and realized that it was just the sides of the dresser that really needed a 4th coat. So I added that, and then started sanding the drawer fronts to distress the edges a bit.
I know there are many furniture painters out there that don’t distress their pieces, and probably just as many who don’t like the look of distressing, but I feel like it adds tons of character to an older piece of furniture.
Finally, I added a coat of clear wax and decided that maybe Flamingo wasn’t such a bad choice after all.
I still had to deal with those drawers with paneling bottoms. I was hoping I’d have some sort of decorative paper on hand to cover that up. It feels as though fate much have stepped in because I went through my paper stash and found this …
It was perfect! I’d forgotten I even had this paper, and luckily I had enough of it for all three drawers.
Not only did I happen to have just the right paper, I also happened to have enough old wooden casters to replace those worn out versions.
Here is that side view showing the warp to the top of the dresser.
It’s not massively warped, but there is a bit of a gap in the middle where the top doesn’t meet the side. It wasn’t bad enough that it warranted taking the whole top off and trying to flatten it out and reattach it though.
I’ve staged this piece as a buffet.
But this sort of dresser can be so versatile. You could use it in a nursery as a changing table, you could use it in your home office to hold your office supplies with a printer on top of it, you could use it in a bedroom to holding clothing … or, you could use it as a buffet in your dining room!
Now, about that color. I know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But I’m hoping that someone out there is searching for just that perfect pop of coral to brighten up their home. In the end, it’s just paint after all. I can always re-paint it down the road if it doesn’t sell. That will just remain to be seen.
It certainly has a totally new look, don’t you think?
As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used on this dresser. If any of you locals need to add a pop of coral to your home be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.