in a sea of white.

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.

full coral dresser

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.

side view

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.


54 thoughts on “in a sea of white.

  1. Love this color, would add perfectly to a beach house or modern farmhouse. Love your vision on these pieces!
    Nice collection of ironstone!


    1. Thanks Paula! I wasn’t originally thinking of staging this one with the ironstone, but the white was perfect to set off the coral color of the dresser 🙂


  2. Absolutely love this style of this piece. While I would probably have never considered the color myself I find it charming. I can see next to a Jenny lin style bed that has a colorful quilt across folded the foot. Perfect for a little girl or even a guest bedroom.


    1. I can totally picture that too. This color reminds me of the British designer Cath Kidston, I bet she has some fabrics that would work beautifully with it!


      1. Yes me too – love Cath Kidson style. It’s what I categorize as cottagey. And it’s can I say happy color? It makes me smile.


  3. I love this color! I get tired of painting white and off white. In the pictures it looks more coral than pink . Is that right? Want to order this but want to make sure about the shade. I can’t imagine it won’t sell! It would here at the beach!


    1. This is one of those funny colors that changes depending on the light and what colors it is next to. Also, I’ve looked at my post on my home computer, and then on my work computer and it looks much brighter and almost fluorescent on my work computer. In other words, it’s so hard to judge colors based on seeing them in pictures. However, I can tell you that it is definitely more coral than pink. But it also leans a little towards peachy-coral rather than a deeper, richer coral (if that makes any sense). On the Dixie Belle website they recommend mixing it with their Peony to create a true coral, and I tried that and can say that created a really pinkish color. I’ve also seen people mix in a little of the Barn Red and that creates more of deeper coral shade.


      1. Thank you so much! I was hoping it was a little more coral than pink so I think I’ll try it! Maybe some white wax if I want to tone it down?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this! It’s fun and refreshing and I bet it sells in a flash! You really revived this little gal and gave her a new party dress!


  5. I love the color! I tend to have at least one piece in the shop with a pop of color. I’m surprised it didn’t cover well.
    Where do you get your decorative papers? Are they wallpaper or scrapbook paper that you have ordered?


  6. I just love your Before and Afters! I can’t wait to get to the after! Love this color and what you did with the piece! Beautiful!


  7. This was the perfect color to brighten up that dresser! I bet it sells fast! Unexpected coming from you…but we should expect that by now. Lol.


  8. Looks fabulous and isn’t it fun to paint something a different color? It makes me happy! Love the glass knobs too – they are always a classic favorite of mine. I pick up the old ones here and there if I run across them as you always need one or two somewhere! I have a dresser that has sticky drawers inside after removing some old contact paper. How do you afix your paper in your drawers? I have used additional cool contact paper before but it’s soooo pricey! Especially the neat stuff that looks like old newspaper print!


    1. Normally I don’t like to line my drawers for that exact reason, because somewhere down the road someone is going to have to remove that sticky contact paper, or decoupaged tissue paper, or glued on wallpaper, etc. I only do this when I feel like the drawer bottoms absolutely need to be covered up. In this case I used Elmer’s spray adhesive to tack the paper down and hold it in place, but it’s not permanently adhered.


  9. I like the color! With the distressing and the glass knobs, I turned out very well. Do you ever take th castors completely off? I have a couple of dressers with castors and i just hate the way the whole thing moves around when I try to open a drawer. I would appreciate your input!


    1. Yes, I do sometimes remove casters. The Flower Power dresser is a good example of that, in that case the casters just looked totally out of place so I took them off. You should be able to just pop them off your piece. I recommend taking them off and making sure you still like the look of your piece without them. They seem like a small detail, but can really change up the look of a piece!


  10. OMG – I don’t know how you do it but you always find the perfect way to dress up a piece! I don’t care if it is white, or black or colorful you just have such a special eye and talent for picking the right one for the piece you are working on. I would love this in a dining room or guest room. I do agree it is getting harder and harder to find pieces at an affordable price. I just never want to part with the very few things I have made over. 🙂

    I LOVE everything that you do and look forward to your posts every day.


  11. I love it, and I’m hoping that soon people will be tired of all the white/gray/black and yearning for a little more color in their lives!


    1. I have to confess that I’m one of the people with white/gray/black and I love it. But sometimes I like to step outside of my box and paint something colorful!


  12. Yay you great colour choice! I have a coral buffet in my sewing room done years ago and I still smile when I look at it. Love it.


    1. I do have a chair in a very similar color to this (it’s painted in Miss Mustard Seed’s Apron Strings, which is quite close to this color) in my guest room, and it does bring a smile to my face when I see it too 🙂


  13. I love it! I love bright colors, Flamingo was an excellent choice and the paper you used matched perfectly! It’s Springtime and I think someone will snatch it up soon. Bye the way, all the white dishes look so beautiful on top!


  14. Hey there…pretty coral dresser!! The mirror, if indeed can be fixed can also be unique! Just hang it upside down and use the top as a shelf!! What do you think?? VERY popular down here in TEXAS!! Hope this helps!! GREAT WORK!! Paulette W.


    1. I have made some of those shelves using an upside down mirror harp, but I already tossed this one. In fact, I actually didn’t even have the broken off piece. I left it behind at the seller’s house.


  15. I love the color, and I wish I could find a wood dresser around where I live for $100. I think you get better deals in the Midwest and East Coast than out here in the West. Years ago (probably 65) a neighbor put a terribly warped library table out by the street with a “Free” sign on it. It was walnut and had beautifully turned legs. His wife had kept potted plants on it for years so you can imagine the condition. My father, who had a very strong fixer gene in his DNA, grabbed it and brought it home. He cleaned it up, then injected a bunch of glue under all the warps, laid a board across the top and put big clamps over it and tightened it down until the warp was gone. There was an opening on the side of the table so he could get the clamp in to apply pressure. Today, that table sits in our living room and the glue is still holding.


  16. She’s Cinderella in her coral ball gown and glass slippers. A plain workhorse before and a beautiful, unique Star among a sea of white who are all “playing it safe.” Of course, that makes you her fairy godmother – but instead of a wand, you perform magic with a swish of your paint brush. 🧚🏼‍♀️ 😉
    This is an extremely versatile piece that I can see in an office, a guest room, or in a dining room. I’m sure she’ll sell quickly. Beautiful.


  17. Wow! It’s wonderful! Normally, I hate that color, but this is perfect. Somehow, you took this color and made it a neutral. It will coordinate with almost every popular color being used right now, from whites to grays to blues, and so much more. I can see it in a white or gray farmhouse kitchen, dining room, living room, or bedroom. I’m glad you went wit your artistic urge. I think it will pay off in spades!


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