I made a trade.

A while back Brigitte contacted me and asked if I’d consider making a trade for the coral dresser.  I have done this once or twice before, and I’m always open to at least considering such an arrangement.  Brigitte had a dresser that she’d meant to refurbish herself but had never gotten around to it, how many of us can relate to that?  So she sent me a few photos of her piece and sure enough, it was right up my alley …


So she gave me this dresser plus some cash, and she took the coral dresser home in return.

I debated cropping Mr. Q out of that ‘before’ photo, but decided why not be real?  This is the lazy way of getting a before photo.  Why go to all the work of re-attaching that mirror just for a photo?  So much easier to just have Mr. Q hold it in place for the few seconds it took to snap the picture.  Also, although I included the mirror in the ‘before’ shot, I’m not putting it back on.  It is gorgeous, and I will re-do both it and the harp it’s attached to, but I have always felt that dressers like this sell more quickly without a mirror.

And by the way, that tiger striped grain?  It’s fake.  To me it looks like it was stamped on, but I haven’t been able to find any info on how they created this look back in the day.  It must have been a popular technique though because I’ve painted over a few of these faux finishes.

I ended up going with a classic combo on this one.  I stripped the top, re-stained it in Special Walnut, and once dry I added a couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Flat Clear Coat.

Then I painted the rest of the dresser with Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Typewriter.

I didn’t get much chipping on this piece, and that didn’t surprise me.  The original finish was very dried out, and that usually translates to minimal chipping.  But I did sand the edges quite a bit to create the worn out appearance that I wanted.

After sanding and then wiping away the dust, I added a coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta.  If wax and hemp oil had a baby, it would be this product.  It’s made with all natural Hemp Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax and Carnauba Wax.  It’s much easier to apply than straight up wax, but it’s a bit more substantial than just hemp oil on its own.  I highly recommend using this product over the darker shades of milk paint.

Once I had the Butta applied, I decided to do a little wet sanding with Dixie Belle’s Howdy-Do Hemp Oil over it.  Why?  Mainly because I realized I hadn’t done a super great job of sanding it smooth the first time around.  This was an easy way to smooth out the final finish.  Basically I wrapped some 320 grit sandpaper around a sanding sponge, applied some hemp oil directly to the paper, and then sanded the flat areas with it.  Then I buffed it with a clean, lint free rag.  This gave me a buttery, smooth finish.

I swapped out the knobs that were originally on the top drawers for some that I had on hand that had a little more detail and were in better condition, but I kept the original pulls on the bottom two drawers.  I gave them all a good wash with soapy water, and once dry I added some of the Bronze Age Metallique wax from Prima Marketing to the pulls to brighten them up a bit.

I found it easiest to put on a latex glove and then use my fingertip to apply the wax.  I gave the wax a couple of hours to dry and then buffed it with a clean rag (a.k.a. one of Mr. Q’s old socks).

I have to admit, I’m always torn about producing simple pieces like this.

Should I have added a stencil or a transfer to give it more character?  Make it more unique?  Or is it OK to occasionally just stick with something more simple?

I guess I’ll see how well it sells and keep that in mind for next time.

In the meantime, what do you think?

If any of you locals are interested in this dresser, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the Big Mama’s Butta, Flat Clear Coat and Howdy-Do Hemp Oil used on this project.



35 thoughts on “I made a trade.

  1. Simple works for me! I love black with stained wood and it blends well with all decor. I think you made the right decision in color and design. My prediction – it will sell fast.


  2. Perfect choices for your traded dresser. It is gorgeous. I much prefer the simple treatment over the stencils and transfers, etc. If I lived closer I would buy that dresser in a New York minute. And I live down south😊 It will sell fast. Well done!


    1. Thanks Jan. I do have a buyer lined up already, so I think we can safely say that simple is a quick seller! Now I’m second guessing the next piece I’m working on which is getting a big floral transfer … hmmm ….


  3. This piece really works with the simple black paint with wood tones showing. It has just enough fancy with the gold tones of the pulls, knobs and keyholes and the curvy lines of the piece. Beautiful transformation.


  4. Love this…very elegant looking. Love the black finish and the gold sets it off perfectly. Another Great save!


  5. I love these old dressers. I also love the way that you use MMS black milk paint and they always turn out great. Simple and gorgeous! 😊


  6. Well this is just beautiful Miss Quandie! It didn’t enter my mind that it was “missing” something because it’s just so pretty. At the same time, if you HAD put a transfer on it, say one the gold ones, you would have made it beautiful that way, too! That’s just the secret of “quandification”! 😀


  7. I love it, although in my booth, black doesn’t sell well. I also have problems with MMS milk paint. The color never stays consistent for me, no matter how I mix it. This turned out beautiful!


    1. Even with the black? I’ve never had a problem with the black milk paint not mixing well. I certainly have had my struggles with the blues, and especially with the greens though.


  8. I bought the same shape dresser 35 years ago. The wood was really nice so we refinished it. Used it for my baby’s dresser. Still have it & still love it. The simple black is gorgeous. Love the “wear” on the edges.


  9. Oh this is so lovely! I always love a stained top with painted bottom. It looks so classy! Looks great with no stencil! How I wish I lived closer.


    1. I’m a big fan of the stained top too, and I figured I’d better get some done while I can still work outside. Summer is flying by once again!


  10. I love this! I also have the problem of “do I do more”. Its hard to decide! A lot of it depends on what people need. I think this would be great in a boys room or a nursery with changing pad on top- a piece that can grow with a child!


  11. I enjoy the simple treatments and would be able to put those in many places in my house and they are timeless. The stenciled ones are fun but usually I don’t have a spot for them.


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