Back when my friend Annie gave me the toolbox that I shared back in May, she also had two dressers that she wanted to part with. I really thought I would get to these sooner, but here it is the end of June!
I have to say, I thought time would slow down a bit once I was retired from the full time job. But if anything, it just goes even faster! I also thought I’d have plenty of time to get EVERYTHING done. Ha! Jokes on me.
But I finally have the first dresser finished. Here’s how it looked when I brought it home way back in April, before there were leaves on the trees or plants coming up in the garden.
If you predicted that I would remove those carved details from the drawer fronts, you were right. It’s funny, there was a time when I was adding details like that to plain pieces. Now I’m taking them off. Just goes to show how trends change.
They were easy to remove using a chisel to pry them away from the drawer. They had been both nailed and glued, so once I had them off I sanded any remaining glue off the drawers.
I wanted to break out of my Drop Cloth/Midnight Sky (ie. warm white/black) comfort zone and try a new color, so I pulled out Dixie Belle’s Dried Sage. They describe this color as a soft gray with green undertones, which is pretty darn accurate.
So, OK, maybe I didn’t take a really huge leap out of my comfort zone. More like a baby step.
After my usual prep process of lightly sanding and cleaning this piece, I gave it two coats of Dried Sage. Once it was fully dry, I added I.O.D.’s Petit Rosier transfer to the drawer fronts.
Once I had the transfer applied, I top coated the piece with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.
After the clear coat was on, I got busy with other things and the dresser sat for a few days. That was when disaster struck.
Well, OK, ‘disaster’ might be a bit of an overstatement, but basically the water based topcoat drew the stain through the paint.
I’ve had this happen before, and quite honestly I should have known better with this piece. Looking back at the reddish orange stain on the piece in the ‘before’ photo, I don’t know why I didn’t just head this problem off at the pass with a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. to block stain bleed through. Often times you’ll see bleed through right away with the first coat of paint, but every once in a while the stain won’t bleed through the paint until you add that topcoat. And even then, it can take a couple of days to show up.
Normally at this point I would just start over with a coat of B.O.S.S. followed by another coat of paint. But in this case I’d already applied a slightly pricey transfer to those drawer fronts.
Fortunately, the drawer fronts didn’t look that bad. So I added a coat of B.O.S.S. to the top and sides of the dresser and then headed off on my trip to my mom’s house. When I returned a week later, I added another coat of Dried Sage to the shell of the dresser.
As I expected, the areas with the B.O.S.S. were a slightly lighter color than the drawer fronts. So I decided to see what I could do with different top coats to darken them up. I dug out a practice board, painted it in the Dried Sage and then tried four different top coats.
As you can see, the flat clear coat just barely darkened up the color of the paint. Clear wax darkened it just a teeny bit more. The DIY Dark & Decrepit was too much. But I decided that I could work with the Dixie Belle brown wax over an initial coat of clear wax.
Today’s q tip: if you start with an initial coat of clear wax, the dark wax you add over it will be easier to manipulate and blend. It will also make it easy to remove any excess dark wax if you put too much on your piece. You can go back with clear wax on a rag and use it like an eraser to remove some of the dark wax.
So, I clear waxed the shell of the dresser first, then added some dark wax here and there, especially around the drawers to blend the color of the drawer fronts with the color of the shell.
I think it worked out fairly well. Obviously this is a case of do as I say, not as I do. I’m reminded to hedge my bets by starting with a coat of B.O.S.S. whenever I encounter a stain that even remotely looks like it might bleed.
The sides of the dresser are much improved.
You may have already noticed that I did not put the original hardware back on this piece. I planned to initially, but after seeing how nicely the black transfer contrasted with the Dried Sage, I decided to go with a simple black knob from Hobby Lobby instead.
Finally, I lined the drawers with some pretty paper.
And with that, Annie’s dresser has been made over.
What do you think?
This dresser is for sale, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ page for details.
Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying their products used in this makeover.