Creamy Butter Yellow Dresser

The last few months I've been lucky enough to have people looking out for me on the furniture front.  I've had friends let me know about furniture that's free on the side of the road, for sale on Facebook or even at tag sales.  A couple of weekends ago I had a neighbor send me a message saying there was a great dresser at a tag sale a few streets over that I should check out.  Funny part is we had driven by the tag sale earlier in the morning, but didn't stop.  I have to admit I'm terrible at the whole tag sale thing.  I don't love going to them due to the fact you have to get up early on a weekend to do it (yes, I like to sleep in on the weekends!).  If I can't see what's at a tag sale when I do my 'drive by' I won't even bother going up.  This particular sale was one of those sales.  The house was at the bottom of a long driveway and I really didn't feel like going up to check it out so we kept driving.  I was surprised when the neighbor said she saw a great dresser there and felt VERY silly not making the effort to go up and have a look the first time.  Luckily for me, when I went back the dresser was still there.  I made the owner an offer and then her Husband graciously offered to deliver the dresser since it wouldn't fit in my SUV.  It was definitely a lucky furniture day for me!  I think I've learned my lesson more driving by tag sales without stopping and at least having a quick look!

Here's the dresser before:

I got carried away, like so many times before, and started working on the dresser before I took any pictures.  You can see the drawers are out and the top is partially sanded in the picture above.  It was that honey oak color and a tad bit orangey. 

I bought a belt sander and decided to try it on this piece since it was all solid wood.  I was a huge girlie, chicken and asked the Hubby for some help.  He wasn't happy when I took his picture without any warning and then reminded me I didn't have his permission to put this on the blog...HA!!!!  He sanded the top down for me and I took a few runs as well to get the hang of it.  WOW it's a lot harder to use a belt sander than an orbital sander.   You can see on the side a swipe of paint where I was testing a brand new-to-me Annie Sloan color....Cream.  

This is a VERY solid piece.  No veneer here!  (nice rhyming!)  What I was drawn to on this particular piece were the curves on the front of each side.  Plus the drawers were very unique.

After finishing with some hand sanding the top was ready for some stain.  I gave it a pre-stain conditioner first.  When the pre-stain was dry I gave the top a light sanding and then a coat of Kona stain.

Here you can see my first coat of Annie Sloan Cream.  I'm not a yellow person, but this is such a buttery yellow.  It's very soft and more cream than yellow.  I love this color!!   

Here are a few of the drawers.  The one on the bottom left is my favorite.  I love the ripples!!  If you read my blog you know I'm a sucker for keyholes.  I love how the keyholes add such nice detail to the drawers.

Here you can see all the great details on the front of this piece.  The sides curve and there are big trim pieces on the top and middle as well.  

This is the middle, top drawer with it's cute flower carving.  The whole dresser had wood drawer pulls, except this one, which doesn't open with a pull.  I decided I wanted to change the drawer hardware because I'm not a fan of wood pulls.  I wanted to add some more character with the drawer hardware.  When I found the hardware for this dresser I knew it was exactly what it needed!  

Here are the two side, top drawers.  This isn't a great picture because I had to use my flash due to the lack of light on this particular day.  The top drawer has a coat of clear wax and a coat of dark wax.  The bottom drawer has just a coat of clear.  This is an old piece of furniture and has lots of character in the  wood.  I felt like it would be wrong not to bring out the character in the wood so I went with the dark wax to finish it off. 

This is with two coats of paint and a coat of clear wax.  It looks pretty, but not a ton of pizazz.  I wanted some pizazz!!

I finished the rest of the dresser with dark wax, including the top.  Then I put on the new hardware and it was ready for some pictures.  

Here's the finished product!

This dresser has so many neat details!!!

Here's a picture of that cute, carved middle drawer.  I love how it looks with the dark wax and a teensy bit of distressing.  This was the only part of the dresser I decided to distress.

When I saw this hardware I knew it would be perfect for this piece.

I really love the combination of the Kona stain, the Cream paint and the dark wax.

I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy this piece.  I listed it on my favorite Facebook tag sale site and it was sold within a day.  I usually wait until I blog about a piece to list it, but this time I just had a feeling I should do the opposite.  This was a very popular piece and I can see why!   It's a unique and gorgeous dresser.  I'm thrilled it found a new home and made more room in the garage!

I'm working on a new project and you won't believe's not a dresser!!  I have big plans for this new piece and I'm so excited to get back to work, but I'm so distracted by the Olympics!  Am I the only one who has this problem?  The Summer Olympics are my favorite!

I hope you like this one as much as I do!

Enjoy your day and thanks for reading!!



Feeling Navy Blue

I'm always on the hunt for a great piece of furniture to makeover.  I've mentioned before that I'm constantly searching Craigslist looking for something special.  A few weeks ago I was lucky and found a wonderful dresser that I had to have.  I sent the Hubby to pick it up and while he was out he texted me to tell me it was a great piece.  That's how you know it's good, when the Hubby says it is!  

When I buy a piece of furniture I look at it for a bit and think about what I want to do.  I try very hard  not get in a rut and do the same thing with each piece.  With this piece I knew it needed to be a bit different and I had the perfect paint leftover from Hunter's dresser to make this happen.  For some reason this dresser was saying "Paint me navy blue!"

Here's what the dresser looked like before.

The dresser was light blue, high gloss paint with flower ceramic hardware.  It wasn't terrible the way it was, but I'm not a fan of semi-gloss paint on a piece like this.   

 I stripped down the top and there were a few layers of paint on top of the beautiful wood.  Then I stained it a combination of dark walnut and kona, my favorites.  A few weeks ago,  I had someone email me and say they thought I was in a rut with staining the tops of the furniture all the time.  My response to this was, yes that's probably right, but I feel like if the top is a nice wood, why not let it come through?  I could definitely save a TON of time by just painting the whole thing.  However,  I feel like if I'm going to paint an old piece I owe it to the furniture to let it's beauty shine through when I can.  Or maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment and chemicals :-)

The rest of the dresser I painted in Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue.  It's a navy blue, but with a bit more royal blue hues in the paint.  I love this color.  It's so classic, timeless and rich looking. 

 I didn't take a lot of progress pictures and I have no idea why!  This project wasn't as challenging as the last few so I just went along and enjoyed each step this time instead of stressing about what was going wrong.  

I love the Napoleonic Blue with the dark wax on top.  It adds such richness and depth.  Here you can see the difference between the drawers.  The top drawer has clear wax with dark on top and the bottom just has clear wax.  The difference is huge, no?  I put on some new hardware as well (you can't see it in this picture obviously!) because the ceramic flower knobs weren't working for me.  I went with clear faceted knobs that pop off the dark, navy blue.

Here it is all done!

I know I write this a lot, but I really love this one and think it's my favorite.  I love the depth, character and details of this piece.  Plus the knobs on this paint color!!  LOVE THEM!

I like the combination of the dark stain with the rich, blue paint.

I love how the dark wax stays in the grooves and helps to show them off.

This detail is my favorite part of this piece.  

I've spent a lot of time staring at this piece and admiring the beauty of the legs, the curves and the embellishments on this piece of furniture.  After doing a few challenging pieces it was nice to really enjoy the process again and have a piece that worked with me and not against me.  I'm starting to think I need a big warehouse to store all the pieces I really love and keep them all!  Unfortunately I know the Hubby won't agree to that so for now I have to find this one a new home.  

I hope you like this dresser as much as I do!  Let me know what you think.  I enjoy your comments and questions so keep them coming.

Have a great day and thank you for taking the time to read about my furniture adventure!!



When Things Don't Go As Planned

I like to think of myself as capable of handling whatever is thrown my way.  I like to think that I'm easygoing, flexible and not a control freak.  I like to think that when I have a plan and set it in motion it will work out perfectly.  HA HA HA HA HA!!!  Are you laughing yet?!  Some of you know me and most of you don't, but you might read my blog and think you have an idea of the kind of person I am.  Well, I'm here to enlighten those of you who don't know me.  All the things I wrote at the beginning are SO not me.  I get easily flustered and stressed.  I'm probably one of the least easygoing people I know.  When I have a plan, I like to stick to it or it drives me crazy!  We're talking lie awake at night obsessing about it kinda crazy.  I'm definitely a bit of a control freak.  This is what makes me.....ME!   I'm not perfect, even though I wish I were, but like my Mom always said, "No one is perfect."

I usually have a plan and an idea in mind when I purchase a piece of furniture.  I've been very lucky and my plans have usually worked out great!  That was until the little green dresser that didn't want to play by my rules.

I bought this little green dresser from one of the sweetest guys!  He's a very talented, young chef with impeccable taste in furniture.  He's an old soul in a young man's body and has been collecting antiques for awhile.  I have to quickly plug Sean's blog  He takes wonderful pictures of his food and has some amazing sure to check it out!  Sean's taste in furniture has changed and he's been clearing out some of his treasures on my favorite Facebook tag sale site.  I've bought a few small things from him, but then fell in love with this 100 year old green dresser he was selling.  My Hubby went and picked it up and I couldn't wait to get started!!!  I had it all planned out and my vision was set in stone.

Here it is!

I'm such a sucker for key holes!!  Not to mention the bottom of this dresser is incredibly charming.

Like everything I work on, it was in desperate need of some TLC.  It's a very old piece of furniture and has lived a very full life.

I wanted to strip and stain the top, which I try to do on every piece I can.

I started stripping the top.  Then after I stripped it five times, I still had residual green paint on the top.  No matter what I did to the wood some of the green paint was staying put.  I sanded and sanded and sanded and no luck.   The top was pine, which is my least favorite wood.  I did some research and realized my best route was to go as dark as possible.  I made a trip to Home Depot and bought Ebony stain by Minwax.  I put on my trusty pre-stain treatment and waited for it to soak in, then lightly sanded before staining.  I have done this MANY times and it's always worked out great!  This time was not one of those times.  No matter how many coats of stain I put on, the wood wouldn't stain evenly and the knots were not covering.  It looked AWFUL.  Then I decided to improvise.  I never stencil anything, but have been seeing a lot of people using stencils on furniture.  I figured I could 'hide' the knots with a stencil.  I made yet another trip, but this time to Michael's and got a great stencil for the top!  I painted the stencil on the top, then sanded it a bit and put yet another coat of stain on.  I liked it OK, but it definitely wasn't what I had wanted.

Here's how it looked with the stencil.

There are those pesky knots!!

I really couldn't stand dealing with the top any further so I moved on to the next step....painting the body and drawers.   I had planned all along to use an Annie Sloan Aubusson Chalk Paint sample I'd received with my last paint order.  However, I didn't want to use the paint straight out of the sample pot, I wanted to make my own color.  I mixed about 1 ounce of Aubusson, with Old White and a bit of Paris Grey and I came out with a gorgeous greyish blue.  I painted this on the drawers and then decided to paint the body of the dresser in Paris Grey.  In the back of my mind I kept thinking, "It really should be Old White!!!"  I decided to not listen to my gut, when will I learn, and went with the grey instead.

Here it is in the grey and you can see the blue drawer on the side.  It was fine...yep just FINE.  I wasn't thrilled with it and frankly I really hated it.  When my Hubby got home I asked him what he thought and he said the same thing.  I knew I had to scrap the whole plan, except I was going to keep the drawers the same because I love the color.  I went for a swim with the family and cleared my head.

 After a quick swim and a cool down (I have to mention it's been about 100 degrees here with the humidity!) I started the body of the dresser over.  I went with my gut and painted the whole thing, EVEN the top, in Old White.  I have to admit it killed me.  I spent a couple of hours stripping that top, but I knew it wasn't right.  

Here it is with a coat of Old White....Better already!!

This is with 2 coats of Old White...I love the sides of this piece!

 Here's one of the blue drawers with just a coat of clear wax on top.  Looks nice, but flat.  This dresser has tons of character because of it's age and it needed the dark wax on top to bring that character out.

Here it is with the dark we're talking!

Up close you can really see all the details and character in the paint with the dark wax.  Will you just look at that amazing key hole??

I slaved away for another couple of hours in the heat, determined to get this piece finished.  I clear waxed and then dark waxed the body of the dresser like I did with the drawers for the same reason....the character needed to come out.  For the top I decided to use a technique I learned at my Annie Sloan paint workshop.   I put on a very thick third coat of paint (normally I only do two, but I wanted to cover the knots in the wood) then I let it dry a bit.  When it was tacky I took my brush and did a cross-hatch pattern along the top.  Basically just a big X motion.  I did this all over, then came back and did some more to give it more texture.  I wanted the top to match the rest of the dresser.  The top had lost a lot of that character when I sanded and stripped it. is the finished product!

I don't know if it's the fact this dresser was truly a journey for me or what, but I am in LOVE.  

The sides are fabulous with the dark wax.  The large rectangle insert shows up so nicely.

Here you can see a bit of the texture on the top and the drawers.

I don't think it's possible to recreate this kind of character and age.  This is what a newly painted 100 year old dresser looks like!  Did I mention I'm seriously in love with the key holes??

I don't know if the hardware is original to the piece, but it's OLD.  I took each piece off and cleaned them and the glass has that green tinge to it.  The metal screws that secure the hardware were rusting, so I gave each one a quick spray with some Oil Rubbed Bronze.  It was just what they needed to update them and clean them up!

It was hard to get a good picture of all the texture under the tree, so when I moved the dresser back to the garage I put it in the sun in hopes of getting a better picture.  I think it turned out great!

I know this was a really long blog post with tons of pictures, but I had to try and explain what happened along the way.  I think every time I work on a piece of furniture I learn a lesson.  This one was a much needed lesson.  One of the things I love the most about working on old furniture is the challenge.  This particular piece taught me to go with the flow.  It's OK if a plan changes and it's OK if something doesn't work out the way I thought it would.  It's all changeable and that's part of the fun!!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this super, duper long and picture-filled blog!  Has this happened to you??  Have you had to change your plan completely and start from scratch?  If so, please share you story with me.  I love your comments and it helps me to know you're all out there :-)

Have a wonderful day!