Creamy Yellow Empire Dressers

In July I redid a dresser I'd found at a tag sale.  I wrote post on it and then one of my readers messaged me to say this style of dresser was called Empire Creamy Butter Yellow Dresser.  I love it when I learn something new about furniture!  I'm not the best at knowing all the names of the styles so this was a huge help.  I love Empire style furniture and yet I don't own a single piece!  I came across two Empire style pieces on one of the local Facebook tag sale sites I follow.  The Hubby, Hunter and I went to pick up the first one and when I saw it I was thrilled.  Even nicer in person!  The nice lady who was selling them let us make two trips since we couldn't fit both pieces in my small SUV.....bonus!

After I got home and realized I had accumulated quite a few dressers I knew it was time to part with some.  I posted on my favorite Facebook tag sale sites that I had a lot of dressers available for custom work and within a week they were all spoken for.  One person fell in love with the two empire dressers asked me to refurbish them for her master bedroom.  She came over, had a look at them and then decided she wanted the same Cream paint and finish I had used on the Creamy Butter Yellow Dresser.  She had wanted to purchase the dresser when I had it listed, but didn't get to it in time.  It was nice that she knew exactly what she wanted.

Here are the dressers before.


I just love the shape.  All the curves!  They definitely needed some TLC.


The shorter dresser had me fooled!  I thought for sure it was tiger oak.  I took removed some paint from the front and it was just faux painted to look like tiger oak.


I'm laughing as I look at this picture.  This is an average day at my house.  Drawers and dressers sitting in the sun!


Since it was already determined the dresser was going to be painted cream it was easy to get to work.  I did my usual pull out all the drawers and clean everything and that's when I realized this was going to be a bit more work than I had bargained for.  Just due to the age of the piece the drawers, and I mean all 10, needed to be glued and clamped.  Some needed a bit more repair work so that took me awhile.  I enjoy fixing these old pieces, but it takes me a little longer.

I decided to shellac both dressers inside and out.  Reason being if I didn't the stain would bleed through the paint.  I've mentioned before about certain stains that were used in the 30's and 40's bleed through paint.  I learned the hard way and now I just know to shellac the whole piece.  It's actually one of my favorite parts.  The shellac goes on really quickly, dries fast and smells good.  Then the whole piece is sealed and fresh.  If the piece has any smells it also helps to block those as well.

I started with the tops this time.  I wanted to do extra coats on the top of each dresser.  What I've been doing when I paint a dresser top is in between coats I take 600-800 grit sandpaper and in a circular motion I sand the paint to make it very smooth and compressed.  I like how it looks and feels after all the painting and wax are done.  It does take a bit more time, but the end product is worth the extra work.






Here are few pictures of what the drawers looks like after they've had a coat of shellac and a light sanding.





After 3 coats of paint on the top, and 2 coats on the base I was ready for the wax.  One clear coat of wax and one dark.  The top actually has an extra coat of dark wax.  I wanted to make sure the texture came through and it needed a bit of extra wax.  I let the wax sit for 24 hours to cure then I buffed and  added on the third coat.  It wasn't a full third coat, but here and there it needed a bit more wax to add some definition.



I didn't get a lot of progress pictures during the waxing process.  I find when I'm waxing it's hard to stop and take pictures a long the way.


Here they are....and WOW what a difference!!!



I had originally picked out different hardware for these dressers.  However, when it came time to put the hardware on I realized they weren't working.  I was thrilled when I realized I had these knobs sitting in my bin from Hobby Lobby.  They're perfect!!  They're a dark grayish glass with a vintage feel and I think they're my favorite drawer hardware ever.  I need a trip to Hobby Lobby for more!



I'm in love with any dresser that has side slats like these!!  They give the piece so much character.




Aren't those knobs incredible?!



My favorite details on the tall dresser are the small drawers on the top....oh and I can't forget the key holes!


Will you just look at those curves?!



This just makes me smile from ear to ear.  These are the characteristics that set these antique pieces apart from new pieces....detailing, character and amazing craftsmanship!





This was a fun journey working on these old dressers.  I'm happy they have a new home and can enjoy another 80 years of life.  Old, vintage, antique furniture and home decor are my passions.  I should change my blog name to my obsession for decor.  I think and dream about furniture and home decor 24/7.  This is what I love doing and I feel privileged that I had the opportunity to give these dressers new life.  Every time a piece of furniture leaves for a new home I get a little sad, however I know they're going to a great home which does make me happy.  OK, now I sound a little crazy!!  I'm not talking about a puppy here just a piece of furniture!

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this.  I love doing the blog, but I'm finding I have less and less time to write and edit pictures.  I'm determined to keep it going and have a few posts that I'm working on right now.  As long as there's furniture to write about and I can find the time I will write the blog.  So for the meantime.....you're stuck with me :-)

Have a wonderful week!!

Melody

LINKING TO:
http://my1929charmer.com/sundays-best-awards-and-49-par-tay/
http://southernhospitalityblog.com/thrifty-treasures-fall-edition/comment-page-1/
http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/2012/09/tutorials-tips-link-party-79.html
http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/2012/09/fall-into-fall-its-party-84.html
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com
http://www.52mantels.com/2012/09/thursdays-are-your-days_26.html
http://staceyembracingchange.blogspot.com/2012/09/creative-inspirations-linky-party-33.html?spref=fb
http://www.the36thavenue.com/2012/09/lowes-giveaway-and-party-time.html
http://www.lizmarieblog.com/2012/09/link-up-with-marie-liz-marie-20/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/2012/09/feathered-nest-friday_27.html
http://missmustardseed.com/2012/09/furniture-feature-friday-link-party-8/
http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2012/09/sns-154-picture-perfect-full-room.html

36 comments:

  1. These dressers are very lovely! 1 love the way the wax makes them look. Can you tell me what make of wax you use? Thanks, Tuula :)

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  2. Beautiful!! I always learn something new from you everytime I read your blog, and love that you give us details every step of the way! Thank you so much!!

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    1. Thank you Sally! I love hearing that. Thanks for making me smile and thank you for reading :-)

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  3. Gorgeous pieces and your paint job is awesome! Love the way they turned out!

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  4. Love all of your projects! Thank you for the inspiration. In this post you mention using shellac to hide smell and to avoid the stain from peaking through the paint. What kind of shellac do you use? I have an old steamer trunk that has a horrible smell on the inside. I was thinking I will sand it and then try the shellac. I don't want to the touch to inside lid, as all the paper is still on it. Maybe I can shellac that also? Thanks. Julie

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    1. Thank you Julie!! I use Zinsser (not sure of the exact spelling right now) shellac. I have 3 old steamer trunks and one I finished painting and waxing, but I didn't touch the inside! Mine are like yours they have the old lining inside that smells. I am thinking if you put the shellac on the inside with the paper/fabric lining it would make a mess with your shellac. You could always take the paper/fabric lining out and then shellac. The one trunk I painted and use as an extra coffee table in my living room. I don't open it or use the inside. The other 2 are sitting waiting for me to get to them. Let me know if you try the shellac on the inside! I would be interested to know how it turns out.

      Good luck and thank you for the comment!!

      Melody

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    2. Thanks so much for the advice. I wet the bottom part of the trunk, not knowing it was papered, so I ruined the paper. I'm going to scrap that off and sand and shellac it. I'm going to use some tricks I read online (vinegar, charcoal, etc) to see if I can salvage the inside top lid, as the paper has some beautiful "postcards" on it. I'm debating weather or not to do something to the outside. It is metal stamped flowers. It is so pretty, but not in the best conditiion. I think some paint and dark wax would look great, but hate to mess with such a find. I don't want any ghosts haunting me for doing something to it. lol

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    3. Is it a bow top?? I have one that has embossed flowers on the top and it's wood and metal. I painted one coat of paint on it and that was as far as I got on that one. I've been too busy on other projects to pull it out and work on it! Let me know how the vinegar and charcoal work. I will have to do some research myself as well.

      Thank you!

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  5. Please don't ever stop your blog! Your's is one of my favorites and I love love love seeing all the before and after pics! You do amazing work and give me so much inspiration! Can I ask you what order you put the wax on? Did you use clear wax first and then a dark wax or did you use the dark wax first?

    Kay (ginger1058@yahoo.com)

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    1. Thank you Kay!! That's so nice of you to write. I love doing the blog and I'm trying to find the time to make it a priority once a week. I used to link up with other blogs every day and do a lot more posts, but now the time just isn't there. I'm not stopping anytime soon :-)

      Anytime you use Annie Sloan paint the clear wax always needs to go on first. Reason being the dark wax will 'stain' the paint. The clear wax seals the paint so the dark wax is easier to work with. Let me know if you have any further questions about waxing. You can email me or post the question here.

      Thank you again Kay

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  6. I love everything you make! You're so inspiring!

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  7. They turned out absolutely beautiful. You did an amazing job, and you are very inspiring! Thanks for sharing your inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

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  8. I love the color you painted them. You did a wonderful job.

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  9. Such beautiful and painstaking work! It's so wonderful to see these gorgeous pieces receive the "treatment" and gain the will to go on for years and years. I just love what you did. That tall piece is my favorite of the two and I'm with you, the side slats give it that extra oomph!
    Liz

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  10. LOVE THESE!!!!!!! I have been wanting to do this to my old hutch for a while now.

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  11. Love what you did, the Empire Revival Style was an american furniture movement in the mid to late 1800's I love these pieces they were in direct contrast to victorian or french fur fru lines. Love what you did They are amazing!
    Sherry

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  12. Those pieces are superb! I liked them before you did a thing!You made them so much better!!! Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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  13. I love these! Quick question...how do you find tag sales in your area? Did you put a search in Facebook or already know the name of the site?

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  14. love these pieces! Found it at 1929 Charmer. interesting about the paint from the 30s-40s. I love the yard where you took these photos... the foliage is gorgeous. we live here in Hawaii, and it looks similar to my sis-in-law's backyard.

    Come party at my place if you like!
    http://jedandivy.blogspot.com/2012/09/aloha-friday-link-party-6.html

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  15. Wow, sooooo beautiful. Love the creamy yellow color and the Empire Dresser. Found you at Home Stories A to Z and loved it so much I had to pin it {JBsVintage - Decor I Love}.

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  16. These are both so beautiful. I absolutely love how you finished them!

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  17. Featured you today!
    LOve these pieces!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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  18. This came out awesome!!! Glad I came across your blog.

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  19. These are absolutely gorgeous!! Love the shape of both dressers & the love the color you chose!

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  20. Look at that! You definitely turned those pieces of furniture from really old to incredibly chic. The color of the coating is vivid, and I love that it made them all appear flawless and glossy. I haven’t seen your house yet, but I think all of these are going to look just perfect in it.

    Gerry Bossier

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  21. I love how these turned out!! I just love the curves of empire furniture. They are beautiful pieces and painting them just brings out that beauty. I just acquired my first piece a few weeks ago and painted it a beautiful blue! Couldn't part with it so it has made it's home in my living room :) Check it out sometime on my blog http://www.themomtogdiaries.com/2013/03/the-painted-empire-dresser-before-after.html :)

    Hana
    the MomTog Diaries

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  22. Late to the party but new to your blog...just found you on pinterest! I love the work you are doing and love the way these dressers turned out. I appreciate all the tips you share as you go through each project, it's so helpful to those of us who haven't attempted much furniture painting yet. I love the slatted dresser sides too and have one I'm going to paint for my own bedroom. When I saw that yours has key holes I thought how cute it would be to hand a little skeleton key on a small tassel from the top drawer knobs..an accent if you will. I'm off to read and discover more from your blog. Keep up the good work!

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  23. I love how you always find such great pieces and make them so much better! In here (UK) we do not have that kind of beautiful furniture. :(
    Keep the projects coming! Such a pretty finished pieces!

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  24. just read thru several of your transformations-WOW! you are so talented.

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  25. I love these!! Could you tell me the name of the color and brand of paint? Thank you! Sooo beautiful!

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