Time for a Little Self Indulgence

Years ago my mother purchased an old dresser and it eventually wound up in my home. I asked a while back if she wanted it back and  she said I could do what I wanted with it. As my children have grown and two are now out of our house we decided to let the twins have their own rooms. This dresser certainly was not for an eleven year old boy so it came down to a spare room I use as an office. We also moved an old bed into the room. So this will become the guest room but it has a long way to go. I decided to start by sprucing up the old dresser (which of course I forgot to take a before picture of). None the less out it went into the attached garage to start it’s make over.

As some of you are aware I discovered chalk paint a couple of years back and yes it was Annie Sloan. Please don’t get me wrong I do like the ASCP paint, I would just prefer to support the Canadian made product FAT Paint that quite frankly is equally as good. I still have some left over and really didn’t want it to go to waste so what better project than this old dresser.

Guest Room Dresser Top Staged


I started with the top which was well worn. The original varnish was rough and cracked. Numerous round water marks from glasses adorned the surface and a lovely screw head poked out of the one corner. I started by stripping the top completely with DS Super Remover then sanding the surface with 120 then 200 grit sand paper. I then used a tack cloth to remove all particles prior to staining. I chose Varathane Chocolate for the stain and applied two coats. Once completely dry I applied two coats of Varathane Polyurethane Satin Finish. Once the two coats were dry I used 600 grit wet/dry sand paper to wet sand the top. This gives a super smooth feel to the touch. Three more coats of the polyurethane and the top was done.

Guest Room Dresser Open Drawers Side


Had I not had some Old Ochre left I would have used the new FAT Paint colour Parchment which is a nice neutral. I painted two good coats of the ASCP Old Ochre over the exterior of the dresser and then Provence on the sides and interiors of the drawers. Since I wasn’t going to be using a dark wax on this piece I chose to diminish the brush strokes as much as possible by using light long brush strokes while keeping the tip of my brush dampened with water.

Guest Room Dresser Small Drawer


Something must have been spilled or used on the dresser that did not come of in my cleaning process using vinegar and water. As you can see the paint crackled which was absolutely fine in my books. The crackle did not occur everywhere and where it did perfectly enhanced the distressed look I was planning on.

Guest Room Dresser Finial


Once I had the dresser all painted, out came my trusty bucket of water, a couple of rags (one wet and one for drying) and the 600 grit wet/dry sand paper. I wet sanded the entire dresser dresser and in the process exposed the original dark stained surface. Using the wet sanding method over the 220 grit dry paper you are less likely to remove the original surface and hit raw wood. This is particularly important when you want the bold contrast. You are trading one type of mess for another though. You don’t get dust floating around but you do have lots of drips so a drop cloth is a must if you aren’t working in a “workshop”.

Guest Room Dresser Open Drawers


I chose to seal the paint with the same satin varathane as the wood stained top. For the majority of the unit I used a sponge brush to apply the varathane but on the turned pieces I used a natural one inch brush. I think this is something I am going to start doing more. I just thoroughly like the feel of the finish it gives. I kept the original hardware and reassembled the dresser.

Guest Room Dresser


Although my guest bedroom and I use that term loosely has a long way to go I am quite happy with the beautiful dresser that now occupies it. It will be my motivation to create a guest room I will be proud of.

Comments: 3

  1. Kim July 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing all this info. Could you please explain what you mean by keeping the tip of your brush wet with water as you paint to minimize brush strokes? The dresser looks fab!

    • admin July 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm Reply

      Absolutely and thank you!!! Before I dip my brush in the paint I dip it into water first but just the very tip and if I am trying to smooth the paint and it is drying and pulling a bit I will dip my brush in the water and gently pull it across the paint to smooth it. Hope that explains it better. Tracey

  2. Marc July 16, 2014 at 7:46 am Reply

    Nice! I like hearing a story behind the peice

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