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Abused Chest of Drawers, Goes From Boyhood Beaten to Rustic Gorgeous!

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When our boys were young, we bought a beautiful bunk bed set that included a chest of drawers, that was over 20 years ago. The beds are long gone, but I have held on to the chest. Now that I use this room as a guest room, the chest needed an update. I have the room done up as a rustic lodge.
Time: 2 Days Cost: $40.00 Difficulty: Easy
What you don't see are the drawers, I thought I had taken pictures, but alas, none to be found. I removed, stickers with Goo Gone and sanded the heck out of the top and drawer fronts. (One of my sons had carved his name into one drawer front.
Luckily, this is a solid wood piece and sanding, staining, and sealing the tops and drawers was a success.
Next, I wanted the sides to look distressed and I like a very specific green for this project. I had leftover Ralph Lauren Suede Effect paint that I had used on my walls. It is gritty already but was a darker shade than I wanted. So, I bought some small bottles of chalk paint from Michaels in yellow and bright green. I mixed the paint until the shade was just right. I then used the vaseline hack to distress as I painted. In other words, I smeared vaseline onto the parts of the chest where I didn't want the paint to stick. Once the paint was dried, I took my hand sandpaper brick and lightly rubbed the piece. Where the vaseline was, the paint came right off.
Next came the handles... I bought some replacement handles from Hobby Lobby that were rusted iron, but the holes did not line up just right. I thought, well, maybe I can just repurpose the ugly metal ones that are the original handles. I think they are brass. Anyway, I wanted them to look cool rustic instead of old and ugly.
I found this wonderful product made by Modern Masters Metal Effects that allows you to paint a patina on anything, wood, metal, glass, paper... you get the idea. I tried the copper effect first, but I didn't want the bluish patina to clash with my green paint, so I ended up choosing the rust effect. Here are pics of both.
It's a little pricey, but since I had leftovers of everything else... I didn't mind. Plus, I did more than just this project with these boxes.
Here is my final product!
I liked it so much that I did the distressed paint method on a cheap veneer side table.
Here are more before and after pics of the chest.
I think that I achieved my rustic lodge look for the chest of drawers. What do you think?

Materials I used for this project:

  • Ralph Lauren Suede paint   (Home Depot)
  • Leftover stain and varnish   (Home Depot)
  • Modern Masters Metal Effects   (Hobby Lobby)
See all materials

Ask the creator about this project

  • Brenda  S.
    Brenda S. North Brunswick, NJ
    on Sep 21, 2016

    This looks fantastic!

  • William
    William Burbank, IL
    on Sep 21, 2016

    Outstanding work. I love that you left the wood on the drawers and top. Looks great and great job!

  • Hillela G.
    Hillela G.
    on Sep 21, 2016

    Completely gorgeous!

  • Helenehi
    Helenehi
    on Sep 22, 2016

    Amazing, nice job!

  • Carole White
    Carole White Canada
    on Sep 22, 2016

    Looks great!! Thanks for sharing this awesome idea

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