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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.
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
Luckily, this is a solid wood piece and sanding, staining, and sealing the tops and drawers was a success.
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
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.
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
Here is my final product!
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
I liked it so much that I did the distressed paint method on a cheap veneer side table.
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
Here are more before and after pics of the chest.
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
  • abused chest of drawers goes from boyhood beaten to rustic gorgeous , painted furniture
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

Got a question about this project?

  • Cgmerk

    Nice makeover

  • Sandi Coleman
    Sandi Coleman Dry Ridge, KY

    I love this

  • Tammygrace77

    I love it!! Now I want to redo my dresser "just because" LOL. My husband really hates that I have started following this site because now my projects are bigger and I make him help. LOL

  • Dsouthern
    Dsouthern San Lorenzo, CA

    Love it. I especially appreciate the tip about using Vaseline.

  • Susie
    Susie Knoxville, TN

    Thanks for sharing, you did a great job and using the Vaseline was something new to me "

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!