Art Deco Dresser in Taupe, Walnut & Gold

I dug this art deco beauty out of a warehouse full of treasures last summer. I usually don't go for this style, but I liked the lines and could see the potential.
The entire piece had to be fully sanded down - and the detail had to be sanded out by hand!
I hoped that the veneer on the drawer fronts would be salvageable, but it was not. However, I got lucky with the top.
I used General Finishes to fully refinish the top - gel stain for color and satin topcoat.
Because the drawer veneer could not be saved, I had to fill all the grain. This was a several step process, but my product of choice for filling the grain is MH ready patch.
I primed.
I spray shellac based primer with a Critter sprayer. SO EASY! Forget about rolling and brushing primer - and do this.
Clean up is a breeze! Here's a quick video I made showing you how to clean your gun.
I'm going to skip the part where I painted this many, many, MANY times and just skip to what eventually worked! I used General Finishes Millstone + Snow White in a 50/50 mix and topcoated with Satin polyurethane. I painted the steel hardware with Rustoleum metallic gold.
I styled for eclectic taste: I call this Boho-Glam. :)
Satin-smooth sprayed finish.
Walnut top and DIY fiber art in the background.
thanks for reading! As always, stop by my blog for all the details on products, tools, and process.

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Phoenix Restoration

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Barb in Texas
    Barb in Texas
    on May 26, 2016

    I adore the Art Deco style, and I'm always sorry to see a piece painted instead of restored, but I understand that sometimes a piece is just too far gone to salvage, esp if it's veneer. I think you did a beautiful job of keeping the 'spirit' of the piece while staining the top and painting the front. My question is the line "I had to fill all the grain. " Do you mean you treated it like a sort of bondo and covered the front?

    • Phoenix Restoration
      Phoenix Restoration
      on May 27, 2016

      Yes. I used a combination of Bondo, MH Ready Patch and several coats of primer because my original plan (that didn't work out) was to go with an ultra high-gloss enamel and it usually looks best if the surface is totally smooth instead of having the grain peeking through.

  • Maureen
    on May 26, 2016

    Stunning. Beautiful work on the walnut top. Question... I have a similar top on a dresser. How much did you sand before gel staining? Did you have to get all the old finish off? I know gels work wonders.

    , Restyled 25 dresser half done Painted sides with 5 qt of oops paint from Ace Hardware satin latex Color is chalkboard black with blue hue On paint a thin coat of wax as sealing finish Drawers top next step New hardware
    • Phoenix Restoration
      Phoenix Restoration
      on May 27, 2016

      @Maureen , hi! in my personal experience, I have always sanded all the finish off prior to using any stain, including gel stain. I have heard that it is not necessary to do that, but it works for me so that is my method. Another tip: I always use Minwax's pre-stain conditioner too because it helps with even absorption of the stain.

  • Jennie Lee
    Jennie Lee
    on May 26, 2016

    What did you use on the hardware? You did a wonderful job! I especially like the fact that you saved the beautiful wood as much as possible, and respected the original concept of the piece. I love Art Deco. Maybe you don't, but one would never know it, because you did it justice. Thanks.

Join the conversation

2 of 48 comments
  • Drd4223999
    on Jun 21, 2016


  • Lisa House
    Lisa House
    on Jul 19, 2016

    Fabulous! I am so glad that you did not distress this piece, the choice to go glam was the perfect option! Thx for sharing.

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