I was shopping at one of my favourite spots to find cool treasures for my makeovers, upcycling and home use, Value Village. I found this large, heavy dresser with amazing lines and details that, other than a LOT of scratches and wear, was in good condition. Here is how I transformed it into a lovely, sophisticated looking item for a bedroom, dining room or other space in the home.
This project was longer
Isn't it lovely? I think I lucked out with this one. I just fell in love with it as soon as I saw it on the floor of the store and had to have it. It is a heavy one, but when the drawers are out, it is manageable.
I had to use wood filler in several damaged areas and then sand the whole piece. This dark wood stain can sometimes bleed through paint, so by sanding it a bit, then using an oil-based primer, I knew that painting it wouldn't be a problem. I used Zinsser BIN Primer Sealer.
It was pretty banged up, but the details in it are lovely and there is so much storage to be used.
I forgot to photograph the dresser with the primer on it, but there isn't much to show. I painted two coats everywhere, including on the drawer fronts, and did a very light sanding before applying chalk paint. I used Rustoleum's Graphite chalk paint, and after a coat, realized I prefered another grey tone, so then switched to a homemade chalk paint I have that is more of a steely grey/charcoal. I made the paint using 1 part Plaster of Paris mixed with 1 part water, then added to 3 parts of flat (or low sheen) latex paint.
This is after two coats of the homemade grey chalk paint.
To add character, I decided to glaze the whole thing, using some black chalk paint, 1 part to 3 parts of glaze. BEFORE glazing on chalk paint, though, I find it best to put on a coat of polyacrylic. Some people do glaze right on chalk paint, but I find it gets absorbed very quickly on the matte finish and is a challenge to wipe off. It leaves very dark splotches and markings that I'm not a big fan of. I was going for a more subtle, aged look, so applying glaze on a varnished surface gives you time to wipe and play around with it before it dries. I brushed it on thickly, waited a few seconds, then wiped off here and there, using more or less pressure, depending on what look I liked.
This is what it looks like after. You can add more coloured glaze and remove some while it's still wet. Once this was all dry, I then varnished two more coats. The varnish I used is Rustoleum's Clear Topcoat, a water-based, slightly shiny non-yellowing polyacrylic.
This is after the glazing, but before the final two coats of varnish.
I cleaned the original hardware by soaking in water mixed with baking soda and a touch of white vinegar. I then used a small wired brush to remove flakes and rust before spray painting them with Tremclad Rust Paint (glossy black) and then a couple of coats of Tremclad Rust Paint Clear.
Here is the finished dresser! I just love it. I love that the black glaze went into all those grooves and highlighted them, features that make it unique.
I decided to line the bottom of the six drawers with fabric, using Mod Podge to adhere it and then two coats of Mod Podge once that dried, to make it durable. I gave the last dried coat a light sanding, to soften it just a bit.
See the details pop with the black glaze? Don't those black brass pulls look sophisticated and modern now?
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