Painted Vintage Dresser With Mirror

4 Hours
I was at a local thrift store looking for a few small items, but instead I came across this vintage dresser and mirror. Love at first sight! The finish must have been stunning at one time, but it was now damaged and dreary. I knew it would look stunning once again with a makeover with paint.
What a beauty with elegant lines and sexy legs! But this is no dainty piece. The dresser has a bowed front and the two bottom drawers are deep which offer plenty of storage.
Manufactured by The Rushville Furniture Co.
It was manufactured by The Rushville Furniture Company for the Duning Furniture Company in Richmond, Indiana. I'm not sure of the exact date of the dresser, but my guess is early 1900's -- possibly the 1920's.
Surface damage.
The finish was in poor condition throughout, but it is otherwise structurally and functionally sound.
Damaged veneer.
There were some areas of veneer missing on the top. I was able to make the repair with stain-able wood filler. I used a dark espresso stain and the wood filler is no longer visible. I'm not sure if that would have been the case with a lighter stain.
I painted the entire base and mirror frame in Arles (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint). The top of the dresser is stained in a dark espresso gloss finish.
Bowed front
I love the contrast between the Arles paint and the dark stain.
Other than a good cleaning, I decided to leave the hardware as-is. Sometimes old hardware will clash with a new finish, but I think in this case the aged patina goes well with the new paint finish.
Did I mention sexy legs?
Some of the wood grain still peeks through the finish; however, the areas with repaired veneer are no longer noticeable.
The mirror is detachable and rests upon two supports.
The inside of the drawers are in great condition. The dresser sits on casters making it easy to move from room-to-room, but lifting it is quite heavy. The two bottom drawers are very heavy, so I remove the drawers first before moving and I am able to lift it quite comfortably -- with a strong helper!

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Nancy L. Auclair Nancy L. Auclair on Oct 04, 2018

    Did you have to sand the wood first, or were you able to apply paint immediately after cleaning? And, did you use a primer first?

  • Nancy L. Auclair Nancy L. Auclair on Oct 05, 2018

    I love what you did to the dresser and mirror and thank you for the response about my own project. However, I have never heard of Annie Sloan paint. Where did you get it? Thanks.


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3 of 228 comments
  • Suzy Suzy on Feb 21, 2018

    Please I beg of you to ask people to research an item before they put paint on something. Even if the legs were cut off they can be professional repair and you can still reap a great return on the value of such a piece. I just wanted people to be aware to check and double check the value of a peice before they put paint on something. Some people think that if a peice is veneered it has no value however veneering has been going on for a long time. I gasped a little when I saw an America made bow front dresser with sexy legs and wheel go underground the brush. It turned out beautifully and I love the colors. A Stunning peice to start with and definitely a show stopper after. Ps: I think the sexy legs is call federal style in vogue late 18 hunderds

  • Nancy L. Auclair Nancy L. Auclair on Oct 05, 2018

    I had no idea that there was a shop anywhere in the state of Maine that sells Annie's Chalk paint. Now, I know where to go and what to buy, so I am psyched. Many thanks for your quick response.

    • Patricia Patricia on Oct 05, 2018

      You're welcome Nancy! If you can stop in the shop where the paint is sold the stockists can give you tips on your project, too.