Sunday, 3 November 2013


This dresser took me to the brink and back.  I was nearly ready to pack in my paint brushes for good.  I cant be certain, but Im think it took me about 15-20 hours to refinish.  Way tooooo long.  Oh my word. This is the dresser I said I was going to pop a bottle of bubbly when she was all done.  Yep, it was that bad.  I needed alchohol in a big way at the end of this project.

That is what she looked like before.  She wasnt bad, but I knew I wanted to go for a contemporary - meets - vintage vibe, and those swirly little details and pipe-shaped wooden pulls were not going to cut the mustard.

Although I think she turned out great.  I am not so sure it was worth all the trouble.  Being honest here.

Ok, so lets talk 'steps' in this transformation.  First, we stripped the top down (to read about this experience click 'here'). Then we sanded smooth with the orbital, as well as sanding the rest of the dresser.

Secondly we had to fill all the holes on the drawers, there were 6 on each drawer.  This took two coats of wood filler, with sanding between each coat.

Because I opted to remove the Nike 'swooshes', I had a lot of little nail holes to fill.  These were finicky! Every time I thought I had them perfectly sanded, I would prime and do a coat of paint, only to realize that I could still see the holes.  I filled them three times before I was happy.  

I bought new hardware, I knew I wanted something that was gold, simple, contemporary yet still vintage.

I restained the top in a custom mix featuring walnut with some orangey hues.  I was surprised that the top didn't go as dark as I expected.  But I actually like the lightness of it as it shows the grain nicely.  I protected with tung oil and a coat of paste wax.

Initially I left the inside of the cupboard door white, but I wasn't happy with it, so I modpodged on some gray/white contemporary paper for a little bit of interest and 'wow' factor.

I had to change out the legs too.  The back legs were great, but the front legs had this weird diamond shape to them.  I wanted simple and clean lines, so they simply wouldn't do.  Four new legs please.

Big exhale here. I don't mean to whinge, but man, this girl was a lot more work than I anticipated!  I am treating myself by doing a quick and easy dresser next with lots of rustic character to it.  Cant wait!  White is so time consuming.  I did two coats of primer, and 4 coats of paint!

Off to drink the champers now!


  1. Wow. I am really into transforming MCM pieces at the moment, so I completely understand what you did. I must say, that turned out spectacular! I would not have had the vision to totally change it. It's beautiful! Never thought about doing the inner doors like that. That would fetch a nice price in the L.A. area.

  2. love it you did a beautiful job. i was just in west elm store today and these mid century modern pieces are very popular in there. yours would have fit right in. great job!, I would love to feature it.
    let me know if that would be ok,

  3. Hi Lauren, thanks for the kind words, please feel free to feature it!

  4. LOOOOVE this so much! and love the wallpaper!

  5. LOVE this piece! I am working on a MCM piece right now too. They are so popular!