There are many reasons not to paint an antique dresser. However, I feel strongly about saving these old pieces even if it means painting them. For this project, I have chosen to do a little of both: wood restoration and chalk paint. Read on…
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Antique Dresser Makeover With Chalk Paint – Before
Repairs And Cleaning Before Chalk Paint
This antique dresser had seen better days. The top was pretty beat up, and no amount of sanding would repair the beauty of the wood. However, the lower half wasn’t too bad. The wood looked okay, and I was more than happy to restore it.
The drawers were falling apart, and if that weren’t bad enough, someone had added wire to the bottom of this antique dresser and several holes on the back. Want to know why? Scroll down to see more.
Ha! The only reason I know this to be true is that I saw my Grandfather do this to my Grandma’s furniture. Mothballs were placed inside the wire to repel varmints. That’s what Grandpa called them! They had a weekend home in the country, and let’s say it wasn’t as secure as it needed to be. My nights spent with my Grandparents were sometimes interesting but memorable, to say the least.
After the usual sanding, cleaning, and repairing this antique dresser, I decided that it would need to be painted. But rather than painting the whole dresser, I decided to paint only the parts of the wood that has stains, and the wood wasn’t finishable. That may sound weird. Oh, but it’s not!
Hardware Clean Up
The hardware was cleaned by soaking in a solution of vinegar and baking soda in warm water. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove dirt and all the icky stuff that has collected or time. Here’s a tip for you. Use a pair of Needle Nose Pliers to hold those tiny nails to avoid smashed fingers when re-attaching them to the dresser. It will seriously change the relationship with your hammer. You’re welcome!
I started with a color called Villa from the Wise Owl Paint Line. Wise Owl Paint is a highly pigmented paint and goes on like a dream. Great coverage with usually 2 coats. When painting over darker woods with light colors, it may take three coats of paint.
I used Cling On Paint Brushes to paint the upper half of the antique dresser with one coat of the Villa. With the Cling On Brush, I gradually faded the paint into the wood on the front of the antique dresser to give it a streaked appearance. It gave it an artistic look. Normally I would have used a primer before painting, but I didn’t mind if stains bled through the paint. The finish I wanted was old and weathered, and if a few stains pop up, it will just add character.
The secondary color used was Weathervane. It’s a yummy dark gray, and when blended with the Villa, it creates a beautifully aged finish. I used my Cling On Brush, a spray bottle with water, and a putty knife to create this look. After completing the design I wanted, I allowed the paint to fully dry—about 3 hours at room temperature. Wise Owl Paint dries quickly, and that helped me complete my antique dresser makeover quickly.
Sealing The Paint And Wood On The Antique Dresser
Wise Owl makes a Furniture Salve that is nothing less than amazing! Not to mention the heavenly smell of my favorite Lemon Verbena. This salve is multi-purposed. It’s great to rehydrate brittle wood, clean old hardware, and even helps with old sticky wood drawers. I applied it over all the antique dresser (even the paint), inside and out using a soft cotton cloth. It conditioned the wood and sealed the paint. You gotta try this stuff! It smells amazing.
How The Antique Dresser Looks Now
I’m super happy with this chalk paint finish! Rustic, yummy, aged goodness with the beauty of the wood giving it the appearance of the old weathered finish with my spin on an artistic design. The best of both worlds, and as a result, I saved this antique dresser from the landfill. Not your usual painted piece of furniture. I like the artistic vibe!
Thanks for stopping by today. I’m so glad I got to share this antique dresser makeover with you. I’m happy to report that after 2 years, it still looks great and serves as my coffee bar. I get to look at it every morning and smile. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. What do you think about this wood and paint finish together? It’s a little edgy but not boring.
Until the next project… xo, Do