Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grey Highboy Dresser

Hello, Mr. Woodchuck.
Haven't seen you around in awhile, huh?

Do you remember how last Spring I was so excited to move to our current rental and see all the wildlife?  Yes, and how I was so excited about the woodchuck I saw by our shed?

Well, then we learned that they're varmints and that they tunnel under buildings, compromising the foundation.  So...then Joe got out his gun.  A big gun.  
On Sunday morning.

No more Woodchuck.

Until this evening, that is.  Now my husband will have something else to take care of.  And then we will all mourn the woodchuck.  *sniffle.*

Anyway, now that I have offended all the varmint lovers out there, let's get to the point of this post--starting with the before AND after!  (hey, you've already read this far, you deserve it).

Don't think you've seen it all yet, though.  Because I have a big surprise at the end...
You don't want to wait?
Well, okay, here's the top!
Since I'm in a wax-resist stencil craze, I thought I would experiment a little more with the technique.  If you missed my post on this really simple and fun way to stencil, please hop over to my post on the Wax-Resist Stenciled Planter.  You won't be disappointed :)

Okay, back to the dreary "before":
I got this poor old dresser off craigslist and was sooo excited.  Actually, about three weeks before I got it I had seen it on craigslist and sent a message inquiring about it.  And heard nothing.  I was bummed, but figured someone else got it first.  Poo.  (sorry, trying to housebreak a puppy.  Poo comes to mind).

Then it magically popped up again!  Woo Hoo!  And I put my phone number in the message this time, which must have been the magic bullet because I brought it home later that day.  Score.
I think Joe thought me a bit crazy...when does he not?  But the details on this piece were so great.  
Great scrolly brackets...
Sexy Legs...
Can you see the faint outline of an inlay?  
...and even a great detailed apron.

Seriously, great brackets, legs and an apron?  Hello, it sounds like the perfect woman, right?

Anyway, here's her transformation:

She had many layers of paint, but I was only interested in fully removing the ones that weren't adhering.   Like this one.
I simply laid a hot, wet rag on top of sections, then peeled off this green latex.
Isn't it great when it comes off this easy?
 Then I sand, baby, sanded.  This was before I realized that I should really just take off all the detail pieces, finish them separately and then reattach them.
...and here I am doing just that.
It's Mama Crowbar and Baby Crowbar!!  (remember baby crowbar that we used on the Upholstered Chair Fit for a Princess?  Well, this is the one that "L" gave me because I threatened to steal hers appreciated hers so much.  What a good friend).
 Aaaaand here's where I got a little frustrated.
Note to self:  Never, and I mean NEVER use hot glue to fix your furniture.  Seriously?  All it does is gum up the cracks so that you can't really ever fix it properly without fixing the hot-glue mess!!  Ugh!

Now, I love hot glue as much as the next crafter.  But it has its place.
You wouldn't fix the cracked motor block of your car with JB Weld, would you?  (Oh, wait.  Yes, someone out there would.  We bought your car.  Stupid).

Bad example.  But still, don't use hot glue to glue your furniture back together.  Just. don't.
 In happier news, I was excited to find this nice walnut veneer inlay under the paint!!

I ended up taking off the "box" that sits on top of the dresser, along with the brackets on each side.  I sanded, broke apart the old bad glue job & fixed the brackets.  And I finished the top "box" separately from the top of the dresser.  Here's my list of products:
1.  Zinsser FastPrime2, tinted with some black latex paint I had around and thinned with a little Floetrol
        to make it go on a bit smoother.
2.  Minwax Dark Walnut Oil-based stain--I used this to stain the exposed wood, and also put a very
        thin layer on top of the paint before sealing.
3.  Minwax Polycrylic to seal it up.

And for the hardware...I painted it.  But not how I normally would.  It came with this new, but not awesome wood & brass hardware (the blonde oak is the "before")
 I sanded & painted the wood areas grey, then cleaned off any paint on the metal and wiped them down with stain.  Sealed them up with a little poly, and bam!  Fun knobs!
I finished this piece pretty much the same way as the ever popular Antique Distressed Dresser.  If you want a detailed tutorial, check out that post.  The only difference is that for this piece I left the top natural and put a much thinner layer of stain on top of the paint.  I thinned it down with mineral spirits so it made almost no difference--just went into the bare wood of the edges.

Here are some more pretty pictures of her new life:
(Again, check out the tutorial on this stencil technique, Wax-Resist Stenciled Planter)
Beautiful.  This is probably my favorite dresser so far.  I just love her details, and of course her legs :)
...and she lives happily ever after.

As We Observe Memorial Day:  Thank you to all who have lost loved ones & friends while they were defending our country's freedom.  We cannot thank you and your family enough for the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.  God Bless.

~The Doodle Bug

I'm usually partyin' at these hangouts:

Friday Feature @ Redoux
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
Show & Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Simply Creations Link Party @ Simple Home. Life
It's a Hodgepodge Friday @ It's a Hodgepodge Life
Spotlight Saturday @ Classy Clutter
Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday @ Kammy's Korner

DIY Club

Big "Thank You" to the girls over at Classy Clutter for their feature!


  1. the new color and the way you stained the wood. I would have walked on by that one thinkin way too much work but you gave it a great second life!!!

  2. Hi Becky, So nice to find your blog, and I am definitely following! Your creation is beautiful and I love all the detail in your post. Such a great transformation, and uniquely you...just my style. Stop by any time, Lori

  3. A beautiful before and after. I just love the designs on the front and the top. Looks like you put a lot of love into her. And she has wheels. Wow.

  4. That is a great dresser now. So much better than before!. Well done!!

  5. What beautiful results! I have always wondered how to preserve some wood tone on a painted piece. I am definitely adding the wax-resist technique to my "to do" list. Thank you for rescuing this dresser and for sharing your gorgeous project!

  6. Wow! You did an amazing job! That before picture is scary, but you really cleaned it up and brought out the beauty in the piece.

  7. Refinishing furniture is so much fun! Beautiful! I've been refinishing furniture since I was a teen and did all the furniture in my daughters' apartments when they were in college.

  8. Nice work on a lucky find! Thanks for the strip tips. I love how rich the walnut stain looks up top (ps 'hi' from a SITS friend).

  9. It's beautiful! The before picture would have been enough to make me run away. I love that you saw the beauty under all that yuck. And then you brought it out. Great job.

    Stopping by from SITS. Have a great weekend.

  10. Love the colour. Love the way you finished it and love the fact that you left that pretty central section in stained wood.
    Found you at a party and now following !

  11. I love it! I am featuring this on my blog tomorrow! Thanks for linking to Classy Clutter!

    xoxo, Mallory

  12. Fantastic job!! I totally saw this one on Craigslist!! In Buffalo or Delano I believe?! I was going to go and get it but decided it was too far to drive : ) Love how it turned out!!

  13. Very nice. I just did one in almost the exact same colour! Good job :)


I love to read your comments and questions!