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Things you may not expect

blue dresser

I bought this small farmhouse style dresser from a young woman who had used it in her bedroom for a few years.  I guess she liked the shabby look of the peeling paint.  The top had been refinished at one time but it had some water rings on it.  I thought it would just be a matter of sanding the obvious areas where it was peeling and stripping the top.  It turned out that this little job became one of the most labour-intensive pieces I have ever worked on.

First, the blue paint was enamel that must have needed a primer because it came off in huge pieces.  It would have been easier to have chemically stripped the whole thing than to have spent the hours that I did scraping and sanding.  And it created messy blue dust-a signal that I needed to wear a mask.  The top was easy to strip but after much sanding it didn’t lose the uneven coloration.  I believe the original was built with paint in mind and that it was never supposed to be a stained wood top because the wood was not very nice.  My only option was to go for a rustic look.  I stained it with tea and a steel wool/vinegar solution which ages the wood.  Then I put 3 coats of Danish oil on it and a coat of paste varnish.   Why didn’t I just paint it?  Good question but I guess it was because I had made up my mind that I wanted a wood top.  While I was doing all this, I discovered that the back leg had been mended at some point and was a bit wobbly.  It had to be reinforced with a metal bracket or brace.  I really began to feel that I had bought something that didn’t actually deserve to be upcycled and should have been chopped up.

I painted the body in 2:1 ratio of Annie Sloan Coco and Old White and the inside of the drawers are a fuchsia mix which really contrasts nicely.  The knobs are very pretty and provide a feminine touch to the exterior.  The final product is certainly cute but I’m not sure it was worth  all the effort.

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