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.