Rustic Stenciled Antique Dresser Makeover


Guys, this Before pic may not look too bad but trust me, this antique highboy was T-R-A-S-H-Y.  It had all kinds of bad issues, but I didn’t even realize it at first because my mom found it at a yard sale and then my husband went and picked it up.  When he got home and unloaded it I thought – Crap, what have I gotten myself into??  This wouldn’t be an easy antique dresser makeover by any means.

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

The top needed to be sanded and completely refinished (there’s a backsplash too but we removed it before I took photos).

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

**Guys, today is Trash to Treasure Tuesday with some of my talented blogging friends!  Stick around to the end of this post to see their creative makeovers too.  Also, this post contains some affiliate links, at no extra cost to you, so that you can easily find the products and tools that I like and recommend.

Handles were broken/missing, some drawers didn’t want to open, and several of the bottom drawer panels needed to be replaced, like this one with the huge hole.

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

Of the four original wooden casters, two wheels were broken and the others weren’t working properly so we opted to remove them altogether.

My hubs (aka Guy in the Garage) sanded the top and the drawer fronts with our orbital sander (find it Here).  Then he stained the top with Minwax in Espresso (Here).  He also cut new bottom panels for the drawers.
Next I primed it with my favorite shellac primer (Here) and then painted it with a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.  (I also ended up filling in half of the drawer pull holes with Minwax wood filler – find it Here.)

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

If you remember, I painted an antique highboy almost similar to this in the summer.  It ended up very soft and feminine, and was the star of my summer market!  See that one Here.  This dresser was different though – it started off in worse condition and had some natural crackling going on that wouldn’t be covered up no matter how much primer or paint went over it.  So I thought this piece deserved a more rustic look.

The Lisboa stencil from Royal Design Studio (find it Here) is one of my absolute favorite stencils.  I have used it on this gold glam table and this distressed gray table, but never on a big dresser before.  I centered it in the middle and taped it on with FrogTape.

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

My goal was a two-tone stenciled look, so I used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Coco and also Old Ochre.  The trick with stenciling is to use a little stencil brush or a foam pouncer (like these) and get a little paint on it, then dab it on a towel to get the excess off.  Then lightly apply the paint onto the stencil.  Less is definitely more!

When the first section was done, I let it dry for a little while and then matched up the pattern to stencil the section below it.  Then I did the left side, then the right side, and finally the top.

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

It can get pretty tricky when you’re working with a stencil that isn’t completely flat, but just work slowly and be patient with it.  I did have some smudges but I knew it was going to be rustic and distressed in the end, so perfection didn’t matter to me.

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

When all the stenciling was complete, I hand-sanded the HECK out of the drawer fronts.  I didn’t want a bold brown and beige pattern; I wanted a very subtle, soft, faded pattern.

Then I searched high and low for new pulls that wouldn’t compete with the stencil pattern, but didn’t like any of the options I found.  So I DIY’d exactly what I wanted them to be.  These unfinished wooden pulls by Hickory Hardware (find similar ones Here, or check your local hardware store) were a great price and there are 2 per package.  I casually layered both Old White and Old Ochre paint on them and then sanded smooth.

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

Lastly, the drawers got some wow with Mod Podge and sheet music scrapbook paper (find similar Here).  I love to decoupage drawers if I’m not planning to paint them – it’s especially a great idea if the drawer bottoms are stained or if they don’t match (some old, some new wood).

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

Here is the antique dresser makeover, all finished and fancy:

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

It has a rustic, bohemian vibe which is a little outside my usual style – but I think it turned out really unique and special.

You can see how gorgeous the wood grain is on top after hubs stained it and sealed it.

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

Whew, after all that reading I put you through already I’ll stay quiet and let you enjoy some photos.  🙂

Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the Garage

Here’s a before-after comparison of the antique dresser makeover again:Antique dresser makeover - yard sale highboy with Chalk Paint, stencil, and decoupage drawers - a soft rustic bohemian look by Girl in the GarageNow it’s time for Trash to Treasure Tuesday with four of my creative blogging friends…

Trash to Treasure Tuesday

Below are their Before photos – click the links underneath to see the Afters and to learn how they did it.

Trash to Treasure Makeovers1. Prodigal Pieces
2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
3. Artsy Chicks Rule
4. Bless’er House


 photo just-paint-it-ad-border-wide_zpsmka7ckdc.jpg

24 Comments on Rustic Stenciled Antique Dresser Makeover

  1. Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces
    November 14, 2017 at 4:34 am (1 week ago)

    Jen, this chest totally looks like the twin to the one I found that was a hot mess too. Great job on the save and restoration!

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm (1 week ago)

      Thank you sweet friend!

      Reply
  2. Allison
    November 14, 2017 at 7:15 am (1 week ago)

    Love it! What an incredible vision you had for this one!

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm (1 week ago)

      Thank you Allison! I actually couldn’t decide which direction to go for a while, but I’m happy with how it turned out. 🙂

      Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm (1 week ago)

      Thank you my dear! xo

      Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm (1 week ago)

      Thanks so much, Nancy!

      Reply
  3. Beth
    November 14, 2017 at 11:52 am (1 week ago)

    This is so pretty Jen! I would never have thought about a larger stencil over the drawers! So cute:) You answered my dilemma regarding key holes on drawers! Just leave them natural. I’m refinishing an old dresser and I didn’t know what to do, now I do! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Beth recently posted…Happy Fall and Stampin’ Up Promotions!My Profile

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm (1 week ago)

      Thank you Beth! I think the key holes worked with the plan I had for this dresser. Plus I liked the patina on them. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Marsha
    November 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm (1 week ago)

    OMG! What a brilliant and beautiful transformation! Wow is all I can say!

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 7:04 pm (1 week ago)

      Thanks so much, Marsha! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Nancy
    November 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm (1 week ago)

    Love it! I just used a stencil to update my bathroom vanity. I opted to use spackle instead of paint so I’d have a raised design. I had planned to paint the entire piece in a single color but in the end I added just a touch of black chalk paint to my mix of Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Pure White and Cream (3 to 4 ratio) and added gray to the stenciled areas. I softened the gray by sanding it. Looked good but I decided to paint the gray with the light cream and wipe if off right away. The result is a soft silver tone than is a close match to the metal knobs I painted and topped with silver gilding wax. I finished the entire piece with Annie Sloan clear wax. I love it and it was a very inexpensive update. I only had to buy the stencil, the spackle and one drop pull for the door. All the other supplies were left-overs from other projects.

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 7:04 pm (1 week ago)

      That sounds glamorous, Nancy!

      Reply
  6. Marcie Lovett
    November 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm (1 week ago)

    I like this one even more than the other. The stencil gives it a completely different look (and I did like the before, until you got closer!).

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 7:06 pm (1 week ago)

      Thanks Marcie! They are different styles for sure. And haha- that’s why I included multiple Before photos- that first one is deceiving! 😉

      Reply
  7. Jolinda
    November 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm (1 week ago)

    Wow is that beautiful. It is hard trying to bend a stencil and paint it too.
    Excellent job.

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 7:06 pm (1 week ago)

      Yes, it’s definitely tricky! Thanks Jolinda! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Mary Jean Zajac
    November 14, 2017 at 5:55 pm (1 week ago)

    Really great looking! Never would know how bad it looked before.

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 14, 2017 at 7:07 pm (1 week ago)

      Thanks so much for the compliment, Mary Jean!

      Reply
  9. ROSE LEFEBVRE
    November 15, 2017 at 1:20 am (1 week ago)

    Wow! So unique and definitely one of a kind! Love it!
    ROSE LEFEBVRE recently posted…HOME FREE!!!My Profile

    Reply
  10. Pam
    November 15, 2017 at 6:06 am (1 week ago)

    Jen, This dresser is gorgeous. I am inspired!

    Reply
    • Jen
      November 15, 2017 at 5:48 pm (1 week ago)

      I love hearing that – thank you Pam!!

      Reply
  11. Carol
    November 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm (6 days ago)

    Holy cow! What a stunning transformation!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






CommentLuv badge