The market was fast approaching, and even though I had some really neat pieces ready to bring – a vanity, sideboard, desk, bookcase, chairs – I didn’t have a regular dresser (not that I’d hardly call this piece “regular”). So I searched for several days and finally found this pretty oak highboy – so. much. potential.
It had a few cracks and imperfections, and several of the drawers needed repairs so that they could slide well again. But I envisioned a rustic, feminine beauty. This blurry photo is from the online ad, but you get the idea.
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A couple of the drawers were stained inside… I want to know, who spills ink in a drawer? This is not the first piece I’ve encountered that has had a big ink stain inside.
I did try to cover it with primer, but decided instead to paint the drawers and then line the bottoms with paper.
The whole piece was painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey and then sanded down (a little more distressed than I usually do, but this piece called for it) for a worn look.
Ever since Miss Mustard Seed came out with her line of stencils, I was dying to try one. Not all of the Milk Paint retailers carry them, and I didn’t want to pay shipping, so I waited until we were visiting the in-laws and I bought two from a small boutique there. 🙂 This one (the Elizabeth stencil) was the perfect candidate for the look I was going for.
Since this is a fairly small stencil, you have to be creative when using it. I started at the middle-right and then flipped it over for a mirror image on the middle-left. (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White and a sponge pouncer with very little paint on it – I actually dab it onto a paper towel before painting with it.)
You can learn all my best tips for how to Chalk Paint furniture here.
Then I flipped it again to add the little extra swirl on each side, using FrogTape to hold it in place each time. No this is not a sponsored post, I just think this stencil is awesome!
After the white paint was dry, I lightly sanded over those areas as well. Then I applied Fusion Tough Coat as a protective topcoat. (Update: Now I only use Annie Sloan’s soft wax over Chalk Painted furniture.)
I bought patterned poster board from Hobby Lobby and cut it to fit in the drawers. Then I used Mod Podge and a foam brush to decoupage it into place.
When it was finished, we loaded it up to take to the Hunt and Gather market and this is one of several pieces that I had to photograph in the building right before we set up. I love the old brick wall as a backdrop!
Here she is…
The new white rose pulls are from Hobby Lobby and I think they add just the right feminine touch (find similar knobs Here online).
Here’s a peek inside the drawers…
I just love the rustic femininity of this highboy makeover.
Another vendor walked over when we were setting up and said it was the most beautiful dresser she had seen in her life. I’ll take that compliment, thankyouverymuch <3
Here’s a before/after for you:
Quite the difference, right? And this is one reason why I love doing furniture makeovers. I’d love if you’d pin or share this post with a friend! – Jen
Here’s another piece where I used a Miss Mustard Seed stencil:
Next, visit my blogging buddies’ projects below to see how their Furniture Fixer Upper makeovers turned out.
Below are the Before photos – click the links underneath the photo to see the After photos and learn how they transformed it.
1. Just the Woods
2. Prodigal Pieces
3. Petticoat Junktion
4. The Interior Frugalista
5. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces says
What ag orgeous piece, Jen. I’m sure that won’t last long in you booth!
Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces says
So, my computer is being wonky and my typos are real. ugh. 🙂
LOL. Thank you Larissa! 🙂
this came out so soft and feminine! love it
Thank you Kandice! xo
What a beautiful makeover, Jen! From the soft gray with just the right amount of distressing to the pretty stencil and the floral knobs are perfect. I bet it sold quickly. Pinned
Thank you, Marie! You’re so sweet. xo
Naomi S. says
Now this is right up my alley! A beautiful job renewing this old dresser. I love the stenciling on the drawers and the color is perfect. I could put this in my home without a second thought! Yes, yes, yes! (Sorry, Marie and Kathy!!)
Aww thank you so much, Naomi! 🙂
Thanks so much, Debi!
Who spills ink?!! I had to laugh when I read that because I love seeing ink in the drawer and depending on how bad the spill, I might leave it. It dates a piece. Fountain pens were popular for ages and their ink wells could be a challenge for young ones learning to write. My family had drawers full of glass bottles of ink until the ’60s (Grandpa didn’t like those new fangled ball point pens that had their flaws in their early days) and although they had broad bottoms, as one tapped the lip of the jar with the nib of a fountain pen to remove excessive ink before wiping it, we were always spilling it. A piece with a blob of ink like yours was likely around before the end of WWII.
Your dresser is lovely. Great creative design of the stenciling. Have a fun day selling at the market!
Oooh, that makes perfect sense! Thank you! 🙂
[email protected] of Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says
This is definitely one of my favorite pieces of yours!! It is stunning! LOVE that stencil and yes the brick wall makes a fabulous backdrop! I’m sure this sold at the market, right?
Chris[email protected] of Serial Do-it-Yourselfer recently posted…Curvy Thrift Store Dresser Makeover
Jan Cole says
I agree…it is the most gorgeous dresser I’ve seen! It is “yummy,” “fresh,” “feminine” and has star power written all over it! Another winner!
Thanks so much, Jan – I truly appreciate your kind words!
Sherry Stuifbergen says
So sorry you covered the gorgeous oak wood grain! I feel this was very insensitive to the beauty of the wood. Sorry.
Jen, Girl in the Garage says
Don’t be sorry. I’m not sorry I painted it. People can have different opinions. If you read the entire post, it wasn’t in great shape and most of the drawers needed repairs. It sat on a for-sale site for a month before I found it. The oak was pretty and the reason I distressed it was so some of original oak would show through. I think it’s stunning now and if I hadn’t taken on the challenge, it might have ended up on the curb for trash day – who knows. If I had painted it neon yellow, orange, and green, you could maybe call me “insensitive” – but this finish is exactly aligned with the style of the piece. Rustic and feminine.
I think it’s Beautiful and You were/are very creative Jen. In my opinion You Saved this Sad Dresser and made it Happy & Proud once again!
Thank you Jeannie. <3
Jen I would walk right past the original piece but my gosh your painted version is just gorgeous!!!!
That’s so sweet – thank you so much, Barb!
Oh My Gosh… My Grandmother had one that I remember looking like this one and I think it had been her Mother’s.
She did have a big pillow on on it right next to the Long Curvy Staircase all us Grandchildren would slide down the emailing & plop ourselves sidewise & configure our little buns to land on the pillow while the one behind would go all the way down & try to knock us off the pillow. Thanks for the memories ?
And Oh Yes, You truly made did a fabulous job.
It’s Beautiful… and, I want it!!!
It is really beautiful! Painting a piece gives it new life, and your work is so beautiful and tasteful. Love the stencils, new knobs, (compliments the stencil perfectly), and your solution for the drawers. This was the perfect color for this piece!
Thank you so much for the sweet comment, Candace! 🙂
DIY Home Sweet Home says
Wow. What a transformation. Love the knobs you used.
DIY Home Sweet Home recently posted…6 DIY Recycled Pill Bottle Kits