I mentioned working on a side project when we cleared out the addition, and we’re finally ready to share! This is somewhat of an unusual piece of furniture for us, in that it doesn’t technically have a home. We know once the new living room/master suite is complete later this year, we’re going to be left with a large amount of space. Furniture-less space. So, while we do plan to live with the new layout for a while and try out most of our living room furniture before we go crazy buying more, we know we’ll be needing plenty of new (aka, thrifted and DIYed) pieces as well.
I was sifting through a local thrift store one evening when I stumbled on this gorgeous chest of drawers. You guys know by now ‘gorgeous’ has an entirely different meaning for me. Potential galore and a $50 price tag. Yup.
Terrible picture, I know, but aren’t before pics supposed to be? This photo was actually taken once we brought home the dresser to our garage and took a sander to it. It had legs when purchased, which were clearly something added by a previous owner, that we removed. We scored a new set off of Ebay that better fit with the mid century period of the piece.
This guy actually set around for quite some time before I finally nailed down a plan of attack. I’m really digging the two-tone look that’s been popping up lately in furniture, so I decided to give that a try. Since the drawers are made of solid wood I chose to keep them in a wood finish, while painting the rest of the piece a neutral gray/blue.
Umm. It is stunning. Yes, I’m biased. But I never thought this piece could look so good. The wood finish is super rich and provides just the right amount of contrast against the gray. I want to eat it up.
I started by removing all the drawers and giving the entire piece a nice sanding. I began the new look starting with a new stain on the drawers. Let me just throw this out there. This was my very first solo staining project. I watched my dad stain furniture my entire life growing up, and I’ve witnessed Ricky work on a few projects as well, but I’ve just always been a little hesitant to get my hands dirty. Maybe intimated is the right word. You guys. It is crazzzy easy. Here’s what I did.
First up, gather your supplies. All three of them. I used Minwax’s Dark Walnut stain, a Purdy brush not designed for stain (rebel), and a few rags (these are actually from those bags of t-shirt scraps from Lowes/Home Depot/whatev).
Pay attention. This gets crazy (kidding).
Brush on a very small amount of stain. I barely dipped my brush into the can. You can always add more stain to achieve a darker look, but you’ll have to re-sand and start over if you go too dark, so take it slow. Don’t worry about getting the area completely covered or an even finish, you’ll be using the rags to move it all around.
Speaking of, you could definitely use a rag to bring the stain to the drawer, versus the brush. I just used a brush because there was very little stain in my can that couldn’t be reached without covering my hands in stain.
Now, depending on how dark you want your finish will determine how long you leave the stain on before wiping it down with a rag. I was going for a medium tone, so with such a dark stain I instantly wiped it down. I worked in small sections so the stain didn’t have a chance to set in completely.
I spent maybe 15 minutes on all five drawers and only had to do one coat. How cool is that design on the middle drawer below?
I’ll probably apply a poly to the drawers eventually, in which case I’d use our favorite water based polycrylic.
Now, onto the rest of the chest. (rhymes, chia)
I’m a huge fan of Sherwin Williams’ Pro Classic for painting furniture. It has self levelers for a super smooth, brush stroke-free finish that makes me want to sing. You can’t go wrong. (not paid or perked to say that, just sharing the love)
I painted the entire frame, including the slots between the drawers with two coats of Ben Moore’s Ocean Floor, no sanding in between. Oh, and you can get a look at the fancy new legs! They actually came in that finish, which works perfectly with the wood drawers.
And yes, that is paint on the left leg. No worries, it scraped right off 😉
A few days of curing and we were ready to piece everything together!
Check out that richness.
We’re planning to keep the chest in it’s exact spot, post renovation. If you can’t tell, it’s actually just around the corner from the dining/kitchen spaces, beside the sliding glass doors. It’ll be a great bonus to our new living space with plenty of storage! We haven’t settled on any exact color schemes for the space just yet, so I kept everything fairly neutral in hopes of making it work. And a good before and after side-by-side.
Are you guys taking on any fun futniture makeovers lately? Anyone else dabbing in the two-tone trend? I didn’t think I could love a dresser makeover anymore than this one… It’s been done.