Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Labour of Love

First off, I hope everyone on the Eastern seaboard managed to stay safe and dry through the "Frankenstorm". Here in Ontario, we experienced strong winds and lots of power failure, but the electricity did not quit where I live, thankfully.

The reason for the title of this post?

This piece I picked up curb side:
 You really have to see past the yuck factor. And the fact that it's missing two drawer sliders.

You really have to see past the horribly badly done crackling refinish, the chippiness and the the gross colour.

The bland hardware.

 Did I mention the badly done cracking finish?

No, you have to see beyond that. You have to see the nice curves and legs.

And see the final product in your mind's eye.

It took hours of sanding, stripping, resanding, restripping to get the crackling finish off. There is no paint in this world that would have covered the crackling without all the bumpiness showing through. 

I used an eco-friendly stripping liquid which, unfortunately, was not efficient at all. Then I used the Circa 1850 (or is it 1840? Not sure, but I'm not going downstairs to check the can, lol!). This product was a lot better, however, this crackling paint was so thick and sticky, I had to reapply the stripping solution times on numerous spots. A LOT of elbow grease.

I just happened to have three handles I picked up earlier this summer at a garage sale, cause "you never know when you might need them". Well today was the day. They were the right size and I thought they suited the French provincial look a lot better than the original handles.

Finally, the dresser was ready to be painted. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paloma. 
What a gorgeous colour!

I spray painted the handles silver.

I stencilled some patterns with Inka Gold gilding wax in Silver and Old Silver on the drawers.

I also applied Silver gilding wax to the edge of the top.

Sorry, I took the pictures at the store and there wasn't a whole lot of natural light. You can't see the full beauty of the Paloma colour. It's a nice, dusty lilac. Love it!

A closer look. Love the "new" handles!

There she is, pretty in Paloma.

(I didn't mention the drawer sliders part. My wonderful hubby helped me with that part. I was lucky enough to find metal sliders at Lee Valley for $4 each. But installing them was quite a challenge! Again, labour of love, I tell ya!)

So, to recap, we went from this:

To this:

Wouldn't it be funny if the people who discarded this piece unknowingly bought it again?


  1. I too saw the beautiful lines of this piece from your before picture, but unlike you, I don't think I would've had the courage to tackle refinishing it. You did a great job - it now has a new lease on life. Good find and great job !

  2. Impressed that you tackled that! The silver accents look really pretty. Just curious, what was the brand of the stripper that you tried first? I redid a similar dresser this summer, too.

  3. This looks to be a big job but the effort was worth it. What a beauty under that ugly paint. Now she shines in her new coat of Paloma! Hugs, Linda

  4. I think ou did a gorgeous job. What a transformation, Caroline

  5. I think ou did a gorgeous job. What a transformation, Caroline