Can you believe that this… …was this? I purchased this French Provincial dresser off of Craig’s list in October and have been chipping away at it at a snail’s pace. First of all, as you can see, it was missing most of the hardware. Normally this isn’t an issue, but the style of this dresser demanded specific hardware. I’m embarrassed to say that I shelled out almost $70.00 to buy vintage hardware that matched the original. It was an e-Bay bidding war that became very emotional. That puts my investment total at $100.00, which is high for me, but still awesome for a solid wood dresser of this quality, style, and size.
Since this piece is solid wood, I decided to strip the top and stain it in a dark walnut. I was ready to go to war with this thick polyurethane top coat, but it came off surprisingly easy. Check out my furniture stripping tutorial if you want to know how.
I then sanded the top to a smooth finish. I also removed the hardware, sanded, and applied a deglossing agent to prepare the body of the piece to paint. Using my Graco sprayer, I applied a coat of poly and 2 coats of Sherwin Williams ProClassic Semigloss paint in Creamy.
I applied a dark walnut stain to the top of this piece. It looked like it was soaking in beautifully, but after letting it sit for a while, I noticed the stain was resisting in a few places. It is always so discouraging when this kind of thing happens. So, I had to sand it all down again and start over. Luckily, all of the work on this piece and the expensive hardware was worth it. I stained it again and applied 3 coats of semi-gloss Wipe-on Poly by Minwax. I also sprayed the hardware in an oil rubbed bronze spray paint in order to unify the finish of the original hardware and the look-a-likes I purchased on E-bay.
This hardware was a royal pain to install as well! Each handle is slightly different, so I had to be very exact when I was drilling the holes. There is still a little tweaking that has to be done, but it’s usable.
I’m not sure that this piece is done, yet. I am thinking about adding some decorative painting and antiquing. I’m just not sure what I want to do, so I’m going to live with it for a while before I commit to something.
For now, I love, love, love it! The lamps were a freebie from my aunt with Wal-Mart shades, the pedestals and domes were $2.50 for 3 at a Salvation Army (those are another story), and my moss topiaries are in the center. The ironstone platters on the wall were $2.50 each and the antique gold frame was $1.00, all purchased at yard sales. I’m still playing around with the accessories, but I just had to share this dresser.