This dresser has been my most extensive restoration to date – hands down. A neighbor posted it for free on Craigslist, and in the photo it didn’t look too bad. When I arrived to pick it up at the curb, I definitely thought twice about whether I should even try to repair it. Maybe it’s the healer in me (I’m a nurse after all), or maybe it was the nice landscapers who offered to load it into my van, but I couldn’t just leave it there and have it end up in a landfill. Here it is, free sign and all.
This chest is old and definitely rustic, but the top had some nice wood and the drawers are in great shape structurally. Luckily, the missing panel on the side was still with the piece. I just needed to repair and replace it. You can see in the photo that the brace for the top drawer was also missing, so I needed to replace that as well. The pulls were not original and not in great shape, so those had to go.
I spent a few hours making the repairs on this piece. Lots of sawing and nailing going on that day. After the piece was structurally back in shape, I started making it pretty again. This is a rustic piece, and I wanted to maintain the rustic vibe, so I used milk paint for the body. Milk paint is perfect for this because it allows the wood tones to show through and the paint has lots of variation. I applied two coats of (affiliate links) Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Soldier Blue and then sealed it with two coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Flat. The color has so much dimension and reminds me of washed denim.
I sanded the top to remove the old stain and create a smooth surface, but not so much as to remove the natural distressing that had occurred. Again, I wanted to maintain a rustic feel. I stained it with two coats of (affiliate links) General Finishes Java Gel Stain and then sealed it with three coats of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Satin. Man, that wood is pretty now.
I replaced the pulls with some gorgeous bin pulls provided to me by Hickory Hardware. They are the Williamsburg cup pulls in oil rubbed bronze. The quality of these pulls is fantastic and I think they look beautiful on this piece.
Here you can see the side of the chest that needed all the repairs.
This chest has so much character and it really was a joy bringing it back to life. No regrets about this roadside rescue.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog.