I have a soft spot for vintage empire style furniture. When I see a piece that is reasonably priced, I usually buy it. Earlier this fall, I was shopping at my local Goodwill and I spotted this guy. It’s substantial and solid, but the finish was in really poor condition. It looked like it was covered in water spots, but who knows. It was also priced way over what I am able to pay. A week later, I again spotted it and went over to to pay it a little visit and admire all its lovely curves. That’s totally normal, right? I was thrilled to see that it had been marked down by about 90%. You can bet I was all over that dresser like a cheap suit.
Disclosure: I have received products for this post, but all opinions are entirely my own. This post contains sponsored links from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company. For your convenience, this post also contains affiliate links.
The veneer on the lower three drawers was all intact, so I decided to strip them to see what I could uncover. I applied a coat of Citri-Strip and removed the old finish. I could immediately see the gorgeous wood underneath, with its lovely brown and black tones. I believe the veneer is flame mahogany, but if someone believes otherwise I would love to know. Once dry, I lightly and carefully sanded the drawers. I then stained the drawers with a dark walnut stain. For the rest of the dresser, I cleaned and lightly sanded. I decided this dresser would be a perfect candidate for a makeover with Old Fashioned Milk Paint. It’s great to use for an authentic vintage look, and it’s a green product with no VOC’s. Because of the black and brown tones in the veneer, I decided to use Pitch Black milk paint for the rest. This is a true black with incredible coverage and I only needed one coat. I also added Extra-Bond to assist with adhesion since I wasn’t going for the chippy look with this one. I did want to have some wood tones showing through the paint in areas, so I lightly distressed the areas that would normally wear. I then applied two coats of Hope’s 100% Tung Oil to seal the entire dresser.
I added new brass knobs to the top drawers, and black knobs to the lower drawers.
I bought a set of reproduction skeleton keys from House of Antique Hardware and found one that fits. I have yet to find a dresser with its original keys still in place, but I thought it would be nice to at least have a reproduction. I think it’s a pretty touch.
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