Flash back three years ago, it was May of 2013 and I lost my last grandparent: my grandma Charlotte who, with my grandpa Arvid, lived in this old farm house of ours for over fifty years. So much of all of the furniture you see on here today was found here and left to us by them in their passing. On the second floor (which was basically abandoned when their two girls moved out over forty years ago) sat this dresser and its matching sister for as long as we all can remember. My grandma mentioned these two once, wondering what would happen to them. They were her’s. And whether or not they were purchased after my grandparents found each other, or she brought them with her into the marriage, I do not know. What I do know though is that in all my life I never had my own real bedroom set and when my mom and aunt told me I could have these my heart leaped. I knew this refinished dresser would be gorgeous!
This is not a perfect before. Back in the day when I tackled all those dozens of furniture projects I didn’t know I would be writing about it some day so I often neglected the before pictures… and it will haunt me FOREVER. But I did get SOME before pics though usually I just didn’t get them until I primed or had started work. Here is the dresser primed and ready for paint.
In the fall before my Grandma Charlotte passed away I lost my other Grandma, Eleonora who left me a white leather tufted hassock that became the design start of our master bedroom. It was just so glamorous and sexy! It called for me to paint all of my furniture black and add glass knobs to everything! Oh, and wear pearls and high heals for no reason and take baths while shipping champagne!!!!…. Ok, so I don’t wear pearls or sip champagne very often and I rarely wear heals anymore, but you get my drift 🙂 I took a deep breath and decided to paint with my heart in my throat.
You guys have probably already noticed that I don’t normally paint furniture, especially when it is solid wood. However, though these two dressers were wood and they were very beautiful and so very old, they were also veneer. And, in several places the veneer had pealed and been damaged. I could have tried to fix the veneer, I could have just shined them up and given them a coat of poly and called it a day and they would have still been beautiful. However, the black shininess and the sparkly glass knobs of this beautiful refinished dresser when it was all finished made my heart very glad!
The mirror is HEAVY but, fortunately, none of their hardware was lost and they are secured well to the top of this refinished dresser. What I also love that maybe not everyone else would appreciate, was that the mirrors are actually quite tarnished. They are OLD and you can tell when looking at them. And I love that.
To finish this dresser (and her sister and the other two pieces that complete our bedroom set) I spent some time cleaning them up with vinegar and water and then I sanded them with fine grit sand paper using my orbital sander. After two coats of spray can primer, I hand sanded lightly with fine grit again and then did three coats of black spray can paint before lightly hand sanding one more time. (Both the primer and the paint were the least expensive water-based spray paint that my local fleet store offered. Both were matte. I figured I would be safe as long as I finished the piece with a quality poly.) From there I did two coats of gloss polycrylic sanding between the first and the second coat and I was done!
My favorite thing about this piece and its sister-piece (promise to post about the other dresser soon) is that, after forty years of being up in the second floor of our 100 year old farm house and then two years in storage with me while we renovation, they came right back to where they started. The second floor of this old place became our master bedroom and then, quite literally, these two dressers came back to sit in almost the exact same places they sat for over forty years. Now, though, after lots of love. I think they’re glad to be used again, to be loved and lived with again. And, I do believe, my grandma Charlotte would be very happy with how they turned out.
As always, thank you guys so much for stopping by!
See you soon!