Around the World Mid-Century Dresser Makeover

Third time's a charm as the saying goes. This freebie dresser has sure taught me some lessons!

Sanding and Staining Fail
My first lesson was all about sanding and staining gone awry. Someone introduced me to furniture stripper after the fact and now I have a great love affair with the ease of citristrip. I LOATHE sanding and the mess it makes and appreciate the amount of sanding that is reduced by first using a stripping agent.

Another lesson I've learned is that furniture can be categorized by types reflecting design trends. Call me oblivious, but I had NO IDEA!!! It just never occurred to me to look at the shape of the piece before deciding on the makeover. This dresser is clearly mid-century but I thought I could just give it a farmhouse look. Mid-Century Farmhouse Dresser????  After peeling the painters tape from the grain sack stripes I could tell that it just didn't look right but was at a loss for why. This nagging confusion persisted for a couple of years until I took the time to focus on the shapes and designs of dressers. Then it it hit me that this dresser makeover was like a grandma wearing an Elsa nightgown. The generations of dresser and paint design did not mix well, for this piece it wasn't complementary.

Took a bit of head scratching before an idea came for yet another makeover. When I had my booth I'd had great success with navy painted furniture. A few times my husband almost snatched a piece before it went off to the booth, but he always restrained himself. He loves blue and since this is his dresser, navy blue it is.

This world map is from Hobby Lobby and blends the paint better than I'd hoped, like they were made for each other.

This poster board was pretty thick, thicker than I'm used to working with when using Mod Podge. An exacto knife was used along the edges for a very close cut-to-fit.

In a previous post I'd suggested coating the top of all paper with Mod Podge prior to using a sealant. Given that this paper is more sturdy than old book pages I contemplated skipping that step, but given that I only had the one poster and was unwilling to purchase another in case the sealant ruined the coloring, I played it safe and added Mod Podge on top.

I lightened this pic so you can see that one of the pulls was left off. It was purely decorative on the larger middle drawer and since it served no function I chose not to block the top of Africa. Given the dark colors, its not readily noticeable.

 Above his dresser hangs a burlap covered cork board. An avid runner he recently began hanging onto his bibs after races. Now they have somewhere other than the bathroom shelf for display.

She's still dancing on little white feet and I can't decide if they should stay white or go for the same brown as the hardware. 



  1. LOVE THIS!! I totally get your original dilemma. The map suits it much better. I am always so impressed with your vision and your skills...and your husband's running! I wheeze on the way to the mailbox. ;)

    Oh and I'm leaning toward brown feet...but that's just me.

  2. Lovely makeover. I do like maps on furniture - but unlike Kim, above, I also like the feet white!

  3. I always like maps, and this is perfect for your dresser

  4. Love the map you have used on the dresser it goes perfectly. I have pinned it to my map board.


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