Mini Dresser Makeover: staining over paint

Part 1: Before
I don't have a true before photo because I deleted them all to free up storage on my phone. Just picture this dresser covered in a chipped glossy blue with red paint peaking out. Each knob was its own unique color. This mini dresser was obviously used for a kids room and probably looked great in that environment. It didn't look so hot next to the dumpster. Normally I wouldn't pick up something that needs that much paint removed but this baby is solid wood and easily fit in the back of my minivan. I was sold and my daughter was tired of treasure hunting and wanted to go home. Not sure my love of junk is catching fire in her soul. 
After I closed my booth I was left with too many projects to complete. While I had no need for this dresser I just couldn't part with it. For a time it functioned as a craft storage...when I could get to it that is! Definitely a craft hoarder, here. 

Part 2: During
It took a few coats of Citri strip to get this paint free. It's a project I would come back to several times over the course of months. No joke. There was good-reason I almost left this where I found it, I really do not enjoy stripping and sanding. Especially when the paint was apparently applied by a generous-spirited individual wielding a spatula.


Then it took many many sheets of sandpaper to wear off the layers of stain. Underneath was a lovely pale wood.

One of the perks of closing my booth is that I can now paint furniture any color/theme that tickles my fancy. The burden of "will this sell?" is lifted. I went to my stash of dresser makeover ideas on Pinterest and picked these as my inspiration:

See a theme? I've been partial to a wood stained top with painted drawers which was always a quick seller in my booth. It's still a look I adore. Since this dresser had no specific room to fit into I picked it for the experimental look of stained drawers. It's easy to paint over the drawers if I end up not liking the look. 

And here she is all painted and stained in a walnut with no sealer. I loved the wood look but was iffy on the bright paint. This would fit into a bohemian style room given its funky fun color. While I like looking at pictures of boho-influenced spaces its nothing I carry into my home. So here she sat while I waited for inspiration. 

Notice the knobs? I pulled pulls from my stash...a terrible pun, I know and decided on a quirky look for the top drawer. Also known as: I ran out of enough matching pulls. Anyways, a couple coats of off-white DIY chalkpaint pulled the pulls together...there I go again. This is what a second glass of wine gets me: stupid silly in my own mind. 

And inspiration came from a basket of photo frames. 

I'd collected several wooden frames and painted a few of them all the same color using the same DIY chalk paint above. These frames were for a craft fair booth and I did care if they sold. The bright color wasn't working, I wouldn't hang them on my walls anywhere and didn't think anyone else would either. And the bright color didn't fit the theme of my booth. 

So they sat. 

A lot of my projects sit. I like to think of it as creative marinating and it pays off. 

left frame: 2 coats of stain  **   right frame: 1 coat of stain

I was staining another project in Espresso by Minwax when my eye caught the forgotten bright blue frames. Why not? The can was already open so a couple quick coats on the frames and I was in love. IN LOVE people! I may paint a hundred projects in this layered color: bright blue paint + Espresso stain. 

Part 3: Finish

The stained top and drawers received some generous coats of Espresso stain as well. More on the inspiration for that later. It involves another project and a different technique.

The drawer sides were given the same facelift...

...and the back. She's a beauty all around. 

Oops, forgot to push the drawers all the way in...a bad habit. You don't want to see my side of the bedroom. 

Look at the gorgeous natural wood design! I'm in love.

My favorite mismatched knob, a ReStore find. 

What do you think? 

It's a keeper. 

And where does this gorgeous dresser end up?

Stuffed in my closet.

It currently holds my husband's ACUs in-between reserve weekends. Eventually, it'll shine in a more prominent place in our home, she's too pretty to hide. We are actively finishing our basement which includes the creation of a master suite for us. I look forward to furnishing our new space with this gorgeous beauty!

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  1. You brought it back to beauty Audra. Making everything 'darker' settled it down, love Expresso Minwax Stain.

    1. I agree, the first color was a bit too wild, Espresso stain did the trick!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous. Love the final color and I have to say you are a very, very patient crafter. I admire your process...and your results. They are definitely worth waiting for!

    1. Awww, thanks Kim! Now if I can get my husband to agree on the lengthy process...hahaha. He sees it all as clutter until the final product emerges.

  3. Great job. Love that color choice. Thanks for sharing at our link party!


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