Paula and I found this dresser at a local auction. It was sitting in the back corner of the gymansium, in the shadows. Overlooked by many due to its flaws. The outside was covered in a some sort of textured paint…and the inside of the drawers were covered with dead bugs and spider webs. I am guessing it lived the last few years in a barn or dusty garage. None of the drawers closed flush and they all sat at an angle. Not a looker by any means, but any good junker will tell you the key to a good find is seeing beyond the flaws, seeing what is possible. We saw great possibilities with this piece, even though we knew it would be a lot of work!!
The ornate carved handles and wood trim shined through the horrible paint job. This type of carving work and trim is a lost art, seldom seen in today’s big box stores, pressed lumber, dime a dozen crap furniture. Back when furniture was built by a craftsman or carpenter, not assembled out of a cardboard box with some crappy instructions, a ton of left over parts, and some random swear words!!
First step was removal of the hideous textured paint job. Liberal amounts of chemical stripper, ample time, and some good old fashioned elbow grease took care of it handily. Wearing proper personal protection equipment (Say that three times fast ) such as chemical gloves and eye protection is a must. Other handy tools are a small putty knife, a small wire brush and an old tooth brush make paint removal a breeze. These drawers cleaned up really well, as you can see below.
After the paint was removed the rebuilding process began. All the drawers were worn from years of use and would not sit level. I can only imagine how many times the drawers were pulled out and pushed in to create such wear. I almost hated to fix them due to the story they tell of the life this dresser has lived. Knowing full well that a dresser with crooked drawers will not be a hot seller…I knew I had to fix them!!
After the drawers were fixed we decided to paint the interior of them to seal them up thoroughly. Even though they were clean, the years of use and abuse left them unsightly. A couple coats of bright white paint brought them back to life.
With the insides of the drawers painted and the drawer slides all rebuilt, the dresser was complete and 100% functional. Now the decision, which paint? Paula had picked up some new Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Aubusson Blue from North Dakota’s only Annie Sloan Dealer, Eco Chic Boutique. We mixed it with a hint of Annie Sloan Graphite to darken it up a bit. This paint combined with some distressing and a healthy coat Annie Sloan Clear Wax made the perfect finish we were looking for!!