• Mid-Century Global Dresser

    by  • April 25, 2014 • Crafts & DIY Decor, Decor • 9 Comments

    When I last showed you our bedroom I mentioned how badly we needed to get some dressers for this room. Overflowing suitcases in a closet is not exactly ideal! I was looking on craigslist but hadn’t found a good fit yet. Lucky for me, my parents said we could have on of their old dressers, so my sweet grandparents offered to bring it down with them when they came to visit recently!
    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters
    As I’ve mentioned before, we have a pretty great family 🙂 We’re so thankful that both sets of our parents, my grandparents, and my sisters all have made trips out here from Pennsylvania to visit. It’s been awesome!
    But onto the dresser.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    It’s a really cute mid-century piece with a surprising amount of storage. It was actually my grandparents’ before my parents had it. They bought it around the time that my mom was born. It makes me wonder which of my things my future grandkids will have one day 🙂
    We painted the dresser white at some point while I was growing up, but the finish was pretty bad so it at least needed a new coat of paint. I wanted to try to strip it and refinish it instead (spoiler alert: that didn’t happen!). I applied Citristrip and then used a scraper to get as much paint off as possible.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    After the first round, it wasn’t looking too hot.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I think I probably didn’t let it sit long enough after I applied it. I let the second application sit longer and it had much better peeling, which I took as a good sign.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    Even after the second application, there was still a bit of paint left.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    In hindsight, I realize that I should’ve used some sort of brush or scratchy pad to try to get more paint out of the wood grain. But I didn’t think of that at the time, so I got to sanding.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    Afterwards there was still little flecks of paint stuck in the grain. There were also some gouges and places that the veneer was chipped or worn down, but I thought that maybe a coat of stain would even everything out. That would be false. SO false.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    Besides the fact that it looked awful and made the white paint flecks even more obvious, for whatever reason, the handles stained a completely different shade.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I tried applying both a darker stain and a more red stain over top, but it didn’t make a bit of a difference.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    At this point I knew I would have to go back to painting it, but I didn’t want to cover it completely. The legs refinished great so I wanted those to stay as they were. Everything else looked horrible and needed to change. I had an idea to paint the exterior of the dresser and the handles, and then paint or stencil some sort of pattern/design on the drawer fronts so that it would disguise my bad refinishing job but still show some of the wood tones. As much as it pained me to be rolling on white primer after all the effort to remove white paint, I was excited about my new plan.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I decided that at this point, I might as well finish the insides of the drawers too, so I stained them and primed the drawer bottoms.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I photoshopped a ton of different combinations of colors and patterns but landed on this one. It’s kind of a mid-century-meets-global look, I think. A light peach color for the paint, and this tribal-ish stencil for the drawers.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I ended up deciding to paint the design on the drawers by hand instead of stenciling it. I knew it would drive me crazy if the pattern wasn’t centered or symmetrical, and I thought it would be annoying trying to use a stencil around the handles. It took me longer than I thought it would (though I should’ve expected that), about 4 hours I think, but it wasn’t all that difficult actually. I just measured and marked out the mid points on each drawer and then used dabs of a small paint brush to fill in the design. Of course it’s not as good as the stencil would’ve been, but I love how it turned out!

    Next I sanded the pattern lightly to make it a little more subtle and blend with the paint flecks that I was originally trying to disguise. Then I brushed on two coats of satin Polycrylic over the drawer fronts and the stained legs.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters
    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    For paint, I wanted to do an oil-based enamel so it would be really durable finish. This was the only kind I could get at Lowe’s in a quart size, and I was happy with it. The color is Valspar Peach Encounter.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    It was somewhat tacky to work with, but all the brush and roller marks smoothed out so nicely. Since it’s oil-based, I had to leave it dry for 1-2 days before the second coat, and another 2-3 days before I brought it back inside. I think it’s worth the wait, though, for a durable finish.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    And now for the “after” photos!

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters
    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I love these mid-century legs. I’m glad at least one little part of this dresser was able to be refinished!

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I didn’t think about this before, but I think the drawer pattern kind of looks like a bone inlay design, which I’m loving…

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    …especially because it relates so well to the oversized bone & brass knobs. They’re the Callisto knobs from Anthropologie. I gave myself permission to splurge a little on the hardware since the dresser was free 🙂

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters
    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I’m really happy with the finish of the glossy oil-based enamel. It’s a very hard finish and I can tell it will hold up beautifully.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters
    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    I can’t even tell you how fancypants I feel having these finished drawer interiors! It seems like it’s a small detail, but it really takes it up a notch.

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters
    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    Even though this refinishing job didn’t go as I had planned, I’m very happy with where it ended up! What do you think?

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

    The only problem now that this is finished is that I think I want to repaint the bed and the walls. I know that may make me sound crazy since I recently painted both, but I think I came up with a way to bring this all together in a not-so-feminine way. But that’s a story for another day!

    Mid-Century Global Dresser | Beautiful Matters

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    9 Responses to Mid-Century Global Dresser

    1. Megan
      April 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      This is SO GORGEOUS!!!! I want this!!!!! I’m going to be refinishing my grandparents set similar to this as soon as I get the energy up to take that project on…….. but, MAN, what an inspiration!!!! I’d just not known how I wanted to do it…. and NOW I DO!!! 🙂 Sorry to copy….. I’ll send you pics when I get around to it <3

      • April 25, 2014 at 8:31 pm

        No apologies necessary – I think that’s awesome! I’m glad my dresser could be an inspiration!

    2. April 26, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Hey fancypants! Way to turn a disappointing strip job (hehehehe) into a gorgeous work of art! It turned out so great and is a stunning piece. As awesome as your room looks now, I’m very excited to hear about these ideas bouncing around your head. (Also, I just had to comment on the gorgeous foliage in the background of your photos. You live in a beautiful place!)

    3. April 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Wow, it turned out really amazing. Love it!

    4. April 27, 2014 at 2:43 am

      It’s so pretty!!!! I want to buy it! You made it look very expensive.

    5. Kelsy
      April 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Love that pattern!

    6. Russell
      September 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Great project idea but the stupid pinterest crap over every picture just ruined it.

      • September 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm

        Sorry that happened. The pinterest/pin-it button is only supposed to pop up if you hover over the picture – is that not the case for you? If not, there might be something to fix on my end.

    7. July 7, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Beautiful work Shauna. I love the peach tone you used and am so impressed you hand painted the design!

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