July 4, 2012

Dresser Transformation

This project took me waaaay longer than it should have.   Not because it was difficult, but because I was so indecisive about what I was doing.   You see, I'm pretty traditional by nature.  I don't really do a lot of "outside the box" decorating in my home.  I love antiques and have been very hesitant to paint them.   I wanted to try my hand at painting a piece of furniture, but wanted to start small.  We have a dresser that was originally part of our nursery furniture.  Because it is small, it fits nicely in the upstairs hallway.  It was a pretty cherry finish with brass hardware (not the nice brass either), but it was classic in style and pretty much the way I roll.   Unfortunately, I didn't take any before pics. 

Since I finished my bathroom makeover in grays, tan, and white and loved the way it turned out, I decided I would take a bold step for me and paint this little dresser and give it an updated look.  I painted the entire dresser first with Anne Sloan Graphite.  Here's were I start to get bold, I painted two coats of Annie Sloan Old White on the drawers and dresser top.  After lightly sanding everything, I used dark wax over the entire piece, added some new black hardware, and took a step back to admire the new look.  Except, I didn't like the new look!  And, what's worse, hubby and the boys didn't like the new look!  It was missing something. 

So, here's were I get really bold!  I decided to paint the top of the dresser with chevron stripes.  The top was already painted in Old White, so I just added the stripes in Graphite.  I lightly sanded the top again and applied a little dark wax and buffed it out.  At first, I really wasn't sure, but by the next day, it was starting to grow on me.

The next step was finding the right accessories.  The artwork in the hallway had to go!  We live in Lancaster County, PA.  Amish Country.  I had a very traditional Amish print by Nancy Noel hanging above the dresser.  Well, this was not going to work with my new chevron striped dresser!  I had some blank canvases in my stash and decided I would visit my favorite source for vintage graphics, The Graphics Fairy, to see if I could get some inspiration.  I found an amazing graphic of a hot air balloon with a toy advertisement from Conshohocken, PA, which is not far from where we live!  I fell in love with it and knew that it would be perfect for the spot above the dresser.  I printed it out in black and white and took it to Staples to have it enlarged to 18 x 24, the size of my canvas.  I carefully cut out the graphic and laid it on the blank canvas, but it looked blah.  I decided to break out the watercolors and do some accent painting.  Then I decoupaged the print to the canvas and aged it with some dark wax.  

The accessories on the dresser are things I had around the house.  The Stetson straw hat was my grandfather's and was just sitting in a hat box.  I decided it needed to be on display on my new dresser.  I used a wooden candlestick for a hat stand.  The little red elephant is a recent find.  It is cast iron and I think it was a small doorstop.  I paid $1 for it.  The "C" was purchased at Marshall's.  

So, my family is still unsure about this new look.  It's going to take some getting used to for all of us.  If I decide later on that it really isn't me, then I can always repaint it.   I would love to hear your thoughts on the dresser - good or bad.    I value your opinions! 

Wishing you a Wonderful 4th with your Family,

Sharing today at:

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Inspiration Friday At the Picket Fence
What Have You Redone at Redoux
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy



  1. Really nice--great job on the dresser. Wishing you a happy and safe fourth!

  2. Seriously LOVE IT! You did such a great job. :D

  3. Beautiful...love the chevron on the top. I saw your link at FHC's pinning party. I'm a new follower :)

    Shasta @InTheOldRoad

  4. I think the chevron pattern on top really gave it that something extra it needed. And I love the hot air balloon canvas you did!

  5. Oh my goodness Doreen this is too fabulous!! The art work looks amazing and the stripes are adorable! Thanks for linking up today!

  6. Karen,

    Thanks so much! Love The Graphics Fairy! You're my go to site for vintage graphics!


  7. Wow. It is stunning! Good eye for putting it all together!

  8. Love it! I love the look of painted furniture but I'm such a chicken about painting my antiques, too!

  9. Nice Job! Love the dresser and am so inspired by your canvas. I love how you added color to the graphic from Graphics Fairy. Just what I need - another project!!! Thanks for sharing.

  10. i love the whole look! would be great to look at every day...thanks for sharing

  11. I love the dresser! It is stunning. I think the chevrons are a great touch! Not sure what the rest of your house looks like, but the dresser and canvas are just perfect together. I want to try the canvas. TFS

  12. The look is more than fabulous! The chevron pattern is truly inspiring. What a great eye you have!

  13. i love what you've done to the dresser and your new decorations! i too collect elephants, but need to let you know that very bad luck is with you if any elephant in your house has his trunk down!!!!
    sounds weird but it has much to do with feng shui.....my friend was having all kind of bad things happening in her house and life so she was told by a decorator to get rid of the 3 elephants with the lowered trunks. guess what? life it much better for her, so be wary of elephants that have lowered trunks.


Please post a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts!