Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dorothy the Dresser gets a little makeover

I'm not paint-happy. At least not overly paint-happy. I swear. I appreciate a good, pristine piece of wood without any colored stuff on it as much as the next person. In fact, maybe more than a lot of people. Looooove me some walnut wood, in any shade or shape.

Buuuuuut, I also know a lady in need of some makeup when I see one. Let's face it, I have lots of practice looking in the mirror each morning. {I kid, I kid. I rarely wear makeup either.}

This lovely lady came along to us in early January. I named her Dorothy. Anything I spend more than a few hours with, getting to know as intimately as this, deserves a name. Remember Chester?  Anyway, Dorothy was actually in pretty good shape structurally. Except, her left side was a little wrinkly. I mean, that's natural. She's nearly 100 years old, if I have her dates right - I'm thinking 1920s. Her veneer was all chippy, wavy and peely on that right side.

Nonetheless, I was willing to give this lovely lady a shot at a new home just as she was. I asked for some opinions when I posted her on Facebook, and the responses were mixed. Some said paint, some said "don't you dare." Mind you, I didn't post a photo of her she looked pretty good to those folks. Oh well. I left her be. She sat in the store for 2+ months, with no luck finding a home. So, I decided to give her a little makeover.

Here's how it went down {I am an ultimate picture-taker. Except when I need to be. Then I forget.}:

1. Homemade chalk paint, made from a can of oops paint I picked up at Home Depot for $2.00. I call it creamy gray.

2. Peeled, sanded, patched, sanded her rough spots on the side.

3. Painted two coats of homemade chalk paint in creamy gray. I think it needs a more glamourous name. Perhaps Dorothy Gray from now on? She looks delicious! In a non-edible kind of way. But also a little like a mime, if we're sticking with the makeup theme. {ie, super white and ....white.}

4. An orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper across her detailed bits, and the edges of the drawers. Whoop, she's coming alive! It's like we just added a little blush and mascara!

5. Now for the bronzer and eyeliner. {Am I taking the analogy a bit too far?} I coated her distressed self with a clear wax all over. I let it dry about 10 minutes, and then used a soft dark wax - a little more around the edges and details, a little less in the open parts. I left the dark wax on for literally about 30 seconds, and then wiped it with a clean rag. I buffed it until I liked the way it blended into the details and feathered out to the creamier gray in other areas, then coated it with another round of clear wax. This removed even a bit more of the dark wax, and evened it all out.

6. Let 'er dry about 20 minutes, and buffed her to a beautiful, waxy shine!

And now, her big reveal. Meet Dorothy!

I just love how the gold/brass hardware plays so nicely with the dark waxed detail and the wood showing through where she's distressed!

What do you think? Have you done any furniture makeovers lately? What's your favorite way to distress and/or wax a piece of furniture?

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