Before & After: Dresser Gets Some Perked-Up Pattern

published Apr 3, 2015
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(Image credit: Reeves)

Reeves wanted to add a touch of visual interest to this vintage dresser that needed a little love. She’s also got a great tip for painting on wood that will prevent color bleeding:

(Image credit: Reeves)

From Reeves:

I picked up this Dixie dresser from a local furniture sale. While I loved the mid century look and style of the piece, the finish needed some work and I felt that the piece needed a bit of color and a geometric design to add some visual interest. Since the overall condition of the dresser was pretty great I chose not to paint it bit give the wood a “refresh” as I like to call it and add a design to the top drawer.

To darken the wood without stripping and sanding the dresser, I used a very high grit sandpaper to help get rid of the topcoat without sanding off the stain color. I then used dark walnut stain and gave the piece one coat, letting it dry for a full 48 hours. This gave the wood a richer look and helped to cover up and hide the scratches and dings it had here and there. I then sealed the piece with 2 coats of water based poly in satin for durability.

For the geometric design I chose 3 colors, black, white, and a vibrant blue. Some of the walnut wood was also left for part of the design. I measured 4 squares across the front of the drawer, then taped off one color of triangles and painted each color starting with black, and finishing with blue.

Biggest tip: When painting the design on, tape out the design (or whichever part of the design you are starting with), and first apply a thin coat of water based poly. This will seal the edges of the tape and prevent any of the paint from bleeding under. If any of the poly does get under, it’s clear and you won’t be able to see it! Plus (for those wood purists), this protects the wood and down the line the whole piece can be stripped and refinished.

Just a little paint and some stain really transformed this common, mid century dresser into a unique statement piece!

For more photos, check out Reeves’ blog, The Weathered Door.

Thank you Reeves!