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From Juvenile to Old World Elegance

By Posted in - Furniture on March 27th, 2013 1 Comments dresser

This fall, after seeing some of my furniture pieces at the Knot Too Shabby Bazaar, close family friends of mine asked me if I could do anything with the furniture that they had in their guest room. They had an interior designer come in and she told them that the
furniture was “too juvenile” and that they should replace it, along with purchasing a new wrought iron headboard for an obscene amount of money. I agreed to look at the furniture and see if I could do anything with it. I walked into the room and took a look…aside from the fact that the finish was the pinkish-pickled look that was popular in the 90’s, the furniture had beautiful lines and details. I knew that I could remake it into something beautiful, that would complement the new design of the room. This included two side tables, a dresser, a floor mirror, a bathroom vanity and a built in desk top. With the help of the interior designer they were working with, we chose ASCP in Coco and Pure White.

I chose the smallest side table to experiment with and see whether they thought the ideas I had would suit them. The first piece came out beautifully! I sanded and refinished the top in dark walnut and painted the rest of the piece in Pure White. I then put clear wax and then dark wax over the white to give it an “Old World” patina and to highlight the stunning ornamentation on the front of the door. My friends loved it too, and told me to go ahead with whatever I planned to do with the furniture.


I proceeded to sand the tops of the other side table and dresser and stain them dark walnut to match the first piece. I then painted the bodies of both in ASCP Pure White. The dresser had some pretty intricate detailing on the front that I wanted to highlight, but it was going to be a real pain to do it well. I don’t know how well I did it, but it sure looked awesome when it was done.  I put a coat of clear wax and then dark wax to continue the “Old World” feel.

dresser 2

…nighstand number 2

dresser 3

…details of the dresser


All of the hardware also got a coat of Martha Stewart’s metallic paint for all surfaces to make it stand out against the white.


I completed the first 3 pieces at home in my workshop, but the vanity, mirror and desktop had to be done in their home. The vanity

was just a basic pine color, nothing too special. After painting it in ASCP Coco, I clear waxed it and then put a layer of dark wax on. My friend liked it but wanted it darker and more saturated, so I continued to layer on the dark wax until she liked it. We then started work on the floor mirror with basically the same paint-dark wax treatment. The desktop was last on the list and it created the most trouble. I ended up with a few large spots that wouldn’t hold the dark wax. As with most things, the harder I tried the worse it looked. Fortunately, it wasn’t going to be seen much and I offered to make some floral arrangements and add a few decorative items to camouflage the imperfections.


…a little peek at the finished room in the mirror

Overall, it was a blessing to be trusted to help such wonderful friends create a space that they loved (hopefully) and help them save a little money along the way. Oh, and when the interior designer came over to take a look at the progress she commented on the furniture by saying…”Well that cerainly doesn’t look  juvenile anymore.” Mission accomplished!


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