The Baby’s Room :: The Dresser

A few weeks ago, the baby turned two. I took this as a sign that I really should get moving on finishing her room, you know, before my husband takes it over as his office sometime in the next few months. A few weeks before her birthday, the dresser we bought from IKEA met an untimely and unfortunate death (well, at least the bottom drawer did) which has had a rather devastating waterfall effect on the state of her room. If there’s no place to put the clothes, they stay in baskets, until she decides it’s time to empty said baskets of course. It was time to get things cleaned up.

Enter this lovely.


A friend of mine has been moving her house around and decided to get rid of a few pieces, this one included.

Dresser Before

The dresser was a tad dusty, the top had a bit of water damage, and needed just a tiny bit of TLC, but otherwise, it was a beautiful piece. So I got out my sander, some paint and wax, and this is what I came up with.

The Dresser

It fits in the corner perfectly, and since the side panel is the view I see from my perch on the rocking chair I decided it need just a little touch of something extra…

Side View

a touch of hand-painted pattern, wiped away and slightly distressed.

Top Corner

I was hoping it would look a bit like old and faded wallpaper. I have to say I’m pretty happy with the result.

Pattern Detail

It was a bit gut-wrenching to go at the pattern with a wet cloth and sand paper, but I went slowly as I built up my courage, and I think the end result was worth the distress.

Dresser Front

The front panels of the dresser seemed to be in pretty good shape, but was feeling a bit rough. I can not believe what a difference 320 grit paper and some dark wax made. I tried the Howard Restore-A-Finish, but I have to say it was the dark wax that made the biggest difference.

Bottom Corner

I painted an undercoat of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue, touched it up in a few places in with a bit of petroleum wax, then painted a top coat of Annie Sloan’s Provence Blue. A bit of sanding, the pattern painted on top, then a coat of clear wax and a few touches of dark wax to age it ever so slightly.

Dresser Top

The top was sanded down to bare wood, then stained with two different colors of minwax Sedona and Mahogany Red (straight up stain without the poly) with two or three light and buffed coats of dark wax. It’s hard to describe just how much the new top glows.


And last but not least, the pair of teeny tiny booties I knit for her, which evidently, I have forgotten to write about. You’ll see the sweater in a later post about her room, once I finish up another wall.

Boy I hope I get this room finished up soon!





Have you visited these awesome sites where I’ve shared this project?  ::  Miss Mustard Seed  ::  The Shabby Creek Cottage  ::  The Handmade Home  ::  Funky Junk Interiors  ::  Finding Silver Pennies  ::  Under the Table and Dreaming  ::  Today’s Creative Blog

A Sideboard Journey

A few years ago, my mom and my step-dad decided to downsize their home significantly, which was lucky for me because there were quite a few pieces I was able to “inherit” because there wouldn’t be any space for them in their new digs.

One of them was this sideboard.

Brown Sideboard

I have this rather awkward spot in my kitchen—you can it a bit better in this post—where the countertop ends abruptly and leaves an empty space where cabinets would normally go. We could use those extra cabinets, or more specifically, we could really use the extra counter space. One of my main frustrations with this kitchen is the lack of space between the sink, the stove, and the end of the counter. The layout is just strange, and if I could figure out how to get more space between the stove and sink, make the sink a double-well, and somehow balance it all perfectly with that gorgeous window, then I would probably love my kitchen. Right now my kitchen and I have a mostly working relationship, but we don’t like hanging out after hours.

When we originally bought the house, the previous owners left us two desks that fit side-by-side in this space, but we decided to put those in the living room so the kids could use them for their homework, without being in the middle of the kitchen fray. As a temporary stop-gap measure, we decided to throw in my Mom’s sideboard. But that dark brown just wasn’t doing anything for me. So even though I promised myself I wouldn’t start another piece of furniture until that blasted hutch was finished, I ordered some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Provence and dove right on in.

Here it is after the first coat…
First Coat

First Coat Art Shot

And here’s What happened when I got to the second coat…
Second Coat Drawer Fronts

And here’s the beginnings of the third coat, that yellowish tinge…
Third Coat Top

Fourth Coat

And that brown-ish awfulness in this shot… that’s the beginning of the fourth coat… or what would’ve been the fourth coat if I wasn’t extremely unhappy with how it looked.Fourth Coat Begun

So this is what the fourth/fifth coat actually ended up being… (at this point I stopped counting individual layers)The Fifth Coat

Detail of Fifth Coat

And just in case you thought that I managed to finish all this in one sitting because my kids are busy sitting quietly in their playroom, building the next innovation in robotic technology while implementing their newly formed Middle East peace plan and eating their self-prepared PB&J sandwiches leaving me in my solitude to paint, wax, and clean-up the kitchen, this work happened over seven days, and caused all other work (excepting the laundry… there is always laundry…) to stop. Here’s the Keepin’ It Real shot.Keepin It Real

After seven more days, and several more coats of wax and paint, this is what I came up with…All Done

Another Angle of Done

Still All Done

The Top Is All Done Too

The cabinet has become the lunch box prep station with snacks on the top…
Snacks On Top

Painted drawers full of containers and sandwich sleeves…
Steel Container Drawer

A thermos cabinet that also hold the baby’s snack cups…
Thermos Cabinet

A drawer full of boxes and bags…
Lunch Bag Drawer

The other drawer contains loose change for lunch money on pizza day, and the other cabinet is full of snacks. I have to say, it’s been working very well for us!

Because I invested so much time refinishing this beast, I’m going to share a few more details of the paint and wax. You think you’re bored? Imagine how I felt after the ninth coat…
Surface Deet

Surface Corner

Left Face Deet

Scroll Cabinet Deet

Shes Got Legs

Paint Deet A


Paint Deet B

Paint Deet C

Paint Deet D

Paint Deet E

So there she is… a modern colored wax and distressed Annie Sloan chalk paint furniture refinish. Hours and hours of work, building and buffing, painting and sanding…

And here’s the rub… I think I hate it.

Yeah. I’m going to live with it for quite a bit longer before I make a decision, but I’m thinking I might start pushing the hubster to invest in those base cabinets and new countertop.

I guess I should insert something here about destination vs. journey, but mostly I’m considering this a live and learn type of thing.




:: Linking to These Fabulous Sites ::
Today’s Creative Blog, Miss Mustard SeedUnder the Table and Dreaming,

The Hutch :: A Progress Report

Well, it’s not done. You might be surprised, but sadly I’m not. I don’t really have to provide a visual of how much laundry four children can produce, do I? We’ll save that amazing post for another day. I also had to pick my dad up at the airport late this morning, take him and the kidlets to lunch, then naps, then tea, then supper… so really, there wasn’t much time. I did sneak away for a bit to play when I thought no one would notice, so I’ll show you a few pics of what I managed to get done so far. I will apologize in advance for the color. My camera was really struggling to get the white balance right, as I did in post-editing. This is a tricky color to capture, and the change from natural, fading light to incandescent was not so easy to correct for.

First, here’s the whole thing with one solid coat of Duck Egg Blue, as well as one dry brushed “texture” coat. The finish on the hutch was the original spray coated yellow paint, which had no character and was completely flat and level, so I really wanted to add some texture.

Once Solid Coat

Then I went at it with some dark glaze.

Once Solid Coat

Dark Wax Detail

Another Dark Wax Detail

It was a nice effect, but it was a bit more subtle than I wanted. The textured/dragged coat worked well, which was nice to know.


Since I wanted a bit more drama, I decided to move to the clear wax while adding some color with a few more of the chalk paint. I used Graphite, Coco, and a mix of both for these next shots.Wax Glaze

Wax Glaze Detail

Another Wax Glaze Detail

It’s getting there. I think it’s going to take a bit more layers to produce the richness I’m looking for, but adding the paint to the clear wax is definitely more dramatic than the subtleness of the dark wax only. I’m not sure what the actual terms for my technique is… does “hey, what would happen if I did this. Cool… let’s do more” or “oh geez, good thing I can paint right over top of this” work? There was a lot of that. Also a few “eek, that looks awful” swipes as well as some “hoo boy I might be getting what all the hype about this paint is” jigs. Quite a variety, as you can see.

My dad says it looks pretty dark in the corners, maybe a little dirty. I told him the was exactly what I was going for. Yay! But even with my enthusiasm, he didn’t look so convinced. We shall see whether I can change his mind.

The Hutch Gets a Makeover

I took a teeny break from the library to do something fun, that I’ve been putting off until I cleaned up the house, and thanks to a visit from the in-laws I can check that baby off the list! If you don’t remember this hutch, well, that’s OK, because you’re probably a new reader, or you don’t remember a post I made, oh, maybe two years ago or so?

Ready to Paint

Well, here it is again (with a little helper). It went into hiding for a while in the other house since we couldn’t find a wall space to place it… it seems like a strange thing to complain about, but there were a few too many windows there. So down into the basement it went.

Originally I though I would use it to store my yarn, but I don’t think that’s going to work right now either, given that my little “knitting area” has been moved to the third floor, and with it’s sloped ceilings and narrow staircase I’m not sure there’s a spot for the hutch OR that we could get it up the stairs. But, not to worry! We have a lovely little balcony that overlooks the water and is the perfect spot for a little night cap and some lovely conversation after the kids are tucked into bed. And this little hutch has a perfect little place right beside the door, where I’m planning on storing some blankets and maybe a few wine glasses or a bottle or two. Well, at least the blankets. 😉

I also couldn’t figure out how I wanted to paint it. Then I saw this ::

Unfortunately, I have a link for the image, but I can not find the owner of the blog or the pic, so if you know whose work this is, please let me know so I can properly attribute the photo.

Edited to Add :: { Thanks to an exhaustive search, I finally found out that this hutch is the work of Molly Susan Strong, a talented woman who refinishes furniture. She’s taken a break from blogging right now, but I’m hoping that by leaving her some comment love that maybe she’ll get back at it again! I think her work is beautiful! You can click here or on the image above to get the the post where she talks about the work she did on this piece.

I spent a few days trying to find this image; I had a suspicion that I had seen it on another site, so I wrote to Miss Mustard Seed to ask her if the image was hers and she suggested that I may have seen it on her one of her Furniture Feature Friday posts. She was right. But did you know that you can actually search for an image using Google? If you drag the image into Google’s search box, it will find it for you. Thanks to Eeyore for the tip! It would’ve saved me a number of hours of searching, so I’ll count the time I spent as an investment in karma! }

Anyway, this hutch made my heart sing! I’m not always super crazy about the chippy/distressed look, some of it is great and some of it doesn’t really work for me, but somehow this one hit just the right note. So, how to accomplish it?

I had been hearing some chatter on several blogs about Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, and after doing a bit more research, I decided it was time to try it out. Right as we signed the paperwork on the house I ordered my first can… followed quickly by another order for five more cans and some wax. I hadn’t tried it, but I came up with several pieces that I wanted to refinish, so I decided to bite the bullet and have it at the ready!

And then, well, we moved in, I started unpacking, the holidays showed up, everyone got sick in January… you know, life got in the way. So it was only today that I finally got around to cracking open my first can and giving it a try.

First Strokes

Starting to Dry

Top Crown

Another Detail

I’m working on it.

I should be working on it right now too, but instead, I wrote a post about it.

A post about the work I should be doing.