Vintage 1930’s Desser Gets the Dress Up! HAWT!!!

Vintage 1930’s Desser Gets the Dress Up! HAWT!!!

  Now…this little girl is HAWT! She definitely went from junk to funk to definitely FUNKILICIOUS!!!  She was just a mess when I got her and unfortunately I didn’t get any before pics although we have afters in her hawtness! She went from having horrible, horrible long, deep and 1/4″ wide gouges on her dresser top to having a bit of a crack on her top about 9″ long. When I saw her, I knew what needed to be done! She needed the love and attention that she deserved and I was the one that was going to give it to her!

  So first, I drove an hour and a half to buy her and bring her home! I took her all apart. Took her mirror off and the knobs and looked over every inch of her and was getting my game plan on! She had wooden caster wheels and I had to take them all off unfortunately as one wheel was bent severely and it couldn’t be saved. She looks beautiful without them, although it’s nice to have all of the original parts on such a historical piece!

  I knew what needed to be done and I didn’t waste any time and I got to work on her right away! She was begging to be beautiful again! So, I went to Home Depot and got all of the supplies that I needed! I started off by adding a Minwax Stainable Wood Filler.

This Minwax Stainable Wood Filler is great for fixing imperfections found in unfinished, sanded wood and furniture. It’s safe for use on surfaces both indoors and out, and you can clean it with just soap and water!

  I use it for filling cracks, gouges, nail holes, knot holes and other defects in wood furniture that I come across! It’s sandable, paintable, shrink resistant, and the drying time ranges from 2 to 6 hours depending on size of area filled! It has saved me several times so far and is a wonderful product to use! I swear by it!

  After I let that dry, I sanded the whole piece down just to get rid of any splinters, dents, or imperfections that I see. It also makes it easier when I sand for everything to be smooth and equal! So, depending on the roughness is how I decide what grit of sandpaper I use. For this dresser, I used a 120 grit and came back and went over her with a very fine 220 grit to give her extreme smoothness! 

  I use the Makita 1/4 sheet finishing sander. It’s a nice piece of equipment that is easy on the wallet! It works well and is easy on my arthritic hands! It doesn’t vibrate too bad which is great for me!

The Makita 1/4-Sheet Finishing Sander is ideal for wood workers and finish carpenters for a wide range of finish-sanding applications. This sander features a 2 Amp motor that delivers 14,000 orbits per minute for fast and smooth finishing. This finishing sander has a rubber-sealed switch that helps prevent dust contamination and increases durability with an all-ball-bearing construction that significantly reduces vibration and noise. In other words, it’s great and I love it!!!

After I sand the whole dresser down, I slowly and carefully sand down the areas on top that I filled in with the Minwax Wood Filler. After I get her nice and smooth, it’s time to give her the beauty makeover she deserves! It’s time to add some color! I choose black for this girl so we can show off her sleek curves and her deep beauty!

  I use the BEHR Flat Deep Base Premium Plus Ultra Interior Paint. Because it’s a paint & primer in one, it stays looking new longer and has great hide and coverage! It’s easy to clean with a mildew resistant finish. Because it has the paint & primer in one, it most of the time takes only one coat, although I used two coats on this dresser.

It’s always very important to use the same brush that you use and the same paint from the same can! I have several black colors that I use. I buy the colors mostly in quart sizes even though I go through a lot of paint. I like to ensure that it stays fresh instead of sitting around for a while and having the chance of it clumping up!

  I lay a tarp down in my foyer and off I go! For this beauty, I choose the color “Black Forever.”   With each stroke of the brush, it’s bringing her to life! I carefully use long and even brush strokes as you always want to ensure that you do so no lines or clumps will be left!

  I take my time and paint all of her, including the wood on the mirror. But before I do the mirror, I carefully use thick paper and tape the mirror to ensure that no paint seepage will go through since it’s 81 years old!!! Then, I paint the original wood knobs and wait for her to dry!

I usually wait a day to ensure she is dry and I have a fan on her the whole time. What I like to do is actually throw a tarp down in my back room and turn on the ceiling fan and that really gets the air flowing in the room to ensure that it gets even drying coverage!

  Now it’s time to carefully inspect any flaws in the paint and do any touch-ups. Depending on where the touch-ups are, I usually don’t and work them into my distressing! So….off I go to the garage to work on even more perfection! This is the most funnest part…the distressing!!! This is where it all comes to life!

When I do any type of distressing on any of my furniture pieces, I use the Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool! I use a sand paper of 60 to a 120 grit! This makes my distressing time go down by many hours of hand sanding down to minutes! If the paint is very thick or if there is a sealer of primer under the paint, then I use a 60-80 grit sand paper. This make my life easier!

I took my time distressing this dresser, especially around the mirror. I didn’t want to distress it too much, just more or less fine lines to enhance her beauty that she already has. Giving her too much a of distressed look wouldn’t be very attractive! I distressed her all over, including the mirror edges, legs, drawer edges, corners, all edges and knobs!

  She came out so, so beautiful. She came to life. After carefully looking over to ensure I distressed her just enough and not too, too much I started to put her back together. As each piece got added back, she took on a life of her and and I could tell she was gleaming!

The knobs were added and the drawers were complete and added back into the dresser where they belonged! The mirror was added back with all of the original hardware. The mirror came out stunning and I am so in    love with it!!! It is a very classy touch and is very, very beautiful.

   I am very fortunate that the mirror didn’t hardly have any type of silvering missing, although it had an itsy bitsy down in the bottom far right corner. It didn’t take any beauty away from this mirror, I think it actually added character and shows really how old this magnificent piece is! Honestly, unless you were looking, you couldn’t see it that’s how small the area was!

   Adding everything…the mirror, original knobs and hardware back to the shell of the dresser brought it to life! Seeing it distressed and in a flat black just screamed…”Look at me…I’m beautiful again!”

   I decided not to use a polycrylic or a polyurethane at all as I wanted this piece to show off with just the flat black and distressing! After everything was said and done, you couldn’t see the gouges and separation of the wood on the top of the dresser as it looks like it was never there! This tells me that I did my job right when a piece comes out so perfect at this beauty did!

  As soon as I got her done, I did some serious admiring and was doing some serious thinking that she just needed to stay home here with me and be added to the foyer as she would fit in beautifully into my decor!  I did some serious soul searching and said…ok, I’ll take her down to the antique store that I sell out of and I will give her one month to sell! Ughgh! She sold within a few weeks and my heart sunk!

  Even though I was absolutely happy that someone bought this gorgeous dresser, my heart sunk at the same time! I was going to go down to the store tomorrow and bring her home as I made the final decision! I’m glad that someone beat me to it and “I” know that they got a beautiful piece of history…but…for me…my foyer will always remember her while she sat there in her glorified beauty!!!

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