My 1st Attempt at Shabby Chic

A few weeks ago I bought a dresser at a local Goodwill store.  I popped in just to see if they had anything for under $25 that I could paint and sell for later.  I was looking for the perfect furniture flip.  Buy a piece, make it better, and flip it- you know like people do with houses but with less time, stress, and money.  It's not something I usually do, but I've painted enough furniture that I thought it was high time to make a little extra for my efforts.  Plus I've been inspired  by so many other DIYers out there who do the same.  I did in fact find the perfect little oak dresser for only $20!  I couldn't believe it!  Here is what she looked like before.

 She went right into the garage when I got her home.  It was a very exciting moment for me, though my family couldn't understand my enthusiasm for such a dilapidated dresser.  She graduated from the garage to the house when the weather finally cooperated for a few short days.  I was able to take her to the back yard patio and work on her.

So here is her BEFORE......

And here is her AFTER.....

 What do you guys think?  Will she flip?  There was obviously some work that went into this dresser, and  I have lots of pictures for those of you who are like me and need a visual of each step.  So beware of the rest of this post. It's long and loaded with lots of pictures. For the most part, the pics speak for themselves and I'll just chime in here and there...maybe.

I think she was so cheap because of the damage on the top. Whenever I'm looking for a piece either for my home or to flip, I look for real wood furniture.  With real wood, you can sand it down and make it all nice and shiny again.  I saw the potential in this piece, so if you're thinking about thrift store buying, look beyond the scratches.

I used Elmer's wood filler to smooth out the deep grooves.  Apply liberally and let it dry completely before sanding.

The dresser also came with this lovely drawer lining.  I pulled it up to allow the natural beauty of the wood to be seen in the drawers.  They were perfect!

There was gum and goo all over the dresser.   She got a good cleaning.

Look at the tongue and grooves on the drawers.  Another something I always look for in furniture.


 So once it warmed up a little,  Colorado apparently doesn't know it's supposed to be spring,  I took everything outside and sanded her down.  You can use just sand paper for this step, but I prefer my electric sander to make this step go quickly.  The top was sanded down to the bare wood.  Everything  else was sanded down just to get the shine off and the orangy color to disappear. Sometimes I do go a little overboard when I'm using my all powerful sander.  You don't have to sand down to the bear wood- unless you're going to stain the whole piece- then sand away.

When I was sanding, I noticed one of the legs was damaged.  Oops, didn't see that in the store.

This is what that leg is supposed to look like.

I had some molding in my garage and decided it was good enough/ close enough to the other leg to repair this damaged end.  I cut it down using my new favorite tool from Christmas.  Yeah for hand tools that ladies can use!  I used wood glue to add the molding to the bottom.

Here she is all sanded, ready to be painted and spruced up again.

 Doesn't that top look so much better?

I LOVED the way the top of the dresser turned out after sanding it, so I decided to stain it in Walnut by Minwax.  It popped immediately. Looking good, girl!
The rest of the dresser got 2 coats of white primer.  This is the primer I always use.  Always!

 She looks good already, doesn't she?  I love this two tone effect with naturally stained wood and paint, but I didn't want it looking too country.   I decided not to paint her white.

Then I noticed she was missing some of her "plugs".  I didn't know that's what they were called until I went to Home Depot and showed them this little piece of wood I was really hoping they might carry somewhere in their warehouse.  "Oh, ya," the friendly associate said.  "We have plugs".  I learned something new- furniture plugs!  It's that little round piece of wood that covers nails and screws.  I was just glad I wouldn't have to whittle down a piece of wood!

Now it was time to decide on a color.  It took me a week to figure this out.  I wanted to do a Tiffany blue or some rich turquoise color.  Remember, I'm all gaga for turquoise right now.  I had a quart of turquoise I picked up for free at Ace Hardware a few weeks ago, but it was much brighter than I remembered.  Not pretty.  Not going to work.  I had another free quart of paint, also from Ace Hardware, I picked up on another free paint weekend that turned out to be the perfect color for this project.  It's a Benjamin Moor color called Grenadier Pond.

Everything from the wood stain down got two coats.

 Yes, I painted inside.  It was snowing....again (ugh!).  The paint is a flat enamel, and I had the garage door open and my back sliding glass door open.  I had a good cross wind, trust me.

 You want to hear something funny?  Of course, you do!  Later I checked to see the name of the paint color so I could let all my lovely readers know the name just in case they were interested.  When I did that, I discovered the paint was a "paint and primer" all in one step!  I didn't have to prime this piece!  Two days, two coats, too funny.  I'm crying on the inside.  Tear, wipe, moving on....

 I liked the color, but it really needed something more.  I decided to shab the furniture lines.  Ironically, I don't usually like shabby chic, but this dresser was just calling for it.  I used a sanding block to sand down the furniture lines only, not the whole thing.

 I also decided to use glaze- my first time ever using glaze by the way- SO NERVOUS!

 Glaze is whole post on its own to explain, but in a nut shell, I bought pre-tinted glaze from Lowes.  They're the only store I know of that sells pre-tinted glaze. This pre-tinted bottle of antiquing glaze goes on just like paint.  I used a sponge brush to "paint" it on, and it does looks like you're painting on black paint.  That's the scary part.  Once the glaze is on for a few minutes, you take a hot cloth and wipe off the excess.

In the meantime, I also spray painted the original handles.  I thought about buying new ones, but the size of these was difficult to find.  Spray paint it is then!

 Finally, She got two coats of wipe on polyurethane, sanding with 600 grit sand paper in between coats on the wood top. 

I think she will make a lovely entry way table/dresser.

What do you think?

Is she shabby enough? Chic enough?  But more importantly, will she flip and for how much?
Hope you found some inspiration from this really, really long post!

UPDATE: So we ended up keeping the dresser for 2 years. For two years she served us well and all who saw it showered compliments of how great it looked. I did end up selling it for $250 and had several people in line to buy. On to the next dresser!

I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style

No Minimalist Here
The Shabby Creek Cottage

Miss Mustard Seed

Funky Junk Interiors
Coastal Charm 

Common Ground 

 Home Stories A-Z
Fluster Buster