Small Dresser Rehab

This Thomasville dresser has followed me around for the last 10 years, living in one garage after another. I painted it white about 15 years ago with high gloss latex paint.  At the time I was painting over black, which my mom had done years earlier.  She'd painted over green, which was the original color when my grandmother purchased the piece.

I've always liked this for it's size and lovely shape.  When I painted it last, I replaced the hardware with brushed chrome and puttied and re-drilled holes for the drawer-pulls.  I don't know what became of the original hardware, but I'm sure parts were missing and it was beyond redemption.

This was my first attempt at full rehab and it was a real learning process.

First I got to work stripping the many layers of paint off.  This was no small task, but once I got into it, I was glad I decided to do it.

It took a number of coats of stripper to get the paint off.  Then started my attempt to salvage the top.  As you can see, the wood was pretty gross.  The dark spots are cat pee from probably 20 years ago...maybe more.  If you ever wanted to know what 20 year old cat pee smells like, I can tell you.  It smells just like regular cat pee.  I sanded and washed and bleached and sanded some more and try as I might, NOTHING would get rid of that smell.  

The only thing that I could do was shellac the entire thing.  I'd invested a LOT of time by this point so Shellac I did!  I painted a few coats of shellac on the top and did spray shellac inside the drawers, on the bottom, and inside the whole chest.  Miracle of miracles, it worked! No more smell! The wood was not very attractive so I tried a pickling stain on it. I wasn't impressed.

Initially I wanted to paint this piece a coral color. Despite being warned that coral is nearly impossible to get right, I went for it. The lady at the Annie Sloan retailer suggested a mixture of Barcelona Orange, Old White, and some taupe color. 

I painted the feet silver and left it like this for a while.

Then I realized this is obnoxious and repainted the whole thing.  

I did not document the latter.  I also did some wood repair on the feet.  You can see that the foot in front was damaged so I sawed off part of one of the rear feet and glued it to the front.  It took some wood putty and sanding to make it right, but I'm glad I took the time.


For this, I used Annie Sloan Old White.  I also mixed Florence teal color with white to get the lighter teal blue.