French Linen Antique Dresser Makeover

french linen champagne dresser

Today’s antique dresser makeover has my heart because it is neutral, girly, glam and gorgeous all at the same time!  This dresser came to me from the same estate as last week’s MCM dresser.  

I feel like that top left drawer is winking at us!  I have no idea how it got that way, but it took paint the same way as the darker stained areas.

champage dresser before

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Using Bondo for Repairs – Antique Dresser Makeover

We start, as always, by cleaning the dresser with White Lightning.  To scrub all those tiny crevices, I use a toothbrush.  After cleaning, it’s important to rinse with clean water to remove any residue.  Then dry and wipe it down with paper towels.  

I have started scuff sanding every single piece with a 220-grit sanding pad because it helps ensure the paint sticks really well.  Scuff sanding just removes the top layer of sealant, and it should only take 10-20 minutes.  Wipe off any sanding dust, and then it’s time for repairs.

As you can see on the Before picture, there is a piece of missing trim on the bottom drawer on the left side.  Also, the back right leg was significantly damaged and shorter than the other leg.

champagne dresser before missing trim

To re-create the missing section of trim, I created a mould using paper clay.  While this worked, I don’t really recommend making your moulds this way.  Casting resin or hot glue are better options because they dry and remain a little flexible.

I pressed the paper clay over an intact area of trim, pulled it off immediately and allowed it to dry.  Then I mixed up some Bondo (a 2-part epoxy) and filled the mould.  Since it was such a skinny piece, it was dry in about 15 minutes, and then I removed it from the mould.

To adhere it to the piece, I used wood glue and weighted it down with full paint cans balanced on a piece of flat wood.  The repair is not perfect by any means, but it’s so much better than when it was missing.

champagne dresser half

To fix the back leg, I clamped wood around 3 sides to create a square section to hold the Bondo.  Then I filled it up with Bondo and let it dry overnight.  My husband filed off any extra Bondo the next day, and I sanded it smooth.  Bondo is a superior choice for this kind of repair because it is so much stronger and more durable than wood filler.

French Linen and Champagne Gold Details

When cleaning, I noticed the dresser was really bleeding a lot of brown and red colors and there was a musty smell too.  To remedy this, I primed with gray BOSS, and let it dry overnight.  Believe it or not, the dry time has an impact on how effective the BOSS is.  Leaving it overnight ensures it has maximum bleed-through and odor-blocking power.

champagne dresser details

Using Dixie Belle’s French Linen chalk paint, I painted 2 coats on the whole piece with a synthetic brush.  I also used a small artist brush to get into the finer details, and a mist of water on the second coat to keep it very smooth.

After it was dry, I did a very light sanding to transform that chalky feeling when you run your hand over it to super buttery smooth.  I used my go-to clear coat in satin (2 coats) which both protects and richens the color and sheen.

The subtle champagne gold shimmer you see on the details and trim is a 50/50 mixture of Gemstone Mousse in Golden Gem and Silver.  I also added a couple drops of high gloss clear coat to make it dry quicker and make it self-sealing.

I painted the champagne mousse on the trim, appliques and the detailed carvings and feet.  I love the way it catches the light!  On the top middle drawer, I added black outlined flowers from the Buds & Branches transfer.  I also gilded these with the mousse.

champagne dresser collage

Adding Large WoodUBend Appliques

On the drawers, I was torn between adding decoupage in that perfectly framed area or adding appliques.  Ultimately, I wanted a neutral glam look, so the appliques were the best choice.  I painted the appliques before applying them because it just keeps things neater.

If you aren’t familiar with using WoodUBend appliques, they are unique because they bend with heat.  You heat it up with a hair dryer or heat gun, add wood glue to the back and then press it down on your surface.  Heat it again while pressing it down firmly all over.

No taping or clamping necessary.  The bond is instant!

champagne dresser woodubend appliques

Wood Look Top with Golden Ash Gel Stain

If you’ve seen some of my recent furniture makeovers, I have a new technique for creating a wood look top.  Now I also have a brand new product from Dixie Belle as well – No Pain Gel Stain in Golden Ash.  This product is oil-based.

The dresser top was primed and painted the same as the rest of the piece.  Then I cut an applicator pad in half and applied the stain all over the top.  To create the texture, I lightly drag a 4” deck brush through the stain.  Then I do the same thing again using a whisk broom.

Being lighter than Espresso or Walnut, the Golden Ash is a perfect warm shade to go with French Linen.  Another new shade call American Honey is coming out as well.  I can’t wait to use that one soon!

french linen champagne dresser top

Don’t forget to Pin this antique dresser makeover!

antique dresser makeover pin

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