If you saw my recent Facebook Live, I started painting this dresser with a much different technique than this, but I feared the technique and dresser were both too busy to go well together. So I edited down to one color, Spanish Moss, which is a beautiful taupe with undertones of green.
I know what you’re thinking – what in the world possessed you to buy this piece?!?! The truth is I’m totally drawn to pieces like this, solid wood but with plastic mouldings on the front. They were manufactured in the 70’s I think, and ugly as sin. But I can’t help wanting to make them beautiful.
Even with only one color of paint, there were quite a few steps in this makeover, so let’s jump into it!
Of course, as always I started by cleaning the piece well with White Lightning. Then I rinsed it with clean water and dried it. I had no clear vision of the final look; I was just making it up as I went along! To get things started, I painted the whole thing with Spanish Moss and let it dry. I used my new French Tip brush to get down into all those details, and it worked really well.
I watch tons of furniture painting videos on Facebook and Youtube, and I was inspired by one from Debi’s Design Diary to add some texture to my second coat.
I had this little tool on hand that came in the package with a wood graining tool. So I tried dragging it through the wet paint of my second coat, first in one direction and then the other creating a woven look. It is very subtle (so subtle I kinda missed getting a good picture of it!), but it adds a little something and it is also great for hiding some imperfections in the wood.
Detailing the Doors
While the doors were the worst part of the original piece, I wanted them to be a feature in the final look. I watered down some Moonshine Metallics Steel Magnolia in a water bottle, and sprayed it on for a little sheen, including the drawers too. For the drips, I blotted them up with a towel.
Because I can’t stay away from Gold Digger, I used a small brush and painted little areas of the mouldings. I didn’t want it to be symmetrical, but I did want balance in the overall effect. I white waxed the high points of the mouldings, especially hitting the Gold Digger. This toned it down to look more aged, and less shiny and new. My applicator was a paper towel, for applying it and then wiping it back.
Lastly, I used a product I haven’t used much before at all. With a small brush and the Dixie Dirt in Charcoal, I added some darker shadowing in the deep crevices. First, I sprayed the Easy Peasy spray wax on an area (to give the dirt something to stick to), and then I brushed the dirt down into the deep spots. I brushed away any excess with a paper towel. See how this step added depth and character?
Detailing the Drawers
The drawers were very flat which made the dresser seem unbalanced to me. They needed to rise to the level of the doors. To accomplish that, I started by applying a couple sections of the redesign with Prima Midnight Floral transfer to the top right and bottom left drawers. I sprayed the Easy Peasy Spray Wax over the transfers to seal them, and immediately gently spread it even with a towel. The colors in this transfer make it my favorite ever. I’ve already used parts of it on another piece, and I have plenty left over for more projects!
Then I remembered I had some corner appliques in my WooduBend stash, so I pulled them out and held them up to see if they wanted to join the party. And they did! I painted them first with Spanish Moss and then Steel Magnolia. Doing the coat of chalk paint first helps the coverage of the metallic paint. Without it, it’s more transparent.
To apply them, I brought out my hair dryer and heated up the applique. With a small brush, I applied wood glue over the entire back of it. It’s very important to use wood glue, and not epoxy or super glue or any other adhesive.
Then I stuck it down in the corner of the drawer, and heated it a second time with the hair dryer. You can really feel the heat sucking the applique down onto the wood, and I press it with my fingers too to encourage adhesion. After less than a minute, it is stuck in place and not going anywhere. No clamps, no tape, just the magic of WooduBend!
I loved the original hardware on this piece, so I left it in place. For the drawer pulls, I painted them first in Spanish Moss, and then Steel Magnolia. You can see how the metallic shines and brings the bling!
I did the same with the door handles, but I also added a dry brush of Gold Digger, to tie into the gold in the doors.
Here are the products I used.
(These are affiliate links from which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you)
- 70’s dresser (thrifted)
- White Lightning
- Spanish Moss
- French Tip brush
- Moonshine Metallic Steel Magnolia
- Moonshine Metallic Gold Digger
- Best Dang wax in white
- Redesign by Prima Midnight Floral transfer
- WooduBend corner appliques #2093
- Easy Peasy spray wax
- Dixie Dirt in Charcoal
If you like this 70’s dresser ugly moulding makeover, you might like this project as well. Leave me a Comment and let me know if you think these plastic mouldings on furniture are worth saving.
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