Dresser Updated to Prairie Charm with Milk Paint

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We’ve been crazy busy around here working on finishing up our patio makeover, complete with pergola, but I found some time to give this Craigslist find dresser a sweet makeover.

What do you think of the…well…ummm…ORANGE. It’s sort of a pumpkin color, so it suits the season, but just a tad too much for such a sweet piece. Mind you, it would look great if set up in a room to suit it, but I see it needing some prairie charm.

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

What inspired me to work on this dresser was having the chance for the first time EVER to use milk paint (gasp). Yes, I have never had my brush in milk paint and I was so eager to have a go at it.

A fellow Ohioan and shop owner, Becky, founder of Junque, has a fantastic line of milk paint. When she asked me if I’d like to give her product a try, I jumped at the opportunity. (she’s got a treat for you at the end of the post!)

Check out this gorgeous Jadeite color…

*this post was sponsored by Junque and Rustic Brands, and does include affiliate links so you can find the things I love to use too!

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…so refreshing and perfect to bring my outdated 80’s dresser up to par. She even sent me some bonding agent and furniture wax too…oh the fun!

The dresser wasn’t it bad shape for the most part – a couple of drawers were falling apart, the top had pretty good wear, but nothing that could be fixed with a sander. So, off goes the finish…just look at that beautiful grain!

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Check out the funky wallpaper drawer lining – my kids thought it was weird.

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Once the entire surface was prepped, I decided to use my favorite go-to stain, Early American by Varathane. I’ve used it in our bedroom, on our Pottery Barn knock-off, and countless other projects as well.

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It give such a rich finish and really showcases the grain in the wood.

After that, I give the cabinet and drawers a light sanding and get started with the paint. Yippee!

I had heard that milk paint can be tricky to work with. So just to be safe on my first try, I added bonding agent. Ummm…can I just say, this stuff ROCKS! I was highly impressed with the adhesion for something so runny (as milk paint tends to be). Originally, I was hoping for lots of chippy fun, but played it safe this time around. Now, I’ve got to try this stuff again and let loose.

To finish it all off, I used the Junque Furniture Wax on all surfaces. No chemicals and safe to use – it went on like a dream.

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Nothing makes a piece come alive than the pulls right? Well, Rustic Brands has the most delicious reproduction hardware around. I had the opportunity to use their mercury glass pulls on my Rustic Chic makeover – a must see! Earlier this month they released a new line of pulls including these:

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Just fabulous, aren’t they?! They’re perfect for my 80’s gal gone prairie.

Ready for the reveal?  Here’s my sweet prairie piece…

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Such a far cry from the orange and much more pleasing to the eye.

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The paint, the pulls, and stain all came together in such harmony and I am so pleased with the results.

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

No one would know this piece wasn’t an antique, at least not yet. The top is such a rich, earthy color, and really showcases the grain.

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

If you’re interested in this piece, you can find it available in my shop. (SOLD) There’s oodles of other goodies too!

Shop Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I hope you’ve enjoyed this makeover and that you’ll take a minute to check out the wonderful ladies, Junque and Rustic Brands, that made it all possible.

UPDATE: Some have noticed the different mirrors…well…my son and I were both working on mirrored pieces and he mistakenly took mine and I didn’t even notice until I posted! {gasp} So, we switched them back and funny thing is that the person that bought the dresser didn’t want the mirror. Ah well.

Pin and share this dresser to inspire others to see past the 80’s orange! ♥

Goodbye 1980's orange and hellow prairie charm. An outdate dresser gets a new look with milk paint and pulls. Come see! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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More makeover goodness like this dresser:

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Hard to believe this antique dressing table was put curbside for city trash cleanup. From curbside to French beauty - a must see by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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43 Comments

  • Hope Williams

    Good morning Larissa! I’m catching up on my emails, needless to say, your pieces are delicious!!! This one is especially pretty. The colors you choose are perfect for it too!
    I too have never used milk paint. I would love to try it but I just can’t justify the prices on these things. It is a luxury right now with remodeling costs.
    Excellent work as expected from you!
    Blessing, Hope

    September 15, 2015 at 8:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      So good to hear from you, Hope! Yes, the price has kept me away too, but Junque is offering you a discount and her price is great. You and I both are in the remodeling boats…no extra cash. 🙂

      September 15, 2015 at 10:30 am Reply
  • Pat Watson

    Looks wonderful, very pleasing to the eye. Well done.

    September 15, 2015 at 8:26 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was fun to refresh this piece, Pat. Thank you!

      September 15, 2015 at 10:29 am Reply
  • Ellenann McGlynn

    Just beautiful!!!!

    September 15, 2015 at 8:32 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Ellenann!

      September 15, 2015 at 10:29 am Reply
  • logan wilhelm

    LOVE what you do, like the transformation very much! I build and refurbish miniatures and your ideas would translate into smaller scales so nicely. Thanks for all the inspiration!!!

    September 15, 2015 at 8:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      How fun! I build dollhouse furniture for my girls too and it’s almost harder than the real deal! Thank you for stopping by.

      September 15, 2015 at 10:29 am Reply
  • deanne

    I absolutely love the transformation. May I ask how or what you did to change the top of the mirror?

    September 15, 2015 at 9:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Deanne! I really didn’t change the top, just painted it. 🙂

      September 15, 2015 at 10:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Okay…I feel pretty silly right now. I just realized that my son and I were both working on mirrored furniture and we both grabbed the wrong one! aaagh!! He is finishing a vanity and used mine. I didn’t even realize it until now. I like the original better. {head smack} Sorry for confusing you, which I’m sure I did. 😉

      September 15, 2015 at 2:47 pm Reply
  • Mary-In the boondocks

    You go girl!! I melted in that green, and the top looked just like chocolate. A makeover worthy of such a lovely piece!

    September 15, 2015 at 1:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Did you catch my mistake with the mirrors? Oh boy, drove me crazy and it’s fixed now. Note to self: always double-check your son doesn’t use your stuff. 😀

      September 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm Reply
  • Sherry Fram

    Gorgeous piece! Love, love those beautiful glass knobs! I think the paper inside the drawers adds a nice little surprise when you open them! Great job as usual!

    September 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm Reply
  • Karen

    Larissa, this chest is absolutely the best. You have such vision for your pieces . Did your son work on a project yet, with you, interested in seeing what you both come up with! LOVE LOVE your work! Karen

    September 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Karen! We’re hoping to get his little trashure find done in the next couple of weeks. Finishing up my other kids’ projects first. 😉

      September 16, 2015 at 9:20 am Reply
  • Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

    Beautiful job! I love that color of green, and the hardware is perfect!

    September 16, 2015 at 8:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for stopping by, Jann! I had fun bringing this piece to life. 🙂

      September 16, 2015 at 9:17 am Reply
  • Julie Chase

    I don’t know how you part with these pieces…they are so beautiful and I thought u just raised the mirror and I actually love seeing the white wall peeking through between the dresser and mirror?

    September 16, 2015 at 11:37 am Reply
  • Maria Gonzalez

    Looks beautiful! As always, great job!

    September 16, 2015 at 12:42 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Maria. It was a fun makeover. 🙂

      September 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm Reply
  • heather

    Loved that old lining in the drawers 😉 Guess I’m weird (not shocking). Love the green. Turned out lovely!!

    September 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I do too, but thought it was rather queer for being in that style of dresser. My kids wanted to save it. 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

      September 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm Reply
  • Marie@The Interior Frugalista

    Wow, what a difference! I love the Jadeite color, especially paired with the Early American stain color. That gorgeous hardware – the pearls on the black dress!

    September 17, 2015 at 1:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I think I have an addiction to pulls and Rustic Brands is full of eye-candy for me! The green is also a favorite of mine. Just so refreshing and fun! Thank you for stopping by, Marie.

      September 17, 2015 at 9:03 am Reply
  • Cheryl

    So beautiful!! Larissa, I have a question for you.
    I have some large pieces of furniture I would like to sell but I do not know how to ship them. I see your Etsy shop has dressers and such, how do you do it? Hope you can help,
    Thank you

    September 17, 2015 at 10:17 pm Reply
  • Mimi

    Hi Larissa. This is a gorgeous makeover. That green is so lush! Please share this with us at Five Star Frugal at A Tray of Bliss? What could be more five star and frugal then making your own ‘antiques’? Love, Mimi xxx
    http://atrayofbliss.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/five-star-frugal-19nesting-and-dreaming.html

    September 20, 2015 at 6:34 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hello, Mimi! Thank you for stopping by and for the invite. 🙂

      September 21, 2015 at 5:55 am Reply
  • Kimberly

    is the mirror frame painted a lighter shade than the drawers? it looks lighter. I’m trying to decide on a color for my kitchen cabinets.

    September 22, 2015 at 1:13 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi Kimberly, no they are the same, just the lighting with the window right beside the dresser causing you to see lighter. 🙂

      September 23, 2015 at 9:50 pm Reply
  • Terry

    I love this makeover! The hardware is to die for…I’m going to go check out that site, thank you for sharing! I’m a hardware junkie :0) ha ha You did a lovely job! I would be so happy if you would share this at Making Broken Beautiful.
    Smiles!
    Terry
    http://thecurtorscollection.wordpress.com

    October 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You and me both, Terry! Thanks for the invitation, I’m headed over. 🙂

      October 9, 2015 at 5:49 am Reply
  • Liz

    What a beauty now! I have never used milk paint either… but I have plans to soon. Yay…

    April 8, 2016 at 9:44 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much! It is a different paint, but easy to use. Have fun with it!

      April 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm Reply
  • Kathy

    What bonding agent did you use?

    April 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Kathy, Junque has a bonding agent they sell that goes with their milk paint. 🙂

      April 20, 2016 at 12:26 pm Reply
  • Judy Crawford

    I love your pieces. You have an eye for color – know what color looks the best on each piece. I have a dresser I would love to use milk paint on.

    July 20, 2016 at 8:22 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Judy, for the kind words. I have fun with what I do and love to share. 🙂

      July 21, 2016 at 5:29 am Reply
  • Neta Monroe

    Once again just Beautiful. I am always amazed at how well these projects turn out. Just getting started on doing furniture and I am loving it. Thanks for all the inspiration you give to everyone. Neta.

    November 5, 2016 at 6:39 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You just made my day, Neta, because that’s what I’m all about. I want to inspire and encourage others and I’m happy to hear you giving it a try. Have fun!

      November 7, 2016 at 5:32 am Reply
  • Dell

    I love the green and the stained top! And the knobs are the icing on the cake. Great vision! (again!)

    February 2, 2017 at 5:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! Thanks so much, Dell. I had fun giving this one new life. 🙂

      February 3, 2017 at 5:05 am Reply

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