Curbside Antique Vanity to French Beauty

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One of my favorite times each year comes in early April when our city has a four-week long cleanup, where everyone can set up to a pickup truck load of unwanteds curbside. That my friends, is a picker’s dream. This time around I scored an antique vanity. SCORE!

It would take me all day to share with you the goodies I have scored over the years, from an old piano face used in my bedroom to perfectly functional antique furniture.  I call it “Trashure“. Amazing what people will throw out. Hence the saying, “One man’s trash is another woman’s treasure”. tee hee hee.

This year though, I had made a promise to myself to not go “junking”. My workshop was full and I really didn’t want to bring home more stuff until I cleaned it out. I was doing good until my neighbor came over and said, “You should really go see this desk around the corner. I think it’s an antique and something you would like. The trash truck is coming, so you better hurry up.” Alarm bells go off in my head and my pulse quickens.

Needless to say, I quickly crammed packed up my 6 kids and headed around the corner to find this…

Antique Vanity Found Set Out for Trash | Prodigal Pieces |

Ummm….yeah…that would be a GORGEOUS ANTIQUE VANITY!! I stuffed that baby into the back of my suburban with it hanging out over my tailgate. It’s all good since I didn’t have far to go, but one things for sure, I wasn’t leaving it there.

Now, here’s where the fun begins. Yes, this once-beauty was in rough shape, missing veneer, trim, and a seat – not to mention the top had been damaged by a chemicals. All workable problems, right?

Since I’ve had a couple of months to piece together this set, here is what I’ve come up with:

1. A vanity mirror given to me from a friend.  (they sweetly gave us another child’s vanity – project coming soon).

Free Dresser Mirror Makes Match for Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

2. A seat. I originally intended to use this antique caned chair, but just the other day I found the vanity bench while thrifting.

Thrifted Antique Caned Chair | Prodigal Pieces |

The store associate let me have it for half off, and I thought the legs matched the vanity better. Having a low profile seat really opens up the front.

Antique Vanity Upholstered Bench | Prodigal Pieces |

Here’s my misfit set all together:

Pieced Together Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

See those feet peeking out from the bottom? I had to have my daughter help me hold up the mirror because it wasn’t meant to be attached in that manner. I knew it would be interesting how I could get it mounted to the top.

Take a closer look at that top surface….bleck. It’s sticky and just plain sad.

Damaged Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

There were a couple of original pulls that I took off before I took pictures (I got antsy to start!), and the drawers were missing some detail trim and veneer.

Drawers on Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

To get started, I was generously offered to get some help from my sidekick to sand down the top to remove all that gunk.

Mom and Son Refinishing Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

Since the trim was only missing from the bottom four drawers, I decided to remove it all to make them match. I make sure to save those trim pieces because I can use them to repair future projects. Much easier than using my polymer clay method.

Making Repairs to Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

Wood filler was my best friend for the bottom front skirts. After the filler dried and was sanded, I stained it to match the original color so that when I distressed the paint the dark stain would peek through.

Applying Stain to Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

Much better, isn’t it?

Antique Vanity with Repair to Damage | Prodigal Pieces |

I wanted to brighten this lady up and decided to go with my favorite antique white as a base coat. It’s such a lovely rich white…so creamy. I’ve used it on another vanity makeover and a gorgeous chest of drawers.

Antique White Paint for Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

After a couple of coats of paint, it’s time to add some dimension to those intricate carvings with a mix of colors.

Highlighting Carved Accents of Antique Vanity with Paint | Prodigal Pieces |

Once the painting was done, I tackled the upholstery. The current fabric was so beautiful. Unfortunately, it was damaged and wouldn’t match the color scheme I was after. So off it goes!

My kids and I think it’s fun to see how many layers we find after ripping off the outer layer. I think the record is 7 different fabrics on a vanity seat in the past. Thankfully, this time I only had to remove two.

Vintage Upholstery | Prodigal Pieces |

Now, to really make this piece unique, I decided to add a French flair using a Royal Designs Studio stencil , called French Love Letters Furniture Stencil. I envisioned a young maiden perching herself upon the bench and composing a sweet love letter to her beau.

This isn’t my first time stenciling, but it is my first time stenciling furniture. I was so excited that I forgot to use the stencil brushes I got to complete this project. {head-smack} Instead, I grabbed my go-to foam brush. I aim to use this stencil again, but am itching to give those brushes a try. Remember my life’s lesson? “Haste makes waste.” yup.

French Script Stenciling Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

Actually the foam brush did fine, but now I’m curious if I would have had a different turnout if I had remembered to use the stenciling brushes. Ah well. It’s all good.

The finishing touch were the pulls. I yanked the antique knobs off of this Art Deco Waterfall chest that I received for free. I knew they would add that bling I was looking for. There weren’t enough for all the drawers, so I supplemented with store-bought replacements for the rest. You can see how the makeover of this chest HERE.

Art Deco Waterfall Chest of Drawers Before | Prodigal Pieces |

Well…are you ready to see this antique vanity go from trash to treasure? eep! I’m so excited to show you!!

Here she is…

French Script Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

I admit, I think this one has stolen my heart. ♥

French Script Stenciling to Top of Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

The script just makes it complete, and I love the soft greens and pinks too.

French Makeover to Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |

How about those pulls? BLING!

Beautiful Glass Antique Vanity Drawer Pulls | Prodigal Pieces |

Rose Upholstered Antique Vanity Bench | Prodigal Pieces |

To say I’m pleased is an understatement. I think my girls are in love with it too. I see them run their hands over the words and trace the lines. The typography translated reads:

I adore you my darling, my heart
I love you very much My angel, you are my love
You are the love of my life

Stenciled Antique Vanity Top with French Script | Prodigal Pieces |

The upholstery was what made me decide on the color scheme. I had it in my stash from a custom order for a client, and it suited this piece well.

French Style Rose Upholstered Bench | Prodigal Pieces |

Side View of Antique Dressing Table | Prodigal Pieces |

Not bad for a piece of trash, eh?

Antique Vanity in Farmhouse Style Bedroom | Prodigal Pieces |

This lovely antique vanity has sold from my shop, but I do take custom orders if you are interested. Funny, I keep promising myself that one day I will have a vanity of my very own, but now my home is filled with the things I love…my family.

I’d love it if you would pin and share this fun makeover!

Antique Vanity Left for the Trash Gets French Makeover | Prodigal Pieces |*Royal Designs Studios provided product for the project.

If you’re in the mood for another makeover, I’ve got plenty!

Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesHow to Create an Old World Look on Furniture | Prodigal Pieces |

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  • Wendi @ H2OBungalow

    Girlfriend… you find the BEST furniture and then transform them into awesome pieces! Love your talent and vision!

    July 15, 2015 at 7:42 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It always a treasure hunt, but sometimes they come right to me! 😀 Thank you for stopping by, Wendi.

      July 15, 2015 at 7:55 am Reply
  • Mary-In the boondocks

    Larissa, I can not get enough of your makeovers. You are a true artist!!

    July 15, 2015 at 8:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That means so much, Mary. It’s nice to be appreciated.

      July 15, 2015 at 12:11 pm Reply
  • Whimzy Thyme

    Wow – Awesome – I truly love it.

    July 15, 2015 at 8:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, girl!! It was fun.

      July 15, 2015 at 12:11 pm Reply
  • kim

    I love how that turned out and I really like how the kids enjoy helping you. What an education they are getting.

    July 15, 2015 at 8:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They love to help when they can. I hope to pass on at least the appreciation of hidden treasures. Thanks!

      July 15, 2015 at 12:13 pm Reply
  • Debrashoppeno5

    Curbside finds are challenging but the best. The set turned out so lovely. I would be tempted to keep this one.

    July 15, 2015 at 9:02 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They are! So much elbow grease, but boy, the difference that can be made. Thanks!

      July 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm Reply
  • Jillian

    I love this piece Larissa! It’s gorgeous. It is just the type of thing I have been looking to add to my daughter’s room! Great job.

    July 15, 2015 at 9:06 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Jillian! It’s so fun to rework a cast-off and rewarding too.

      July 15, 2015 at 12:09 pm Reply
  • Kathy

    Stop it! This cannot be topped topped. Hang up your brushes now! (No don’t, you give us so much inspiration! This vanity is stunning.

    July 15, 2015 at 10:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Hahaha…you crack me up! Thank you for the love. 🙂

      July 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm Reply
  • Kari

    Another gorgeous Curbside rescue what a great neighbor you have! The Love Letter is so romantic but my favorite feature is the dimension you added in the carvings to match the fabric on the stool. I have an antique ~6′ tall headboard that is in good shape so I do not want to paint but when I see how you make the details pop on your pieces I think I could paint in some of the detail lines of the carvings and leave the rest of the wood unpainted – the wheels are churning… Do you use a craft paint for that? I would love to see a round up collection post of the detail you added to your carvings on various pieces… if you take requests that is lol! Thanks 🙂 Kari

    July 15, 2015 at 8:46 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hmmm…maybe I should do a round-up post because I’ve forgotten some of the ones I’ve already done! 😉 Thanks for the love, Kari. I’d love to see what you do with your headboard.

      July 17, 2015 at 7:04 am Reply
  • Bliss

    Love it!

    July 15, 2015 at 11:12 pm Reply
  • Marie@The Interior Frugalista

    Oh my gosh Larissa you know how much I love your furniture makeovers but this one has been added to my favorites list. Gorgeous, gorgeous, and more gorgeous! I can’t believe someone would put that beauty to the curb. Chances are there are more beauties like that one inside their four walls – you should pop your business card into their mail box with a note saying you’ll gladly take any other pieces they want to get rid of. If I lived near you I would buy that French beauty in a heart beat!

    July 16, 2015 at 11:22 am Reply
    • Heather @ Viral Upcycle

      The business card idea is so smart! People throw so much out to the curb in my neighborhood.. Sad really.

      July 16, 2015 at 10:49 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      So happy to hear it, Marie! It is definitely one of my faves too. Great idea on the business card!!

      July 17, 2015 at 7:03 am Reply
  • Lucy @ Patina Paradise

    Larissa, this is such a feminine, romantic set that it makes me wish my husband didn’t like the industrial look so much! :o) You have given 3 orphans a new family and a new leash on a life as beauties! Applause, applause, encore! Take a bow! You deserve it!

    July 16, 2015 at 10:19 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Awww…you’re so sweet, Lucy! Thank you for the love and I’m so happy you enjoyed my project.

      July 17, 2015 at 7:01 am Reply
  • Heather @ Viral Upcycle

    Larissa, love the top. All of your pieces are so romantic! Beautiful job!

    July 16, 2015 at 10:50 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Heather. Your words made my day! 🙂

      July 17, 2015 at 7:00 am Reply
  • Cookie Wilson

    Prettiest one yet!

    July 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm Reply
  • Robin

    Absolutely beautiful! Love all your furniture makeovers and look forward to your posts. May I ask the name/brand of your favorite antique white paint?

    July 19, 2015 at 10:09 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Robin! I’m so happy to hear it. I use the color blend by Behr, but have it mixed up in a Glidden paint. 😉

      July 20, 2015 at 5:22 am Reply
  • Dee at the Carlton

    What a stunning transformation. I love the additional pieces you married to it but once completed, they look as if they have always been there!

    Really lovely work …

    July 20, 2015 at 5:05 am Reply
    • Larissa

      How wonderful to hear, Dee. Thank you! 🙂

      July 20, 2015 at 5:21 am Reply
  • Cheryl

    I love this site but have never commented on anything before as they are all fabulous , but this is the best I have ever seen, well done, congratulations, beautiful.

    July 20, 2015 at 5:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Cheryl, I’m so happy you spoke up! Thank you for your kind words. It was a wonderful piece to have the opportunity to work on.

      July 21, 2015 at 5:01 am Reply
  • Betsy

    Stunning! I can’t believe what some people consider trash.

    July 21, 2015 at 9:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Crazy, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by, Betsy!

      July 21, 2015 at 1:26 pm Reply
  • Linda @ A La Carte

    This is gorgeous makeover! You are so talented. Love the details and the fabric. Oh my!


    July 21, 2015 at 11:29 am Reply
    • Larissa

      awww…thank you so much! It was definitely a fun project.

      July 21, 2015 at 1:25 pm Reply
  • Lucy

    Love this! I have the exact same vanity with the original mirror but a mismatched chair. I have been wanting to do ‘something’ with it for years and you have definitely inspired me!

    July 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay for you! I’d love to see what you do with it. 🙂

      July 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm Reply
  • mossie1717

    What can I say just lovely! great work indeed……

    I live in Australia…and have never seen such a big stencil, where? did you get that one from? 🙂

    July 21, 2015 at 6:06 pm Reply
    • mossie1717

      It’s o.k. I found your link for the stencil 🙂

      July 21, 2015 at 6:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much! I saw you found your answer. 😉

      July 21, 2015 at 10:32 pm Reply
  • Anne@DesignDreams

    Omigosh Larissa, I am so in love with this piece! (these pieces!!)

    Wonderful work!

    July 22, 2015 at 8:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Anne! So glad you stopped by. 🙂

      July 23, 2015 at 7:59 am Reply
  • heather

    You are so talented, and I love that you’re robbing one piece to fix another. AND that your kids are always in on the action. You know I can relate. Turned out great. Have you finished that waterfall piece?? Did I miss it or do I need to stay tuned?

    July 22, 2015 at 8:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My kids make it more fun, like you with yours. That waterfall piece is coming up next in my line of furniure, so stay tuned! 🙂

      July 23, 2015 at 8:00 am Reply
  • Carol

    beautiful transformation!

    July 22, 2015 at 11:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Carol! A fun project, indeed.

      July 23, 2015 at 7:58 am Reply
  • Kim

    You are truly an artist, Larissa. This is lovely.

    July 22, 2015 at 12:16 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Kim.

      July 23, 2015 at 7:58 am Reply
  • Gilly @ Colour Saturated Life

    Oh Wow! I love how you matched the hand painted details on the dresser to the colours in the fabric! Gorgeous!

    July 23, 2015 at 6:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Gilly! It just needed a touch of color somewhere. 🙂

      July 23, 2015 at 7:57 am Reply
  • Geniece Schaber

    Another stunning piece Larissa! Simply beautiful!

    July 26, 2015 at 11:18 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Geniece! 🙂

      July 26, 2015 at 3:27 pm Reply
      • Cheryl Whisnant

        You are truly an artist! Beautiful transformations!

        July 30, 2015 at 11:16 pm Reply
        • Larissa

          So sweet of you to say, Cheryl. Thank you!

          July 31, 2015 at 7:51 am Reply
  • Terry

    What a beautiful rescue! So well done! I would like to invite you to share your work on my linky party. It starts Thursdays at 6:00 pm (MST). It is a Furniture only party and I would be honored to have you join! I hope to see you there!

    August 4, 2015 at 7:16 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Terry! I also appreciate the invitation – I will check it out. 🙂

      August 6, 2015 at 8:36 am Reply
  • Connie Nikiforoff Designs

    Would LOVE to know what your favorite white paint is! Color name and brand. I haven’t found my fav yet and end up having to do a lot of drybrushing over the white coat to get a softer white 😉 Thanks! I’ve looked through your gallery. Wow…so much pretty work and so happy these pieces are getting saved 😀

    August 8, 2015 at 8:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi Connie! I thoroughly enjoy Behr’s Antique White. It’s soft and light and great to work with. Thank you for the love! 🙂

      August 10, 2015 at 3:19 pm Reply
  • Mitchypoo

    I love this project so much! You did a great job.

    August 9, 2015 at 5:24 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! So happy to hear it! 😀

      August 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm Reply
  • Leah

    Wow! This is beautiful! I just purchased and old vanity from an estate sale for my 8-year-old step-daughter. After seeing this, I have some great ideas and can’t wait to get working on it!

    August 10, 2015 at 11:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Score for you!! Sounds like you’re an awesome mom, and I bet she’ll love it. Thank you for the love!

      August 11, 2015 at 5:55 am Reply
  • Judy G

    Yikes–that is a truly breathtaking set–so pretty–all of it

    August 21, 2015 at 11:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Judy! It was a treat to work on. 🙂

      August 22, 2015 at 8:07 am Reply
  • Sissy

    I am in awe of your vision and talent! Truly unique and creative. My sister was like you & always said that vision comes from the ability to look at things in a different way. I commend you in the way you encourage & include your child. It builds character and confidence. I wish you the best of success and health to you and your family. I love to see things reused and how wonderful to see them so beautifully done.

    February 13, 2016 at 1:12 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That is so sweet to hear, Sissy. Thank you so much!

      February 14, 2016 at 6:15 am Reply
  • Susie moyers

    Beautiful! I purchased a vanity at an estate sale. It needs a lot of tlc. How did you attach the mirror. Mine needs to be reworked. Also need to make a drawer. Have the front though. I love the stencil. Good food for thought. Where do you get your stencils? Thanks so much for sharing and your time to reply. Susie Moyers Moriarty New Mexico

    June 22, 2016 at 9:02 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Sweet! We used the upright braces that were on the mirror and attached it where the original mirror sat. I have the link to the stencil company within the post – Royal Design Studios. I hope you have a fun time with it!

      June 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm Reply

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