Art Deco Dressing Table ~ My Painted Lady

It’s always fun to redeem a piece of furniture or make cast-off items into something useful, but do you ever have one that just screams at you the instant you see it? Sometimes while perusing Craigslist, a listing will just make me sit up, make my pulse start to race, and I begin to pray that it isn’t already taken while I grab the phone and dial! This Art Deco dressing table was the one that did that to me.

$50!!!!  Do you see why?

Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
A gorgeous antique Art Deco dressing table in the waterfall style… just waiting for some love.
Thankfully, I was the first caller and asked how soon I could come over to see (needless to say I didn’t quite hide my excitement well).  I grabbed my kids and we headed for our 20 min. drive.
FYI: Let me just tell you that when someone says “need to bring help to bring downstairs”, they mean it.
This beauty was located in a very old upstairs bedroom that was nearly impossible to get down because the stairway had a long banister. The mirror came off easily and I brought that down myself. But…the base was solid and my son and I had so much trouble getting it up, around a corner, and down a VERY narrow staircase (you know the type where you’re standing on the step facing backwards and you can almost touch the next steps up with your nose?) I was bruised and beaten up by the time I got it home, but hey…it’s all worth it, right?
My favorite feature of the unfinished piece:
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Need I say more?  (Don’t you love my wardrobe for working out in my garage in zero degrees?)
Other than some minor wear to the veneer, she was only missing pulls and a matching bench.  Never fear!  Thanks to eBay and Craigslist, my missing pieces problem was resolved by a few clicks of my mouse.
By far one of my favorite colors is light aqua and I knew instantly this piece had to be that color.  The mirror had an accent strip just below it with tiny gold mirrors and I wanted to draw that out.  The carved work on the drawers fronts, feet, and mirror were just begging to be noticed.
For this piece, I made my own chalk paint using a seconds gallon from Home Depot – score!  Then, using an acrylic ivory and an antique gold, I added accents to those glorious carvings and a little distressing.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
 Antique starburst glass pulls with gold center really set the accents off.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
The mirror was a dynamic 40″ diameter with the most beautiful etchings – just perfect for primping and studying oneself. Don’t you wish you wish you had one?
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Found the bench on Craigslist and I already had the perfect upholstery in my stash that was given to me by my mother, who also used it on her vanity bench.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
 All was finished in a hand-rubbed wax, both light and dark to give that lustre I so love.
I really hated to part with my painted lady… we all did, but I had nowhere to put her.  Maybe I should have just gotten rid of my bed!
To make a memory, I had my 3 girls dress up and pose sitting on the bench in front of the mirror – so precious and worth more than any dressing table I will ever have.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesOnce listed in my shop, she sold in 3 minutes.  I was so stunned, and, honestly, sort of disappointed that I did I didn’t get to keep her. The new owner said she had one just like it as a little girl and she knew she had to have it.
There’ll never be another one like my painted lady!
More fun transformations for you:
Vintage Chair Gets Feed Sack Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesIkea Rast Dresser Done Brownie Camera Style by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
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  • Laurel Putman

    Just beautiful…I can see why you had trouble parting with it!!

    September 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm Reply
  • Peggy~PJH Designs

    What a wonderful find. You transformed it beautifully.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm Reply
  • kellyorr

    It is stunning! Such a pretty shade of blue!

    September 12, 2013 at 2:52 am Reply
  • sara whalen

    It’s gorgeous!

    September 12, 2013 at 11:26 am Reply
  • [email protected] From the Heart

    Oh, that piece turned out gorgeous! I would have had a very, very hard time parting with it. I’m sure the new owner is over the moon in love with it as much as you are/were.
    Love the colors, the detail and that mirror…oh my!

    September 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm Reply
  • One Shabby Old House

    Stunning. What a fabulous work of art you created. I paint furniture too and it can be so hard to part with the really pretty ones. I sometimes keep them in my staged lol garage/ workroom for an extra few day…ah heck sometimes weeks. It’s my weakness. But that one just might have been one that I would have found a spot for. You certainly have a great eye for detail.

    September 13, 2013 at 11:24 am Reply
  • Kim

    She’s a beauty, for sure! I love to see new life in the oldies but goodies!
    <3 Kim

    September 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm Reply
  • Angie Chavez

    What a beauty – well done!

    September 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm Reply

    WOW! Beautiful piece and great transformation!

    September 15, 2013 at 7:55 am Reply
  • Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking

    Gorgeous! I have to tell you I’m jealous of your freezing garage – I’m sure mine hit 110 today. I’m featuring your dressing table in the PoPP Spotlight this week.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:45 am Reply
  • Joan B

    Absolutely gorgeous! What a transformation!

    September 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm Reply
  • Joann


    October 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm Reply
  • Marie Blackburn

    Beyond stunning – a MUST Pin! I found it over at the Give Me The Goods party.
    [email protected]

    October 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm Reply

    Absolutely stunning!!!! Well done! I love it!


    February 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm Reply
  • Tone

    What a piece! I totally can see you hauling and pulling that thing down the stairs. But so worth it, I know! The details on the dresser is amazing, all from the carvings til the big mirror with flowers and the gold details.
    FYI I would allso get rid of my bed if I could keep this! Who needs sleep?:p

    November 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm Reply
  • Kimberly ~ Serendipity Refined

    Oh Larissa…it’s AMAZING! Perfect colors, detail and fabric….you have such a wonderful eye. Well done!

    April 21, 2015 at 9:06 am Reply
  • [email protected] Interior Frugalista

    Oh my gosh that is absolutely stunning Larissa! You did such a beautiful job on this. Love the ivory and gold embellishments and that color is gorgeous. Lucky finding the vanity bench on Craigslist – I couldn’t find one for nothing over here. I can see how that would’ve been a hard piece to part with.

    April 22, 2015 at 9:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Can you imagine having one like that? swoon… Thank you so much for your sweet words. At least I know it’s only a 5 minute drive from me. 😉

      April 22, 2015 at 9:36 am Reply
  • Amazing Furniture Transformations | From Evija with Love

    […] Or how about this beauty? […]

    June 17, 2015 at 7:12 am Reply
  • Joy

    I have one very similar, along with the matching bed and wardrobe , that belonged to my sweet mama when she was a little girl. It has lovely blue glass tiles, some of which are missing. Any idea where I could find replacements? Thank you for the beautiful makeover ideas!! It is a beauty.

    July 20, 2015 at 10:57 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Wow! Good for you! I would either try to remove one of the existing glass tiles and take it to an glass shop that could cut you similar ones or look on eBay or Etsy. Hope this helps and thank you for the love!

      July 21, 2015 at 5:07 am Reply
  • Kathy Curtis

    I love what you have done with these old vanity’s. I have one that now I want to fix up. My question for you is the mirror I have for this vanity is round like the one you show here. The mirror is so old that it has lost some of the clearness I am not sure how to explain. Do you know if mirrors are fixable? To give them the original clearness. This was my Aunt’s vanity and I am the second owner of this and I would love to be able to get the mirror fixed. I use this vanity daily.

    Thank you


    July 23, 2015 at 11:17 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Back in the day, there were artisans who re-glassed mirrors, but I don’t know of a single one who does it anymore. There may be one out there, though. Otherwise, you enjoy them as is or replace. Sorry, I’m not much help, but am glad to hear you’re enjoying that beauty. 🙂

      July 24, 2015 at 5:32 am Reply
  • Sandra L. Vey

    Been looking for many years now. Please email me if you have or know where I can find an art deco vanity dressing table in white with large round mirror, waterfall design. Must be in GREAT shape. Would welcome homemade from someone who is selling a “beauty”. (such as Etsy, etc.)

    October 1, 2016 at 7:59 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I see them all the time in my searches. Feel free to email me so we can chat. larissa at prodigalpieces dot com

      October 3, 2016 at 10:49 am Reply
      • lynn finch

        Omg, this piece is gorgeous!

        November 21, 2017 at 8:35 pm Reply
  • Tansy

    That is absolutely freaking gorgeous. I can’t believe you sold it. I bought a similar one several years ago (no mirror though) and it’s still sitting in my garage….still needing the paint scraped off of it (the place that sold it had painted it), and the veneer is peeling off.

    February 15, 2017 at 11:15 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Believe me, I think of it often. I still have no room for it as I like to sleep. 😀 tee hee. You have a winner waiting to happen!

      February 15, 2017 at 3:37 pm Reply

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