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Antique Chest of Drawers ~ Hand-Painted Florals

It’s been a fun run or making over the stash of furniture I purchased from a storage unit. If you need to catch up, you can see the previous pieces here: (1) Mid Century Modern dresser (2) antique dresser (3) waterfall chest. Now it’s time for the last piece from that haul of goodies. Needless to say I also have more from other places, but…here is an antique chest of drawers that looks like a match to the dresser I have in my bedroom. Isn’t it a beauty?

Antique Chest Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

These classic pieces were built solid and will stand the test of time. That is, except their veneer. I always get disheartened to see one flaking away, but this chest was seriously parched and so very brittle.

Damaged Antique Chest of Drawers Side with Peeling Veneer |

You can see how the previous owners had tried to tape the veneer down to keep it from lifting. Each side and drawer had damage, but that’s nothing that a little wood filler and glue can’t fix.

Taped Damaged Veneer on Antique Chest of Drawers |

I even love finding these unique markings on pieces like this that give you the history and show their craftsmanship.

Taylor Made Furniture Stamp |

*post sponsored by Zibra and contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)


To get this redo started, I begin by repairing and gluing down every loose piece of veneer I can find. There were patches everywhere and I ran out of clamps so that I had to use my locking pliers too! Hot mess happening here, let me tell ya. Oh, and notice my energetic sidekick. He’s standing guard to that the kids don’t mess with my clamps. Good dog! haha.

Antique Chest of Drawers Being Repaired by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Next, I patch every spot I can find and let the wood filler cure. Once cured, I lightly sand it all down with my orbital sander and my Corner Cat sander. A whole lotta of sanding and gluing and more sanding. The entire piece had fluffy grain from being so dry.

Sanding Chest Top with Damaged Veneer |

Sanding Damaged Veneer |


After all the prep work was done, it was time to get my paint groove on with this antique chest of drawers. I had hope to save some wood somewhere, but it all left much to be desired. So…here we go! Here’s my color scheme for this piece. I’m using blue, beige, and soft white, along with 3 of my favorite Stubby Brushes. Yes, those brushes look like they’ve been around the block, but they last forever and keep on going.

For the sides of the cabinet, I used the blue base. No primer needed, just a good cleaning with to get rid of dirt and grime, plus promote awesome adhesion and we’re good to go.

Painting First Coat of Yankee Blue on Antique Chest of Drawers |

In addition to the drawer fronts, I decide to do the same technique as I did on my recent antique dresser and blend the 3 together. This adds dimension and drama to the piece. I love it!

Blending Dixie Belle Paint Colors Using My Favorite Zibra Paint Brushes |

After doing two coats of the blending, I add some of my artwork. Because…it’s fun and I love to paint. Then once I added some detailing I used my Square Brush to accent with Brown Wax. I love the way this little brush does such amazing things. I use my older brushes for wax. They handle the job beautifully.


Here she is all dressed up in blue and ready to go.

Striking Hand-Painted Antique Chest of Drawers in Yankee Blue by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Hand-Painted Florals on this Antique Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

It’s fun to add the unique touches to a piece that is begging to shine. Many ask why I don’t embellish like this more often. To be honest, it takes so much time. I need paid for my time since I have little to spare. However, these extra paintings are for fun, mainly. I am an artist in many facets and this is just one of them that brings me much enjoyment.

In the past people have accused me of just slapping paint on a piece, and I take offense – who wouldn’t? I am an artist, whether it’s my trashure creations, my crochet, my cooking, my woodworking, my sewing, my gardening…you get the idea. It’s no different than someone painting a blank canvas or a wall, creating with textiles, wood, etc. We can use them as we see fit. I’m here to inspire YOU.

Antique Chest of Drawers in Blue by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Blue Antique Chest of Drawers with Hand-Painted Details by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I can’t say enough that this truly was a fun project and am excited to say this was my first contribution to my Finding Home Program. So fun! In addition, stop by to see what’s new and sign up for my newsletter for instant discount on your first order.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Beautiful Blue Painted Antique Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Beautiful Blue Antique Chest Closeup with Vintage Prints |


To get you started on your own adventure, Zibra and I are giving away this wonderful collection of my favorite brushes. Yahoo!! We want you to give DIY a try because…you can!

Set of Zibra Paint Brushes for Furniture, Home and Anything DIY | Prodigal Pieces |

Easy entry – just fill out as many of the widgets steps as you like (daily even). Open to U.S. and Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Also, be sure to check your spam! GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

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Do pin and share this antique chest of drawers makeover to inspire others to see past the worn and weary and focus on the potential that lies in each piece.

From worn and weary, this antique chest of drawers got the makeover of a lifetime. Hand-painted details and restoration techniques demonstrated by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Up next, I’m giving a kitchen update and a new video tutorial to show you how. See the after HERE! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Now it’s time to see what my Furniture Fixer Upper friends have for you! Head below…

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Furniture Fixer Uppers ~ A Furniture Makeover Group | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comFurniture Fixer Uppers February 2018 |

  1. Just the Woods
  2. Petticoat Junktion
  3. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  4. Girl in the Garage

Also, more projects like this antique chest of drawers:

A tired and worn antique dresser gets the new look of a lifetime. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces tackles the damage to bring it new life. Read the story at prodigalpieces.comOh my! This antique library table was looking worse for wear, but after Larissa of Prodigal Pieces gave it a new look, it now shines again. Get the DIY details at

111 replies on “Antique Chest of Drawers ~ Hand-Painted Florals”

I recently began checking out your beautiful projects… you are such an amazing artist! Love your work. I have some small projects and could definitely use some nice brushes. I’ve not heard of Zibra before… hope to try them!

Wow, Larissa, this is a stunning makeover. Your artistry knows no bounds. 🙂 Seriously beautiful painting my friend.
I have several folding chairs I’d like to update with paint and I’m certain the brushes would make this a whole lot faster and more professional looking.

This dresser is just beautiful!! I’d like to see how you painted the narrow white line around the drawers. Do you just wing it with a steady hand? I’ve had trouble trying to glue veneer down. I would like to know how far into the loose part is far enough to glue down. You are very good and I’ve been following along for about a year but I have to ask if you’d post more pictures and include a few more steps for those of us who have absolutely NO experience yet. I’m also wondering what you do with the drawers. I’ve found that there’s always something wrong with them: either they are cattywompus, dirty, or just plain old smelling. I’d sure like to win those brushes to start on the old dresser in my basement.

There was a trim that I highlighted with the brown. Otherwise you could use tape if you wanted to create that effect. Drawer are…a pain. Always something to tweak with a sander, etc. Half the fun is figuring those out. Beeswax on side and bottoms, or even rubbing an old candle does wonders!

Beautifully done. I like the creative approach instead of just a straight paint job. It’s not for every piece but it sure is fun to read about!

Sweet update, love your color choices! I’m a fan of Zibra brushes and have a garage half full of projects waiting.

Funny thing is that these hang by my desk and I kept telling my daughter I had no idea what to stage with it. As I was walking around my house looking for something, I did a head-smack. haha!

another great piece! You are so talented and can’t believe all that you do with your large family! Congrats on handling life so well!

I love your work. I bought an antique bow front dresser almost a year ago. Between kids, work, and working on my bachelor’s degree, I haven’t had much spare time to work with it. It has layers of paint and peeling veneer- so, I’m glad to see this solution for the veneer!

I appreciate how you bring these pieces to life. Your personal touches make them so unique! You are a true artist because you live creatively! And you inspire others to be artists too! Thank you for the chance to win a set of Zibra brushes. I have a couple of wall hanging shelves that I want to paint in fun colors for my boys.

My first project with the new brushes would be a jewelry box that I’d like to makeover 🙂 Thanks for this opportunity to win some quality brushes.

Stunning! You are truly an artist in everything you touch. I wish I had your vision and talent. You are such an inspiration! I would use the brushes to paint a dresser I have waiting to be done. I buy cheap brushes to use for painting and would love to have some good ones. Thanks for the giveaway!

Easy for all the armchair quarterbacks to talk about “slapping on paint” when they have probably never loved a piece back to life. Keep on keeping on!

That is such a lovely dresser, Larissa. People may not understand that when you spend more time on a project, you have to charge more. Also, the more detailed pieces probably appeal to a smaller audience. Whatever you do, it must be working, so forget about the critics.

What a gorgeous renovation! I drove extra blocks through the neighborhood this morning (trashure day) in case there were “finds” left behind…not today, but your pieces are so inspiring!

Love this “work of art”! You are a TRUE artist! I would use these brushes on the vintage jewelry boxes I’ve been hoarding.

I wish I had the money and resources to be able to create such beautiful items as you!
Recently had a double mastectomy and not able to work.
When I have the opportunity, I am going to paint a dresser like this one!
I love beautiful creations, and YOURS definitely qualifies!

You are an inspiration! Finally I am stepping out of my comfort zone and doing a project for my hair stylist. Yikes! But seeing your projects and how you do things helps me figure out what I need to do. Thanks for sharing your work!

Really unique and pretty, Larissa! I would love to win those Zibra brushes, the square ones would sure come in handy. For that blending technique, speaking from an artist’s perspective, try out one of the super soft watercolor wide blending brushes (oriental style from an art supply store) – it barely moves the paint but leaves it a soft and blurred masterpiece. You can blend as much or as little as you like. They are fairly inexpensive, too. I’ve used them for years on canvas paintings, especially backgrounds. Love the makeovers, and forget the criticisms. Artists can’t escape them, and most folks don’t even realize all the work “just slapping that coat of paint on” takes !!!!!!!

I wanted hard lines and got that look I was after. I have artists brushes too as I paint on other canvases, etc. Yes, slapping paint is for some, but not me. tee hee. 🙂

Love the flower piece in the central vignette.

If I won, I would paint a campaign dresser that my DD discarded and has been sitting in my garage for years. Or the two end table and two coffee tables and hutch bookcase or the dresser that is going to be a potting table. Not that I’m behind or anything. (Of course, I do have a thing for brushes – just chose three watercolor brushes to give to my 4,3, and 1 great-nieces and nephews…oh well, must buy more…..)

Your work is exceptional. Love your simple to understand instruction s and your accompanying photos help. Thank you, I just love your blog, family,etc. Good for you!

Beautiful! Love the flowers you painted. I need to try to paint some. I bought canvas two years ago and just haven’t found the courage yet I guess. Lol

I’ve been there! For me, it’s having the time. I have a list of things to do when my kids are grown and this is one of them…though I’m not wishing that time comes fast. I love them more!

Beautiful job on that dresser!! You truly are an artist!
I know that a good brush is key to being able to achieve a really nice paint finish and would love to try out the Zibra brushes.

Your work is always so energizing and inspiring! My first project would be an old side table I keep downstairs. It really needs new life!

First – I loved the do-over & second, I’d have a hard time choosing, since I have an over-abundance of project pieces waiting for their make-overs (long story) but I think I might go for the old radio cabinet I finally got around to emptying of its inner parts & pieces/

I love the Yankee blue! I have one Zibra brush I bought after reading how much you liked them. I’m a believer. They are awesome. Great job and thanks for sharing your talents with us.

Every time you post a new project I can’t wait to click on the link to see what your latest piece has become. Such lovely detail with the flowers… She now looks to me like a French country lady.

Well, it’s pouring here, finally. But Big Dog doesn’t like the thunder so here I am at 4 a.m. waiting it out in the living room. So, what is one to do ? Well, see what Larissa is doing, of course! I love this blue piece! and another piece with the hand painted focal point. Where did you learn how to do that!? Just gorgeous!

haha!! I’m up over here too and working, as usual. So happy you come to visit and that you like my latest piece. My mother is an artist and have just found it’s in my blood. Such fun to do!

Just beautiful! One of these days I will have a Larissa original. You inspire me so much. I would love to have that set of brushes, I’m afraid to use my hippie family, their just to cute, lol.

Beautiful paint job 🙂 I recently bought an armoire. It needs a lot of work before receiving a paint job but when that time comes I hope to have a few new brushes to use.

Just slap paint on a piece…whaaaaaaat…you’ve got to be kidding me. Larissa, you’re definitely a talented artist and so so much more! Look at this gorgeous work of art – I challenge any of those naysayers to try this!

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