Art Deco Waterfall Dresser Refreshed

Being a mom to six kids comes with a bit of pressure and a whole lotta blessing. Here I am responsible to teach, enable, and to encourage. My kids just love giving DIY a try. When my second oldest daughter, Miss S., decided she wanted to have at another large piece of furniture. How exciting to help her start! Here is the Art Deco waterfall dresser we pick to work on. Isn’t it a beauty?

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

As you can see, there is much that needs done with this piece, but nothing I knew she could’t handle. Miss S. has seen me work, helped me finish projects, and has done her own projects as seen in these posts. However, it’s just been awhile since she’s done something of this size, so I couldn’t wait to see what she would do with it.

The dresser has some missing veneer with bubbling on top, the wood is very parched, and really ready for a fresh new look.

Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Dresser Top |


She couldn’t wait to get started, so I gave her some tips and let her have at it. Miss S. started by removing the flaking veneer off the bottom scalloped piece. It all literally fell off except one piece that had apparently been glued back on…sideways. haha.

Tween girl prepping dresser for makeover |

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

I helped her glue down the bubbled/split parts on the top, the lifting veneer on the sides, and patch the missing veneer on the drawers with wood filler and wood glue. Basically we were doing all the prep work so she can be ready to start. You know this is the longest part of any makeover, but soooo worth the effort to do it right.

If you look at dresser, you would assume that those pulls and knobs were metal. BUT…they were plastic. Yes, plastic!! I was surprised as this was only the second time I had ever encountered plastic pulls on a nice piece like this. Crazy, I tell ya. Obviously, Miss S. was going to swap them out for new. In order to do so, she needed to use my Kreg Hardware Jig to makes new holes on the top drawer. This tools made it so easy for me to show her how to set it up and have at it with my drill.

Girl Using Kreg Jig for Dresser Hardware |


Once all the prep work was done, we took this Art Deco waterfall dresser back outside so Miss S. could give it some love using my sander. She’s not new to this tool and knew exactly what to do.

Tween Girl Using Orbital Sander to Repair Vintage Dresser |

After the sanding, she blew it off with our compressor, and then wiped it down with a lightly dampened cloth. Time for the fun part!!

Since the dresser already had wear, Miss S. and I agreed it would be fun to dress it up a bit with some details. First, we use my nailer to attach the braided upright wood trim. Next, we added this beautiful millwork applique in the center, but cut it in half first so the drawers could open.

Decorative Applique used to Dress Up a Vintage Waterfall Dresser |


Then the even more fun part…paint! haha. When choosing what color of paint to use, my guys always ask me, “What will make it sell?”. I guide them a bit, but truly leave it up to them. In this instance, Miss S. chose to go with one of my favorite colors.

Her choice of brush for this fun task was one of my favorites too, the Zibra Stubby Brush.

Zibra Stubby Brush Used by Tween to Remake a Vintage Dresser | Prodigal Pieces |

Why is it a favorite? Well, the short design work well in my hand, the angled tip allows me to get a nice, even coat and cut in any spot with ease. Plus, it is a no-brush-stroke dream.

Girl Painting Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Dresser in Vintage Duck Egg by Prodigal Pieces |

Miss S. gave it two coats of Vintage Duck Egg allowing cure time of approximately 2 hours in between. She also used a antique white color to paint the added trim and applique for a soft contrast.

When all was painted and ready, she lightly distressed and then gave everything a light coating of gray wax using another favorite Zibra brush, the Round Brush.

Using Dixie Belle Grunge Gray Wax on Vintage Dresser by Prodigal Pieces |

The wax is simple to apply with this brush as it can easily get into all those carved details with that Round Brush, and does a great swirling finish to the flat surfaces too.


Are you ready for the big reveal of this Art Deco waterfall dresser? We are!

Vintage Waterfall Mirrored Dresser by Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Duck Egg on Art Deco Waterfall Dresser by Prodigal Pieces |

The Vintage Duck Egg looks so good with that Grunge Gray wax to give it the aged appeal Miss S. was hoping for.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Gets Fresh New Look with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint by Prodigal Pieces |

To add even more fun, we added a pretty embossed wallpaper lining to coordinate with the details we added to the front. It’s those kind of peeks inside that make it fun to put your things inside.

Vintage Art Deco Mirrored Dresser with Paper Lined Drawers by Prodigal Pieces |

Swapping out the ugly plastic pulls for those beautiful bail pulls was smart move. They really dress up this classic piece. We both agree the mirror is our favorite part. Neither one of us has seen one like it. Have you?

Vintage Art Deco Dresser with Mirror by Prodigal Pieces |

Beautiful Blue Art Deco Dresser with Mirror by Prodigal Pieces |

With much pride, I can say that my daughter originally had the intent of selling this piece, but instead decided to donate to our Finding Home program. I am so proud! You can read the recipient story HERE.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Art Deco Mirrored Dresser in Vintage Duck Egg with Grunge Gray Wax by Prodigal Pieces |


Now for some more fun! {{applause}} Zibra and I are all about empowering you to create your own DIY project, whether it’s painting a piece of furniture or your home. The right tools are key and these brushes are a must! We’re giving away a set of my favorite brushes to one of you.

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

Easy entry – just fill out the widget below for as many entries as you like, daily even. Giveaway 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. Be sure to check your spam!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share Miss S’s. remake of this Art Deco waterfall dresser. She hopes to inspire other parents and kids to give DIY a try. It’s so fun!

This vintage Art Deco waterfall dresser got a fresh new look by a tween girl. It really can be fun to DIY! See the details at Prodigal Pieces |

Up next, I’m working on with this pair of louver doors I found during my recent spring city cleanup. Any guesses? See what they became HERE.

Wooden Doors Found Curbside by Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More projects like this Art Deco waterfall dresser:

From dingy and dated to beautiful antique, this vintage Art Deco waterfall hope chest is made new by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Get the DIY details at prodigalpieces.comOh my! This sad looking Art Deco vanity got a new lease on life with TLC by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces. Boho Chic is the new style and looks oh so good. DIY details at Prodigal Pieces |


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  • Deb

    Great job looks beautiful!

    April 17, 2018 at 6:01 am Reply
  • ColleenB.~Texas

    Beautiful make-over. Miss S. done a wonderful job.
    I have a couple of bar stools that need work so would probably start with them.
    Thank you for this giveaway opportunity

    April 17, 2018 at 6:03 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Colleen. Sounds like fun!

      April 17, 2018 at 6:22 am Reply
  • kelly kayfes

    What a wonderful job Miss S. !

    April 17, 2018 at 6:29 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for making her day, Kelly. 😀

      April 17, 2018 at 6:35 am Reply
  • Lois Stimax

    An advantage of homeschooling is that your kids have time to do things like this-and build skills that they just don’t get in school. Job well done! Give her an A+ for the project!

    April 17, 2018 at 6:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, I am eternally blessed to be able to have my kids with me and teach them in more ways than one. Thank you for the rave review! 😀

      April 17, 2018 at 6:46 am Reply
  • Lori Sawyer

    She did a beautiful job!

    April 17, 2018 at 7:02 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m so proud of her. Thank you, Lori.

      April 17, 2018 at 7:05 am Reply
  • Norma

    The dresser is just beautiful. It is great that you support your children the try bigger things and are right there helping them learn what and how to do diy’s. Repurposing old to new and saving all these old broken pieces to beauty. Miss S did a great job.

    April 17, 2018 at 7:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It is pure delight for me to see them go. Stretching their wings and flying! Thank you so much, Norma.

      April 17, 2018 at 9:05 am Reply
  • Sherry Fram

    The dresser is gorgeous!! Love the added detail on the front. Miss S. Did a fantastic job! Now if I was to win those awesome brushes I would give my dining room table the love it deserves after all we’ve put it through! lol

    April 17, 2018 at 7:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the love, Sherry! I’m a proud mama. You will love them!

      April 17, 2018 at 9:06 am Reply
  • Roberta Schultz

    Beautiful! I like the added moulding detail the best. It gives the piece an added touch! I have so many projects that I’d like to paint with th Zibra brushes. Too many. 😁

    April 17, 2018 at 7:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It seemed like a blank slate to us, and we had fun. Thanks for the love!

      April 17, 2018 at 9:07 am Reply
  • Robin

    Miss S. has done a lovely job on this dresser!!

    April 17, 2018 at 7:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for saying so, Robin. Made her smile!

      April 17, 2018 at 9:07 am Reply
  • M

    very impressive, Miss S!! Beautiful work!

    April 17, 2018 at 8:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      She says, “Thank you!. and I do too.

      April 17, 2018 at 9:08 am Reply
  • Rebecca - Knoxville,TN

    Wonderful makeover. What amazing skills of self reliance and confidence you are teaching your kids. Proud of Miss S. and proud of you too!
    Some Zibra brushes would come in handy for painting a rocking chair.

    April 17, 2018 at 8:03 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was crazy as I was busy doing my own project and kinda forgot about her and come to find her done. So cool!! Thank you, Rebecca.

      April 17, 2018 at 9:08 am Reply
  • Carole

    She did a great job! It’s beautiful. Those brushes would come in handy for a lot of things,

    April 17, 2018 at 8:06 am Reply
    • Larissa

      We’re happy to hear it, Carole. Thank you!

      April 17, 2018 at 9:09 am Reply
  • Michele Branham

    Looks like Miss S. is definitely following in her mom’s footsteps. It look beautiful! I know you are proud of her.

    April 17, 2018 at 8:18 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You bet I am. Thank you, Michele. 🙂

      April 17, 2018 at 9:09 am Reply
  • Nancy

    Well, there you have it………like mother, like daughter! What a dynamic duo you are!

    BRAVO, Miss S!

    April 17, 2018 at 8:32 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yahoo! How fun to hear, Nancy. Thank you!

      April 17, 2018 at 9:11 am Reply
  • Heather Rose

    The first thing I would paint with the Zibra brushes would be a dresser I have that is going to be made into a kitchen island. Thank you for your blog because it has given me so many ideas and practical info. Btw, beautiful dresser and awesome work by your sweet kiddo!

    April 17, 2018 at 8:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Sounds good! Thank you for the kind words.

      April 17, 2018 at 9:11 am Reply
  • Rebecca Drake

    I agree, the mirror is beautiful. I love the trim added. I think it really makes the piece!

    April 17, 2018 at 8:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Those curvy designs have me swooning. haha. Thanks from the two of us, Rebecca.

      April 17, 2018 at 9:11 am Reply
  • Kathy E.

    Another beauty, Larissa! Your skills always amaze me. The first project I’d use my brushes on is a small chest in my guest room. It looks rather shabby and needs some life!

    April 17, 2018 at 9:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      All props go to my daughter. She worked so hard. Thank you, Kathy!

      April 17, 2018 at 9:29 am Reply
  • Shelly

    An inspiration, as usual!

    April 17, 2018 at 9:40 am Reply
  • Jane

    I am not a fan of gray anything, but I have to say, that is beautiful. The white detail work on the front and the pulls really break it up and add to the charm. She did wonderful. You are truly blessed!

    April 17, 2018 at 9:42 am Reply
  • Kimberly

    Beautiful job. I am blown away at the new look of this dresser. I especially love the wood accents and the color of the duck egg after the wax.

    April 17, 2018 at 9:45 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Hooray! So glad to hear it. Thank you.

      April 17, 2018 at 9:46 am Reply
  • Sherry Stuifbergen

    You are teaching your children by example. What energy and pep all of you have. I love your before’s and after’s. God Bless your family as you all work together.

    April 17, 2018 at 9:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You’re the best, Sherry! Thank you so much for all your support in all we do.

      April 17, 2018 at 11:31 am Reply
  • Deb W.

    Lovely piece.

    April 17, 2018 at 9:51 am Reply
  • Lee Oliverio

    She did a beautiful job! And boy you are right about those Zibra brushes, they are the BEST for no brush strokes! I seriously want them all ;-). I am fixing my house to sell and will have a new home to decorate soon, no telling what will be my 1st project but there will be many! Thank you for this chance to win!

    April 17, 2018 at 9:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! They sure are. I am wholeheartedly addicted to them. haha. Hope you win!

      April 17, 2018 at 11:32 am Reply
  • kimmylouwho

    what a lovely job on this, Miss S! Your choice of color was spot-on! Great skills for your adult life too! Congrats!

    April 17, 2018 at 9:56 am Reply
    • Larissa

      She’s loving all this attention and she deserves it because she worked so hard. Thank you, Kimmy.

      April 17, 2018 at 11:32 am Reply
  • Susan

    What a delightful new look ! Your daughter has inherited your talent as well as your work ethic. Great job !

    April 17, 2018 at 9:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      She is such a driven person. I’m so proud of her. 🙂 Thank you!

      April 17, 2018 at 11:33 am Reply
  • Ashleigh Hall

    So beautiful! Great job Miss S! I’d love to try those awesome paint brushes to paint my daughter’s furniture.

    April 17, 2018 at 10:12 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! Sounds like a plan. 😀

      April 17, 2018 at 11:33 am Reply
  • Kenda

    Wow, you rock Miss S.! I love how the color reminds you of your favorite pair of comfy worn jeans. Good job, sweetie!

    April 17, 2018 at 10:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      She loved reading that! So fun to hear, Kenda. Thank you!

      April 17, 2018 at 11:33 am Reply
  • Kaycee

    Larissa, Another proud Momma moment for you!! Miss S. your vision for this piece was spot on! The trim work, applique and hardware, work beautifully on this dresser. The color and wax choices are perfect!!! Well done Miss S.

    April 17, 2018 at 10:34 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much, Kaycee.

      April 17, 2018 at 11:34 am Reply
  • Jo-Ann

    If the plastic knobs were original to the piece, they could be Bakelite, which is collectible. It would be interesting to check them out. I love the finished job, beautiful!

    April 17, 2018 at 10:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Not Bakelite, just plastic…trust me. 😉 Thanks!

      April 17, 2018 at 11:34 am Reply
  • Laura Forehand

    Wow! What a makeover! Timeless beauty
    We just made over a table and chairs, with the same Dixie Belle colors… the feel and look…
    I would use the brushes for a dresser makeover similar to yours, I have 2 plain, flat front dressers that need freshening up….thank you for the inspiration!

    April 17, 2018 at 11:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! So fun to share.

      April 17, 2018 at 11:34 am Reply
  • Tammy Shelton

    Perfect! What a great job! I would use the brushes for upcycling old jewelry boxes.

    April 17, 2018 at 11:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you. Sounds like fun!

      April 17, 2018 at 11:35 am Reply
  • Dale L Cundy

    Your daughter is amazing! Talented just like mom…. The dresser came out beautiful and the color is perfect.😊

    April 17, 2018 at 11:36 am Reply
    • Larissa

      aww…thank you. She is delighted to hear it. Tough girl she is! 😀

      April 17, 2018 at 11:43 am Reply
  • Robyn Wright

    Great job! Because of you, I now recognize “waterfall” dressers when I go to the thrift store.

    April 17, 2018 at 11:43 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Awesome! Happy to help. 😀

      April 17, 2018 at 11:44 am Reply

    Congrats on teaching the next generation. She is certainly a quick student. O

    April 17, 2018 at 11:43 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I just love it! Makes my whole world to see them go. Thank you!

      April 17, 2018 at 11:46 am Reply
  • Debra Wise

    Great job Miss S! She is as talented as her mama. It’s wonderful that you invest the time in teaching your children. I’m sure you’re very proud of all of them!

    April 17, 2018 at 11:56 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m can’t say enough how proud I am. Thank you, Debra!

      April 17, 2018 at 12:53 pm Reply
  • Janette

    Miss S did is such a beautiful job! Talent definitely runs in the family!

    April 17, 2018 at 12:46 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much! Happy to hear it, Janette.

      April 17, 2018 at 12:54 pm Reply
  • Michelle

    I only have on Zibra brush, but I love it! Thanks for introducing us to this brand.

    April 17, 2018 at 1:12 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You bet! Happy to share what I love. 🙂

      April 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    Wow! What an inspiration! I’m looking forward to working on some projects this summer myself. I’m always thankful to see what products you have used. I’ve been learning to hold out for the best. Thanks for sharing.

    April 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s an awesome thing to hear. Thank you, Lisa.

      April 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm Reply
  • Danelle

    This is so inspiring! Thank you. I would love to use the brushes on a curio cabinet that needs a face-lift.

    April 17, 2018 at 2:03 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Wonderful! Sounds like a fun piece.

      April 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm Reply
  • Saundra J Simpson

    She did a fantastic job and I love that she is following in your footsteps.

    April 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Every mama’s dream, right? I love it.

      April 17, 2018 at 4:21 pm Reply
  • Audra Taliaferro

    Looks great! Love the applique! We have a buffet in our dining room that doesn’t match with our style anymore, but with some paint, it would work quite nicely!

    April 17, 2018 at 2:54 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      We both felt we needed to add some pep to this piece. Thanks so much. Sounds like a great project piece.

      April 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm Reply
  • Mary

    Larissa the depth that is achieved with the paint and wax is amazing!! It almost looks like a fresco.

    April 17, 2018 at 3:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      She loved hearing that, Mary. Thank you from the two of us. 😀

      April 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm Reply
  • Liz Wiesemann

    She is a very talented patient young lady. Wonderful job!

    April 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Her determination is amazing. I love it!

      April 17, 2018 at 4:23 pm Reply
  • Jana

    Great job!

    April 17, 2018 at 4:11 pm Reply
  • Charlene

    Very Nice ! I LOVE the color and the detail piece that was added. That really made it extra nice.

    April 17, 2018 at 5:09 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      What fun it was for her to have at it. Thanks so much!

      April 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm Reply
  • Sandi

    Your daughter did a beautiful job. I love her paint choice and her choice of handles she used. She is very talented. She is her mother’s daughter for certain.

    April 17, 2018 at 5:11 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! We both couldn’t be happier with the outcome. So excited for her!

      April 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm Reply
  • dodie

    Wow, Ms. S! I always show my husband your kiddos’ workmanship. There seems to be a common misconception that young kids are unable to accomplish more than adults give them a chance or credit. Kuddos to mama for thinking otherwise and inspiring your kids to be creative and an avid recycler. We need more parents to teach kids to be independent, creative, and skillful.

    April 17, 2018 at 5:14 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hooray! That is so awesome to hear. Yes, I believe people tend to underestimate kids abilities and they can do far more if we give them the skills and our time. It builds confidence and create memories that last a lifetime.

      April 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm Reply
  • anne

    My daughters twin bed is from the 40s, I would like to freshen it up a little. Then maybe move on to the other pieces in her room so that it all coordinates!!

    April 17, 2018 at 6:16 pm Reply
  • Alison S

    Great job! I have some chairs I’d like to paint with the brushes if I win.

    April 17, 2018 at 6:23 pm Reply
  • Sara

    I would paint all those craft and home decor projects I’ve been meaning to do.

    April 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    Beautiful work Miss S!

    April 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Lisa. 🙂

      April 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm Reply
  • Donna Gonzalez

    Not sure if your kiddos inherited your talent or you taught them well or BOTH, but this is gorgeous!

    April 17, 2018 at 8:36 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      This girl has such drive that I think even if she didn’t inherit it she would make it happen. haha!

      April 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm Reply
  • Julia Harting

    Great job! Takes after he mama! Talent runs in the family.

    April 17, 2018 at 9:12 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I sure feel so blessed to have them as my family. Thank you.

      April 17, 2018 at 9:37 pm Reply
  • Annette

    This turned out so lovely. I would use the brushes to repaint an old vanity that’s been in the family for years.

    April 17, 2018 at 10:52 pm Reply
  • Pamela Brazier

    Great job Miss S, the dresser looks gorgeous. Your as talented and as beautiful as your Mama. Zibra brushes are great. 💕

    April 17, 2018 at 11:02 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Pamela.

      April 18, 2018 at 5:04 am Reply
  • Elaine

    What a beautiful job she did! And I just love the extra touches!

    April 18, 2018 at 7:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      So glad to hear it. Thank you!

      April 18, 2018 at 8:21 am Reply
  • Zoe

    That’s gorgeous! May I ask, did you replace the veneer on the scalloped bottom?

    April 18, 2018 at 8:34 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! She just sanded, stained, and painted. Most often the wood is just fine under the veneer for painting.

      April 18, 2018 at 12:09 pm Reply
  • Marie

    Miss S did a beautiful job! Love the color, her grunge wax application, and those pretty extras. Finger’s crossed her hard work pays off very soon 🙂

    April 18, 2018 at 9:17 am Reply
  • Donna

    Great job! I need to get my daughters to help me 😉

    April 18, 2018 at 9:45 am Reply
  • Barbara Pelzer

    Miss S did an absolutely lovely job! I am very impressed with her abilities! BRAVO!

    April 18, 2018 at 3:38 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you from the two of us, Barbara. 🙂

      April 19, 2018 at 5:20 am Reply
  • Deidra

    Beautiful dresser!!! Love the color

    April 18, 2018 at 5:47 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Deidra. 🙂

      April 19, 2018 at 5:20 am Reply
  • malinda pelkey

    She sure worked wonders, I’m impressed!

    April 19, 2018 at 11:40 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I am so happy for her. Thank you!

      April 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm Reply
  • Melissa Storms

    Wow, that looks fantastic. I am impressed with the painting skills. I am planning to paint my bathroom vanity.

    April 19, 2018 at 6:38 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Melissa.

      April 19, 2018 at 8:35 pm Reply

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