Now, I have never really said this before, but it is very hard for me to paint wooden furniture at times. I grew up in an absolutely gorgeous log home (a dream home, actually) set in a state park. And, I learn to appreciate wood in its natural state. Once when I painted a truly gorgeous piece for myself that isn’t made of mixed wood, I have to keep telling myself, “It’s okay, it’s got some pressed board” over and over again. Ha! I will say the “pain” has worn off to an extent, but when you see this next piece, you will understand why I can’t bear to paint everything I get. Enter in this gorgeous bureau…
Bureau, Bureau on the Wall Makeover
The original owner would never believe this is the same piece he sold me. Take a look at the before…
Obviously this piece is forgotten in some basement with broken pulls, damage to the top, and missing veneer.
When I agree to purchase this piece having not seen it in person, I am pleasantly surprised to find this desk – hence the bureau name. The cubbies are so fun!
Cue the Mighty Mouse theme song… “Here I come to save the day!” (I know that dates me, but I don’t care. Everything gets better with age. tsk.)
My original intent is to stain the top and faces of the drawers and doors. However the top is peeling veneer at the one edge and too thin.
I even tried some linseed oil to see how it wood draw it out and it was just too much. Although it didn’t work for the top, it really emphasized the woodwork on the doors and drawers.
Not only did the linseed oil draw out the imperfection, but it just didn’t jive with the faces being made of a different wood.
So…I paint the top. I am so happy because it really sets off that mahogany and now draws your eye to the faces instead.
Take note of the smaller drawers pictured above. Also, two of the pulls are missing or broken. However, I don’t want to replace the entire set. They are the real deal – nice, heavy brass swag pulls that are irreplaceable.
It took me a while to wrap my brain around what to do with those small drawers. I searched over 4,000 listings on different sites trying to find a similar style or something that would coordinate. Nothing appealed to me.
Then bingo, it came to me what to do (gave myself a head-smack for not thinking of it sooner). I found a couple of antique pulls with back-plates that were the same length as the width of the hole spacing. Score! To fill the holes, I cut some wooden dowel plugs and glued them in, making sure to drill the pull hole before nailing the back-plate on.
Simple enough, right?
Love it? It has sold from my shop, but there’s always more on the way! *Just a little note about my shop: We do ship and typically are able to give you a rate close to half of what it costs to freight furniture elsewhere.
Pin and share the bureau makeover love! ♥
Now I can at least say I’m a partial wood purist. Being strictly one or the other is just too boring. Which are you, painter or purist?
Stay tuned to my next project by signing up for my newsletter either in the side bar or at the bottom of this post. Let’s get our DIY on!
Namely Original says
Wow you really brought if back to life! I love that you kept some of the wood showing,and I’m curious on how you do shipping on your etsy shop.
MrsMajor Hoff says
Gorgeous! Well done!
Larissa, this is BEAUTIFUL!!!!
Acorn to Oak says
Wow! I think that may be the most incredible furniture transformation I’ve ever seen! I can’t believe what was hiding in the before and what you were able to find and do with it. It’s beautiful!
Larissa it turned out beyond amazing!!
My late husband would not let me paint wood. We had some pieces that were his mom’s that I really didn’t care for but if I could have painted them, I would have loved them. I understand the conflict, since sometimes I will see posts of pieces that make me cringe when they are painted. You did a beautiful job and made a very smart compormise.
Darrielle Tennenbaum says
Gorgeous! what a find and transformation!
Christy K says
That is stunning!
Beth Hockenberry says
Just stunning! You did an amazing job! I am also curious about how you ship through etsy. I also repurpose lost and forgotten furniture. I’m just getting started in my business and I’m discouraged by the cost of shipping furniture. Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
Eliesa Prettelt says
Seriously, I’ve seen a million furniture makeovers, but this one really is stunning. Those drawer front are gorgeous. Great job!
Just discovered this project from your 2014 post–I must have missed it this summer! Did you stain at all or just used the linseed oil and that’s how it came out?
Beautiful Larissa! And if you share on Hometalk, the readers won’t freak out on you ;)!
Hahaha…that is exactly why I stated that, Becky! Thank you. 🙂
I am speechless! This is stunning.
Thank you, Tammy! 😀
Mary-In the boondocks says
Be still my heart!!
Crazy what was hiding there, huh Mary? I’m so glad I got the chance to give it new life.
Jill Flory says
Larissa this is just gorgeous! I love what you did with it so much! Great job!
I had a notion to keep it, but just no room in my house (that’s a really good thing). 😀 Thanks for stopping by, Jill!
Mary Beth|Cupcakes and Crinoline says
Absolutely beautiful, Larissa!
Thank you, Mary Beth!
Diane Lavoie says
Absolutely magnificent job! Good creative thinking, truly a “Prodigal” piece makeover.
That’s wonderful to hear, Diane. Thank you!
Cynthia F says
I think it’s great that you were able to save some of it, while painting out the rest. Great idea and thanks for sharing your inspiration on such a lovely piece.
It was my pleasure to help this hidden beauty shine again. Thank you!
I am still kicking myself for not buying this when I saw it on craigslist! I love your work
I am still kicking myself for not having the room to keep it! hahaha…thank you, Chris. 😉
Hello. Did you do anything with the mirror? I bought a vintage vanity and the mirror has dark spots and streaks that can’t seem to go away with anything I’ve been using. Any help would be appreciated! And well done on this transformation!