Are you one to shy away when you have a piece of furniture that has damaged veneer? I don’t blame you. Many a times I have run into a project that really had me ready to quit. Last week I showed you a chest of drawers and how I gave it a new look (on the left). This week, I’m going to show you how The Evil Twin got a makeover that gave a me a run for my money. Enter in this soon-to-be farmhouse empire dresser.
Let’s take a closer look.
You can see that the knobs are mismatched on the top and not original, no casters, and worn on top. No biggie, right? Well, the previous owner warned me that the top was pretty bad and that it would need painted since she works with furniture too.
She also told me one of the drawers was missing a bottom. Okay…I can handle that. When my husband brought it home and we both looked closely at the top, we just turned and looked at each other. My wrist and elbow already began to ache. That veneer had major bubbles, shredded through in places and was just plain awful.
No problem I said to myself. I’ll just use my towel soak method like I did on BEEP, Dumpster Diva, and this desk. However, looming in the back of my mind was my last veneer encounter with this other chest. The saga continues…
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On Day 1 I pulled the dresser out to get to work and a side slat fell out. Oop. I removed the drawers and got my towels on there for a long soak. Typically, I would put the towels on the night before I wanted to work, but forgot. While waiting, I rebuilt the drawer by cutting a new bottom on my table saw and was feeling pretty good. My hopeful attitude led me to think I could have the veneer off by that evening. I was absolutely wrong. ahem.
I totally knew better and tried to have a crack at it later that day and found that this would be the twin to that wicked Art Deco chest of drawers. This is how the top looked by mid-morning on Day 2.
Whenever I am working I tend to sing songs by taking old ones and adding in my current situation and this time it was, “a whole lotta scrapin’ goin’ on. Great balls of veneer!” hahaha…not so funny, really.
I wanted to quit. Why? Because I didn’t wait long enough for the water to penetrate and this was a super-thick veneer with excellent glue. Just as I was about to throw in the towel (get it? throw in the wet towel…) and take off the top and replace it with a new one like I did on this mess of a chest, the veneer started to lift when I gave it more time.
Filling the gaps was easy, and once cured, I sanded it down for a smooth finish. I will be perfectly honest that I had every intention of painting this surface, but when I was about to start I noticed how much character the wood had. So, instead of staining and then painting over top, I just used my favorite Early American stain and left that grain shine through. That’s when I was reminded of my farmhouse desk.
Once that stain was dry, I used a matte polycrylic for the topcoat for protection and aged appeal.
The cabinet didn’t have much damaged veneer, so I just prepped and painted a base coat of CeCe Caldwell’s Blue Montana Sky that I also used on the Diva I mentioned earlier and loved it.
psst…See my shadow on the floor for furball support?
Since my vision for this dresser was a fresh farmhouse look that resembled a summer’s day, I went over the blue with some Junque milk paint in Jadeite. The same color I used on this dresser.
I wanted this to look totally rustic and time-worn so I distressed and left it in the raw.
Here it is…with damaged veneer gone. Yeah, baby!
The top is rustic and tells a story. I love it!
The washed effect I gave the cabinet was what I was after. It made me smile as it reminded me of those blue summer skies and green grass.
My garage-sale-find pastoral painting titled, “Summertime Home” was the inspiration for this design. I love simple art and the stories they tell.
Yet again I was reminded that when I wanted to quit, I am ever so thankful that I have a Savior that doesn’t quit on me. “he will never leave you, nor forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:6. So thankful He doesn’t quit easily either.
On the same note, damaged veneer can be dealt with and just takes patience. Most shy away from them like the lady I bought from, and that’s when you can really score a diamond in the rough.
My hope is to inspire and encourage. By pinning and sharing you do the same for others. Thank you! ♥
You can find this chest and more in my shop (SOLD) – stop and say, “Hi!”
Up next, I have a fun DIY build for those furry friends that love us so. Meet Ted E. Bear. He’s tired of the summer heat and could use some lovin’. Head HERE to see.
More damaged veneer makeovers for you: