Distressed Dresser Farmhouse Makeover

Typically when I speak of a distressed dresser, you would think that I am referring to the effect I am using to create a finished product. In this instance, however, the term “distressed dresser” is referring to the state that this antique was in when it came into my possession. Pretty distressed, don’t you think?

Distressed Dresser Before Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

*post contains affiliate links of products I love. (see full disclosure)

When the previous owners contacted me to see if I had any interest in it, I was eager to see what it looked like in person. The best part is that they knew something like this was right up my alley. This tired piece showcases snaggle-tooth veneer, missing trim and accents, mismatched knobs…

Dresser Face with Veneer Damage and Missing Parts | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

…and a whole lotta damage to the top.

Damaged Dresser Top | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

So…what to do? Have at it, of course. Yes! Funny thing I felt like I had so much in common with this dresser. Sometimes I get distressed and life seems to overwhelm me, but that’s when I need to get a good makeover from my Lord. For furniture though, I get to do the work. I’m glad I have One who is far better than me at giving a heart a new look.

Time to get started! I begin by using my towel soak method to remove the damaged veneer from the drawer faces just like I did on my Volkswagen Bus chest (aka BEEP) and my Dumpster Diva chest.

I tell ya, that stuff peels off like butter off of a hot knife.

Removing Damaged Veneer with Towel Soak Method by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The rest of the cabinet got some wood glue and wood filler, and then I sanded like the dickens with my sander.

Once all the preparation was done, I used Kilz stain blocker as my base coat and then applied a couple of coats of one of my favorite colors by Glidden called Dove White. I’ve used it in my kitchen and family room and can’t get enough. (psst…that cotton wreath can be found here)

Rustic Farmhouse Eclectic Style Family Room with Leather and Fireplace | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Since the cabinet had a bit of ornate trim, I decided to draw it out by highlighting it with some dark wax.

Using Dark Wax to Draw Out Distressed Dresser Details | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

One the painting and details were done, it’s time for the icing on the cake…the knobs.

Wooden Melon Furniture Knobs by Rustic Brands | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Aren’t they gorgeous? They are perfect for my vision. Ready to see it all come together? I am!

White Farmhouse Distressed Dresser Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Rustic Chic White Farmhouse Dresser by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Again, I couldn’t help but think of how Jesus takes a sin-stained soul and makes it white as snow. Maybe God is working on my heart and I feel the need to share, so bear with me. I know I’m not perfect, but I do know He is there when I need Him.

Now, don’t you think the added touches of the trim being drawn out add character? I love how those perfect wooden knobs give this once distressed dresser new life.

Ornate Details Drawn Our with Dark Wax and Feature Rustic Brands Knobs by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I had so much fun styling this piece in my bedroom and making use of all my thrifted and flea market finds. You just can’t find that decor in a store.

Rustic Farmhouse Chic Cottage Style Vignette by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

My favorite is my 25¢ hanging basket filled with dried hydrangea flowers my mother has given me. What a treat!

Simple Farmhouse Vignette with Flea Market Finds and Dried Hydrangeas by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

As with most of the pieces I work on, this new beauty is now available in my shop (SOLD)and can be shipped right to your door.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

White Farmhouse Distressed Dresser with Classic White Paint by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Since I’m all about sharing what I do, I’d love it if you would pin and share to inspire others to look past the distressed dresser state and see the beauty that lies beyond. ♥

A Once Damaged Dresser Gets a New Look with a Farmhouse Chic Style Including Tips on How to Remove Veneer by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Now, this large round thing will become something new. Any guesses? (psst…it’s actually an old Art Deco mirror back) Head HERE to see.

Salvaged Art Deco Mirror Backing Before Repurposing | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com
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More  projects like my distressed dresser:

Acme Cedar Chest Gets Makeover with Vintage Typography by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comHow to Turn a Pallet into a Clock, Plate Rack, and Centerpiece by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com

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  • Sue

    Wow, Larissa – this post was everything I needed today! Just perfect – thanks for sharing and I will say a prayer for you 🙂

    July 5, 2016 at 8:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s wonderful to hear, Sue. Thank you for the encouragement. 😀

      July 5, 2016 at 9:45 am Reply
  • Anne

    love love love those knobs! Great styling too. xo

    July 5, 2016 at 8:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I am so excited to use those wooden knobs…fun and pretty! Thanks, Anne. 🙂

      July 5, 2016 at 9:44 am Reply
  • Jen Green

    Great job, as always!! ??????

    July 5, 2016 at 9:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are so sweet. Thank you!

      July 5, 2016 at 9:44 am Reply
  • gwen

    i always cringe when i see painted furniture but seeing the ‘before’ really puts it in perspective! love the knobs and the dark wax on the trim – those really give the piece its character!

    July 5, 2016 at 9:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m with you, Gwen, in most instances. I prefer to only paint the otherwise trashed pieces…most of the time. 😉

      July 5, 2016 at 9:43 am Reply
  • Sherry Stuifbergen

    I always look forward to your blogs…haven’t seen you in awhile. I will say some prayers for you as you pull yourself from your “deep valley.” Always enjoy your “vision” when you see a forsaken piece…you know exactly what to do. Yes, I love flea market finds too. I LOVE the basket…will keep my eyes peeled for one as well. Take care.. prayers, Sherry

    July 5, 2016 at 10:02 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m all good, Sherry, but thank you for the prayers. Just this crazy remodel is taking too long and we have so much to do before we get back to full-time homeschooling and winter (yes, it creeps up like that). Have a great day!

      July 5, 2016 at 11:05 am Reply
  • Lynne

    Larissa: Where can I find the towel tutorial on removing veener? Thank you Lynne

    July 5, 2016 at 11:01 am Reply
  • Becky Moyer

    I loved the analogy (what encouragement!) and how the dresser turned out.) Love your blog!

    July 5, 2016 at 11:44 am Reply
  • Joyce @ QN

    25 cents for that basket? wonderful! (would be my favorite thing too). Of course – the hydrangea’s ‘make’ it – just perfect. And the dresser is great too. I agree – a piece made over is much like Jesus making us over. I’m a work-in-progress as well. So want to keep a soft-pliable heart. Blessings!

    July 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm Reply
  • Marie, The Interior Frugalista

    It’s beautiful Larissa and pinned to share? Oh my, do I love those wooden knobs!

    July 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are too sweet, Marie. Thank you so much!

      July 8, 2016 at 12:43 pm Reply
  • joelle

    This is so beautiful! I love how you renovated this piece without taking any of its character away. Well done!

    November 21, 2016 at 11:22 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Joelle!

      November 22, 2016 at 4:18 pm Reply
  • Rebecca C

    Love those knobs and almost anything with antique wheels-great save on this piece turned out beautifully!

    February 15, 2017 at 9:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! Thank you, Rebecca!

      February 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm Reply
  • Paula Walters

    Your work is amazing! I love the look of painted vintage furniture but I don’t love the musty, mildew smell that most come with. Do you have a technique to get rid of the smell?

    January 31, 2019 at 6:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Paula. You’re too kind. The sun is the best recipe to remove it. Winter or summer, just set it out for days and let it bake. Also, a wash of vinegar and even baking soda inside will help too. There are some instances I use a “scent away” product that hunters use to remove their scent. It works for smoke too.

      January 31, 2019 at 6:18 am Reply
      • Kelli

        With regards to removing unpleasant odors, any suggestions for getting the ashtray smell out of 6 otherwise gorgeous cane back chairs? I’ve removed & tossed the seats, but the smell just won’t go away. Help!

        May 12, 2019 at 9:17 pm Reply
        • Larissa

          I have honestly found that just baking them in the sun for days, turning them all directions does the trick. You can also wipe them down with a vinegar/water solution 50/50 to speed it up.

          May 12, 2019 at 9:20 pm Reply

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