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DIY Denim Paint on Antique Chest of Drawers

You know that it’s hard for me to pass up an offer for not only a free piece of furniture, but also an antique. Can you blame me? No joke…I had just emptied my home of any extra furniture when my cousin tagged me in her friend’s feed offering up this antique chest of drawers. I felt obliged to…er…help. tee hee. The fun thing is that this piece inspires me to give it a DIY denim paint effect. Hang on to see what I mean.

Antique Chest of Drawers with Damage Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

You might be thinking…denim?? Well, let me explain. When I get a well-loved, free piece of furniture I count it as fair game to have some fun. Thankfully, all of the original brass knobs were present (some inside drawers). Those knobs totally remind me of rivets on blue jeans.

After I did my initial assessment of the hot mess-ness, I found that this is a piece that has potential for revival. Aside from the damaged top with burns, watermarks, etc., it’s at least solid.

Damaged Chest of Drawers Top | prodigalpieces.com

It’s also evident that the veneer is in rough shape not only on the drawer faces, but also on the bottom sides. I see that kind of wear on this age of piece all the time. It just means some serious DIY fixin’ is needed. woot!

TIME FOR REPAIR

First, I knew without a doubt that the flaking veneer had to come off those drawers. On all my past projects I have had success with my towel-soak method. It’s easy, obviously affordable, and just takes patience.

How to Remove Veneer the Easy Way | prodigalpieces.com

I literally soak bath towels in water, lay them on over night or all day, and then pour even more on. Yes, it doesn’t always work without fault, but I have only had one case where I probably shouldn’t have used it on a very parched chest. See what I mean here in my Rustic Chic tutorial.

The water permeates the veneer and soaks the adhesive so that it releases like butter on hot toast.

Removing Damaged Veneer to Antique Chest of Drawers | prodigalpieces.com

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

Then, while I’m waiting for the soak, I apply wood filler to the sides of the chest getting it ready for my DIY denim paint effect.

Repair Damaged Veneer with Wood Filler | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

In addition to repairs to the chest, I also needed to rebuild the bottom drawer that had a jerry-rigged repair done to it. Thankfully, it was a straightforward fix and all is ready to go for the next step.

BRING ON THE PAINT

Now that everything is prepped, it’s time to break out my favorite Zibra paint brushes to get this DIY denim paint technique started. First, I begin with my Stubby Brush using a seconds paint color that has a slight aqua tint to it.

Applying Blue Layer of DIY Denim Paint to Antique Chest of Drawers with Zibra Paint Brushes by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

These are the 7 styles of brushes available in my shop. Which one for you?

Zibra Paint Brushes for your DIY Projects | 7 styles available at shop.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #shopping #diy #home #homedecor #paint

Only one base coat is needed for the effect I’m after. I let that first coat cure for about 2 hours and then it’s time for some layering fun. You can see how I’ve used this same blending technique on my past projects HERE.

What you see below are the three paint colors I chose to get this denim effect. I already used that aqua color (yet to be named), and then a darker blue called Deep Arctic Night, and Dove White. Notice that I also have 3 separate Zibra brushes ready to go.

DIY Denim Paint Color Selection | DIY tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Then, I lightly mist the surface with water and apply a dry brush coat of the white paint, mainly focusing my paint in the center of the panel.

Applying White Layer of Denim Paint Technique | prodigalpieces.com

Once the paint is applied, I mist it with water again and begin to blend. I am using both the white brush, but also the aqua color brush on the edges. This is a fun step that lets you get creative. If you don’t like what you first see, just paint over it and try again when cured.

Misting Paint Layers to Blend Them | prodigalpieces.com

MORE PAINT FUN

Now this is where it gets even more fun. Even with the white blending fresh, I  grab my dark blue and deepen the edges and corners. Then, I use my aqua and dark blue brushes to work the paint to a soft blend. Next, I even use a very dry dark blue brush to make cross-hatch marks horizontally and vertically to imitate thread-worn jeans. Applying Dark Blue Paint for Denim Technique | prodigalpieces.com

In addition, I continue using the dark blue to dry brush the rest of the chest front and legs. Once I’m happy with the results, I let it cure completely.

BRING ON THE TYPOGRAPHY

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY. I’ve always found old store windows painted by hand enchanting. Even looking at the artistry of old advertisements for the most basic of products. It’s an art in and of itself. So…whenever I get a chance, I love to take the beaten up beauties and give them some whimsy, spunk, flavor…whatever you want to call it. You can see my past typography projects in THESE POSTS.

In the past I’ve shown you how I used my $10 thrifted overhead projector to get the job done. I also use my transfer method most often too. In this instance, I wanted some sort of iconic feel to the DIY denim paint effect. I print my custom design on an overhead projector film and transfer easily.

Painting Chest with Typography Using Overhead Projector by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Notice I have quite the helper coaching me how to proceed. hee hee.

Hand-painting typography onto antique chest of drawers | prodigalpieces.com

I chose to paint the art on the worm hole raw drawer fronts because it reminded me of the old leather labels on your favorite pair of jeans. Then, as soon as the paint cures, I use an old Round Brush and white wax to add more aged appeal and also nourish and seal it in.

Waxing with Zibra Round Paint Brush | prodigalpieces.com

REVEAL TIME

Can you tell I had so much fun with this?! From my original inspiration of the brass knobs I came up with this funky fun chest of drawers. woot!

Farmhouse Chest of Drawers with Faded Denim Paint Effect and Typography Created by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #art #home #farmhouse #homedecor #denim

DIY Denim Furniture Paint Technique with Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #farmhouse #furniture #home #homedecor #denim

This antique tells a story of long-lasting determination, just like a story that can be found in loved pair of jeans. Y’all know what I’m talkin’ about right?

Top View of DIY Denim Paint Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #farmhouse #denim #home #homedecor

Antique Chest of Drawers Given Time-Worn Denim Effect by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furniture #art #home #homedecor #farmhouse

My goal is to inspire you to break out your great aunt’s old beaten up furniture and give it an entire new life. Make it your own and keep the stories coming. If you’d like to own this chest, you can find it available in my online shop (SOLD) along with much more. We do ship to your door for half the price of most.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com

Rustic Farmhouse Style Denim Chest of Drawers with Typography by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #art #farmhouse #homedecor

Now for some for for you. Zibra and I are all about empowering you to get into your own DIY groove. We’re giving away a set of these fantastic brushes to one of you.

Win this fantastic Zibra Paint Brush Prize with the giveaway by Prodigal Pieces | details at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #giveaway #paint #furniture #diy #home #homedecor

Easy entry – just complete the widget below for as many entries as you like. (you can do it daily even for more entries) Giveaway open to U.S. & Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Be sure to check your spam!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share to inspire others to see past the obvious wear to the potential instead.

DIY Denim Paint Technique Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Head to prodigalpieces.com for the details | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #furniture #farmhouse #art #denim

Up next, is this handmade wooden cabinet shelf from the curb. Gotta love #trashure! SEE THE AFTER HERE.

Handmade Cabinet Found Curbside | prodigalpieces.com

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 paint techniques like my DIY denim paint:

What a difference! This vintage Dixie dresser with bow front style got a facelift using frottage technique to create time-worn wear. Get the DIY details at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #vintageTwo Thrifted Planters Get Faux Zinc Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Comments

  1. Mary Kaiser says

    That turned out so cool! Thanks for the contest. I truly LOVE those brushes, they are the best! Fingers crossed that I win them!!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Mary! I’m delighted to hear you enjoy the Zibra brushes as much as I do.

      • Lori Sawyer says

        The dresser is awesome.thanks for a chance at getting new brushes!

      • Judia Hyde says

        Your projects are always so inspirational. You truly turned a sow’s ear into a purse with this one!

    • Kathleen says

      Larissa’s tutorials are the best!

    • Janet Schen says

      I think u are so clever! This denim dresser Turner so cute! Thanks for the chance to win brushes. I want to try painting with one soon!

  2. ColleenB.-Tx. says

    The chest of drawers is stunning and what a great piece it would make in a boys room.
    That cabinet -shelf unit; can’t believe someone would actually put that on the curb. You’re lucky that you where able to retrieve it before someone else snatched it up ; like me :).
    Can’t wait to see what you do with it.
    By the way; thank you for this wonderful giveaway opportunity

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! You are too cute, Colleen. hee hee. It’s my pleasure to share these wonderful brushes. 🙂

  3. Kim says

    You are so creative! I love seeing what you come up with. Seems like you and Zibra brushes are a great pair.

    • Melanie Brooks says

      I love this makeover Larissa! Your analogy of antique furniture and old jeans is spot-on! They’re both better when they’re broken in, and get more comfortable with age. You’ve really captured that feel on this dresser.

      • Larissa says

        Thank you for getting me, Melanie. It makes my sharing more fun. 😀

  4. Liz says

    Love the denim dresser. I would love to try this technique with the Zibra brush on a table I have waiting to complete.

  5. Tammy says

    Awesome giveaway! I have several projects waiting in the basement, then next one being dresser so I’d use those brushes on that.
    How did you fix the front bottom drawer face?

    Thanks!
    Tammy

      • Tammy says

        Ah ok so you soaked that as well. I did not realize that once veneer is removed, it can look like that. It’s just beautiful.

        • Larissa says

          Yes. Sometimes it can be ugly under there, but mostly it is beautiful wood.

  6. Kim says

    I always love what you do with your furniture! Never a dull moment! Looks awesome!

  7. Glenda says

    Beautiful job on the dresser! Awesome giveaway! Can’t wait to try the technique on my next furniture project.

    • Larissa says

      You’re so sweet, Glenda. Thank you!! I know you’ll love these brushes as much as I do.

  8. Debra Wise says

    Gorgeous piece. You make layering look so easy. I tried it once and it looked like a hot mess. I need to give it another shot. Thanks for the giveaway, Larissa.

    • Larissa says

      How sweet of you to say, Debra. Thank you! It certainly is a fun technique that leaves it wide open to interpretation.

  9. Betty says

    I love how you seem to see the finished product when you look at a piece of furniture and it is usually always something I would never think of. Such great, creative ideas! Thanks so much for sharing and for the great giveaway!

    • Larissa says

      I’m so glad you don’t think me crazy! 😀 haha! Thank you for those sweet words of encouragement, Betty.

  10. Annette says

    When I clicked on this post and saw that piece, I loved it and couldn’t wait to see what you did with it. You outdid yourself! How creative are you?!
    I have some old bedroom furniture that I’d use the brushes on. I want to refinish them for my guest bedroom.

  11. Frances Batson says

    A great save for a really cute dresser. Love the denim. Zibra brushes are on my list of things I need.

    • Larissa says

      I am so glad her friend entrusted it to me. I hope she likes it too!

  12. Alison S says

    I have a dresser I would like to paint.

  13. Carol S says

    You’ve amazed me once again! What a great idea and fantastic execution! I am so impressed with your vision.

  14. Julie Squillante says

    Looks amazing. Good to know how to remove veneer in the future too.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! It seriously is the easiest thing and I use it all the time.

  15. Maureen Clipperton says

    Very creative! I’d redo our large desk in the office if I won.

  16. Jane Clelland says

    Gosh that’s nice! Turned out so pretty. Thanks for sharing and for the contest too.

  17. Kathy E. says

    You come up with the coolest ways to give an old piece new life! Love them all! I have an old chest that I love, but it needs some paint to give it some energy!

  18. Dawn says

    Love the colors on the dresser. Thanks for the giveaway

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Dawn. I’m so smitten with blue anything. 🙂

  19. Kaycee says

    Good morning Larissa, I love the style of this dresser, what a great save! I am in love with your blended painting technique with these colors!! Your choice of typography is perfect to complete your vision!!! Well done my friend!!!

    • Larissa says

      Good morning! I’m so stoked to share this pieces today. It’s easily a favorite and so fun for me to share. Thanks!!

  20. Janina says

    Your denim dresser is so beautiful.l wish l had your talent and creativity.l keep trying….thank you for your inspiration.

    • Larissa says

      Janina, you’re so sweet. Thank you for the love! You can do it!

  21. Kimberly says

    Wow, I love this denim effect!! Beautiful!

    • Larissa says

      Fantastic! I’m so happy to hear it, Kimberly. Thank you!

      • Sarah Ferguson says

        I would paint an antique change table for my nursery.

  22. Kenda says

    Now that is just plain cool. I’d love to know how you fixed the drawer! I remember reading your tip about removing veneer long ago and I can’t tell you how much time, effort and injury (*cough* stitches, *cough*) it’s saved me. Great job, as always!

    • Larissa says

      Do you mean the inside of the drawer? There was a piece running the back length to hold the bottom up. I removed that, took the drawer entirely apart, glued it all up. Then, I added two strips (front to back) with pocket holes to the bottom as “just in case” reinforcement. (as I think we all tend to overload those deep bottom drawers).

  23. Toia says

    That dresser is great! I learn tons from your blog – thank you! I need to just try blending… it is so cool. I have a secretary desk to work on next!

    • Larissa says

      I’m so glad to hear that, Toia. Thank you bunches! 😀

  24. Linda says

    I think this chest and the Volkswagon are my two favorites in forever and ever!! Great job. I could sure use the brushes. I could never afford all that luxury!

  25. Mary says

    Interesting painting technique, looks like fun. You really did a suburb job with the repairs, the dresser looks like it is in great shape! Well done. Keep up the good rescue work!

  26. MaryAnn Smith says

    I’m redoing a wicker vanity. I’d use the brushes for that.

  27. Sue Pagels says

    That is really cute – I’m always amazed at your creative thinking! Painting furniture is my favorite!

  28. dianne anderson says

    Love the denim look. That chest can be used in so many different places.

  29. Jody says

    You really know how to revive furniture; she looks good in her jeans! I would paint the dresser that has been hanging out in my garage for way too long.

  30. Nancy says

    I love the “denim” dresser! I would love to be gifted with an antique dresser to fix up 🙂 A couple of years ago I found a 1928 phonograph cabinet on the curb. Someone has removed most of the veneer from the top but there was still some that was really glued down tight. I thought I’d never get it off but a hot towel and a hot iron did the trick. Thank you for continuing to inspire me!

    • Larissa says

      That’s an awesome find! I haven’t had as much luck with an iron. This towel method has always worked. Veneer can be a booger! 😀

  31. Sara says

    I have a few pieces hanging out in my garage that the brushes would be perfect for. Thanks for all the inspiration!!

  32. Joanne Anderson says

    I adore this, and all of your creativity! Please adopt me! 💖

    • Larissa says

      Aww…if you don’t mind my husband, 6 kids, a dog, and cat…oh an ornery neighbors! 😀

  33. Amy Giannini says

    That dresser turned out REALLY CUTE! I love your ideas!

  34. Diana Merriman says

    Larissa, once again you have amazed me with your creativity! The dresser is beautiful. Thank you for showing how you gave this piece a “denim” look. I’m going to try it!

    • Larissa says

      My pleasure, Diana. Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

  35. Mary Milnarich says

    You always impress me with your painting ability. I thought you were crazy with the 3 paint choices, but you did a fantastic job. I too love those brushes but I hope to win the whole set. Keep on doing what you do best and I’m sure to be surprised again!

    • Larissa says

      hahaha! Too funny! I’m so glad you like it. I’ve always enjoyed this blending technique. So many possibilities with it. Thank you for the encouraging words.

  36. Calvin says

    Will paint a faded piece of wood piece that is part of the roof.

    Also a new coat on the bench.

  37. Susan says

    Larissa,
    Your creativity really shines with this piece! I love real wood furniture and painting / breathing new life into a well loved and worn piece is so gratifying. Thank you for the inspiration and the chance to win some new brushes!
    Peace! Susan

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Susan. You are so right. When they look beyond repair, that’s when I love to step in and rescue. So fun!

  38. Nancy Lambert says

    Larissa, I love the dresser, you are so talented.
    Thank you for teaching us how we can get inspired to do this.
    Thank you!!

    • Larissa says

      Well, you sure know how to make a gal blush. Thank you, Nancy!

    • Jessica Walker says

      I would give this to my daughter if I won. She loves DIY and painting

  39. Becky says

    What beautiful colors! I love that mix.
    It worked. I’m inspired to DO SOMETHING ABOUT my bad-paint-job dining room furniture!!! TODAY! 😊

  40. Deb Frank says

    I have a vanity that is calling out to me for an update fresh look. I think your set of brushes and painting inspiration is all I need!

  41. Wendy Caudillo says

    You are sooo creative. I love the mix of color with the raw drawers Thanks for the inspiration

  42. Carol Claremont says

    Love this dresser! I also love my one Zibra brush that I bought from your shop!

  43. Shelley Butcher says

    The dresser turned out amazing! I’m not sure what I would try first. I have a couple of bookcases that could use a makeover so I would probably start with one of those. Thank you for the opportunity.

  44. Lee Oliverio says

    I just love the denim dresser! I may have to give it a try. Thanks for a chance to win the Zibra brushes., and thanks for the inspiration!

  45. Heather Swanson says

    my veranda needs help

  46. Tabby72 says

    I’d paint all our old wooden doors!

  47. Trish says

    Woah! might be my favorite one to date. love the washed out denim affect. Well done lady!! Well.. done!!

    • Larissa says

      So awesome! That’s fantastic to hear. Thanks so much, Trish.

  48. julie Redden says

    I hope I win! The first thing I would paint would be a vintage faux bamboo drop leaf buffet cabinet I just bought.

    • Larissa says

      I hope you like my work too. The brushes are awesome. 🙂

  49. Jennifer H. says

    I have frames that I want to paint.

  50. John H. says

    I would paint a cabinet.

  51. Tracy Taylor says

    My dresser is right out of 1980, I would love to redue it in a fun way!

    • Larissa says

      Fun! I hope you enjoyed what I shared with my project. 🙂

  52. Dana Scott says

    I have these wooden crates that I salvaged from a bath and body works that was remodeling…I want to make a cool wall hanging/book shelves from them. I’d use these brushes for a rustic looking finish!

    • Larissa says

      That sounds like fun! I enjoyed sharing my work for you all.

  53. Mary says

    A dream for sure Larissa. How can I resist that denim blue?

    • Larissa says

      As per usual, you know blues win for me. 😀 Thank you, Mary.

  54. Jessica says

    I’ve been needing to paint my dresser for years. These brushes would be great.

  55. Katherine Donovan says

    I am getting ready to start painting a changing table for my new granddaughter! Love your look with the white blending. Looks great!

  56. Darlene Carbajal says

    My mom would love these brushes. She’s the one that mostly does DIY projects.

  57. Dawn Jozwiak says

    I have been looking for tutorials and ideas on upgrading older furniture. I just recently sanded down a sofa table, so I would use the brushes on it.

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