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Antique Vanity found Curbside to French Beauty

One of my favorite times each year comes in early April when our city has a four-week long cleanup, where everyone can set up to a pickup truck load of unwanteds curbside. That my friends, is a picker’s dream. This time around I scored an antique vanity. SCORE!

It would take me all day to share with you the goodies I have scored over the years, from an old piano face used in my bedroom to perfectly functional antique furniture.  I call it “Trashure“. Amazing what people will throw out. Hence the saying, “One man’s trash is another woman’s treasure”. tee hee hee.

This year though, I had made a promise to myself to not go “junking”. My workshop was full and I really didn’t want to bring home more stuff until I cleaned it out. I was doing good until my neighbor came over and said, “You should really go see this desk around the corner. I think it’s an antique and something you would like. The trash truck is coming, so you better hurry up.” Alarm bells go off in my head and my pulse quickens.

Needless to say, I quickly crammed packed up my 6 kids and headed around the corner to find this…

Antique Vanity Found Set Out for Trash | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Ummm….yeah…that would be a GORGEOUS ANTIQUE VANITY!! I stuffed that baby into the back of my suburban with it hanging out over my tailgate. It’s all good since I didn’t have far to go, but one things for sure, I wasn’t leaving it there.

Now, here’s where the fun begins. Yes, this once-beauty was in rough shape, missing veneer, trim, and a seat – not to mention the top had been damaged by a chemicals. All workable problems, right?

Since I’ve had a couple of months to piece together this set, here is what I’ve come up with:

1. A vanity mirror given to me from a friend.  (they sweetly gave us another child’s vanity – project coming soon).

Free Dresser Mirror Makes Match for Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

2. A seat. I originally intended to use this antique caned chair, but just the other day I found the vanity bench while thrifting.

Thrifted Antique Caned Chair | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The store associate let me have it for half off, and I thought the legs matched the vanity better. Having a low profile seat really opens up the front.

Antique Vanity Upholstered Bench | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Here’s my misfit set all together:

Pieced Together Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

See those feet peeking out from the bottom? I had to have my daughter help me hold up the mirror because it wasn’t meant to be attached in that manner. I knew it would be interesting how I could get it mounted to the top.

Take a closer look at that top surface….bleck. It’s sticky and just plain sad.

Damaged Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

There were a couple of original pulls that I took off before I took pictures (I got antsy to start!), and the drawers were missing some detail trim and veneer.

Drawers on Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

To get started, I was generously offered to get some help from my sidekick to sand down the top to remove all that gunk.

Mom and Son Refinishing Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Since the trim was only missing from the bottom four drawers, I decided to remove it all to make them match. I make sure to save those trim pieces because I can use them to repair future projects. Much easier than using my polymer clay method.

Making Repairs to Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Wood filler was my best friend for the bottom front skirts for this antique vanity. After the filler dried and was sanded, I stained it to match the original color so that when I distressed the paint the dark stain would peek through.

Applying Stain to Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces |www.prodigalpieces.com

Much better, isn’t it?

Antique Vanity with Repair to Damage | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I wanted to brighten this lady up and decided to go with my favorite antique white as a base coat. It’s such a lovely rich white…so creamy. I’ve used it on another vanity makeover and a gorgeous chest of drawers.

Antique White Paint for Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

After a couple of coats of paint, it’s time to add some dimension to those intricate carvings with a mix of colors.

Highlighting Carved Accents of Antique Vanity with Paint | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Once the painting was done, I tackled the upholstery. The current fabric was so beautiful. Unfortunately, it was damaged and wouldn’t match the color scheme I was after. So off it goes!

My kids and I think it’s fun to see how many layers we find after ripping off the outer layer. I think the record is 7 different fabrics on a vanity seat in the past. Thankfully, this time I only had to remove two.

Vintage Upholstery | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Now, to really make this piece unique, I decided to add a French flair using a stencil, called French Love Letters Furniture Stencil. I envisioned a young maiden perching herself upon the bench and composing a sweet love letter to her beau.

This isn’t my first time stenciling, but it is my first time stenciling furniture. I was so excited that I forgot to use the stencil brushes I got to complete this project. {head-smack} Instead, I grabbed my go-to foam brush. I aim to use this stencil again, but am itching to give those brushes a try. Remember my life’s lesson? “Haste makes waste.” yup.

French Script Stenciling Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Actually the foam brush did fine, but now I’m curious if I would have had a different turnout if I had remembered to use the stenciling brushes. Ah well. It’s all good.

The finishing touch were the pulls. I yanked the antique knobs off of this Art Deco Waterfall chest that I received for free. I knew they would add that bling I was looking for. There weren’t enough for all the drawers, so I supplemented with store-bought replacements for the rest. You can see how the makeover of this chest HERE.

Art Deco Waterfall Chest of Drawers Before | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Well…are you ready to see this antique vanity go from trash to treasure? eep! I’m so excited to show you!!

Here she is…

French Script Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I admit, I think this one has stolen my heart. ♥

French Script Stenciling to Top of Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The script just makes it complete, and I love the soft greens and pinks too.

French Makeover to Antique Vanity | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

How about those pulls? BLING!

Beautiful Glass Antique Vanity Drawer Pulls | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Rose Upholstered Antique Vanity Bench | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

To say I’m pleased is an understatement. I think my girls are in love with it too. I see them run their hands over the words and trace the lines. French script that reads:

I adore you my darling, my heart
I love you very much My angel, you are my love
You are the love of my life
Love

Stenciled Antique Vanity Top with French Script | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The upholstery was what made me decide on the color scheme. I had it in my stash from a custom order for a client, and it suited this piece well.

French Style Rose Upholstered Bench | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Side View of Antique Dressing Table | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Not bad for a piece of trash, eh?

Antique Vanity in Farmhouse Style Bedroom | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

This lovely antique vanity has sold from my shop, but I am always working on something new. Funny, I keep promising myself that one day I will have a vanity of my very own, but now my home is filled with the things I love…my family.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

I’d love it if you would pin and share this fun makeover!

Antique Vanity Left for the Trash Gets French Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com*Royal Designs Studios provided product for the project.

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More makeovers like my antique vanity:

Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesHow to Create an Old World Look on Furniture | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Comments

  1. Wendi @ H2OBungalow says

    Girlfriend… you find the BEST furniture and then transform them into awesome pieces! Love your talent and vision!

    • Larissa says

      It always a treasure hunt, but sometimes they come right to me! 😀 Thank you for stopping by, Wendi.

    • Larissa says

      That means so much, Mary. It’s nice to be appreciated.

  2. kim says

    I love how that turned out and I really like how the kids enjoy helping you. What an education they are getting.

    • Larissa says

      They love to help when they can. I hope to pass on at least the appreciation of hidden treasures. Thanks!

  3. Debrashoppeno5 says

    Curbside finds are challenging but the best. The set turned out so lovely. I would be tempted to keep this one.

    • Larissa says

      They are! So much elbow grease, but boy, the difference that can be made. Thanks!

  4. Jillian says

    I love this piece Larissa! It’s gorgeous. It is just the type of thing I have been looking to add to my daughter’s room! Great job.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Jillian! It’s so fun to rework a cast-off and rewarding too.

  5. Kathy says

    Stop it! This cannot be topped topped. Hang up your brushes now! (No don’t, you give us so much inspiration! This vanity is stunning.

  6. Kari says

    Another gorgeous Curbside rescue what a great neighbor you have! The Love Letter is so romantic but my favorite feature is the dimension you added in the carvings to match the fabric on the stool. I have an antique ~6′ tall headboard that is in good shape so I do not want to paint but when I see how you make the details pop on your pieces I think I could paint in some of the detail lines of the carvings and leave the rest of the wood unpainted – the wheels are churning… Do you use a craft paint for that? I would love to see a round up collection post of the detail you added to your carvings on various pieces… if you take requests that is lol! Thanks 🙂 Kari

    • Larissa says

      Hmmm…maybe I should do a round-up post because I’ve forgotten some of the ones I’ve already done! 😉 Thanks for the love, Kari. I’d love to see what you do with your headboard.

  7. [email protected] Interior Frugalista says

    Oh my gosh Larissa you know how much I love your furniture makeovers but this one has been added to my favorites list. Gorgeous, gorgeous, and more gorgeous! I can’t believe someone would put that beauty to the curb. Chances are there are more beauties like that one inside their four walls – you should pop your business card into their mail box with a note saying you’ll gladly take any other pieces they want to get rid of. If I lived near you I would buy that French beauty in a heart beat!

    • Larissa says

      So happy to hear it, Marie! It is definitely one of my faves too. Great idea on the business card!!

  8. Lucy @ Patina Paradise says

    Larissa, this is such a feminine, romantic set that it makes me wish my husband didn’t like the industrial look so much! :o) You have given 3 orphans a new family and a new leash on a life as beauties! Applause, applause, encore! Take a bow! You deserve it!

    • Larissa says

      Awww…you’re so sweet, Lucy! Thank you for the love and I’m so happy you enjoyed my project.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you so much, Heather. Your words made my day! 🙂

  9. Robin says

    Absolutely beautiful! Love all your furniture makeovers and look forward to your posts. May I ask the name/brand of your favorite antique white paint?

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Robin! I’m so happy to hear it. I use the color blend by Behr, but have it mixed up in a Glidden paint. 😉

  10. Dee at the Carlton says

    What a stunning transformation. I love the additional pieces you married to it but once completed, they look as if they have always been there!

    Really lovely work …

  11. Cheryl says

    I love this site but have never commented on anything before as they are all fabulous , but this is the best I have ever seen, well done, congratulations, beautiful.

    • Larissa says

      Cheryl, I’m so happy you spoke up! Thank you for your kind words. It was a wonderful piece to have the opportunity to work on.

  12. Betsy says

    Stunning! I can’t believe what some people consider trash.

    • Larissa says

      awww…thank you so much! It was definitely a fun project.

  13. Lucy says

    Love this! I have the exact same vanity with the original mirror but a mismatched chair. I have been wanting to do ‘something’ with it for years and you have definitely inspired me!

    • Larissa says

      Yay for you! I’d love to see what you do with it. 🙂

  14. mossie1717 says

    What can I say just lovely! great work indeed……

    I live in Australia…and have never seen such a big stencil, where? did you get that one from? 🙂

    • mossie1717 says

      It’s o.k. I found your link for the stencil 🙂

  15. heather says

    You are so talented, and I love that you’re robbing one piece to fix another. AND that your kids are always in on the action. You know I can relate. Turned out great. Have you finished that waterfall piece?? Did I miss it or do I need to stay tuned?

    • Larissa says

      My kids make it more fun, like you with yours. That waterfall piece is coming up next in my line of furniure, so stay tuned! 🙂

  16. Kim says

    You are truly an artist, Larissa. This is lovely.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Gilly! It just needed a touch of color somewhere. 🙂

  17. Terry says

    What a beautiful rescue! So well done! I would like to invite you to share your work on my linky party. It starts Thursdays at 6:00 pm (MST). It is a Furniture only party and I would be honored to have you join! I hope to see you there!
    Smiles!
    Terry

    http://thecuratorscollection.wordpress.com

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Terry! I also appreciate the invitation – I will check it out. 🙂

  18. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says

    Would LOVE to know what your favorite white paint is! Color name and brand. I haven’t found my fav yet and end up having to do a lot of drybrushing over the white coat to get a softer white 😉 Thanks! I’ve looked through your gallery. Wow…so much pretty work and so happy these pieces are getting saved 😀

    • Larissa says

      Hi Connie! I thoroughly enjoy Behr’s Antique White. It’s soft and light and great to work with. Thank you for the love! 🙂

  19. Leah says

    Wow! This is beautiful! I just purchased and old vanity from an estate sale for my 8-year-old step-daughter. After seeing this, I have some great ideas and can’t wait to get working on it!

    • Larissa says

      Score for you!! Sounds like you’re an awesome mom, and I bet she’ll love it. Thank you for the love!

  20. Judy G says

    Yikes–that is a truly breathtaking set–so pretty–all of it

    • Larissa says

      Thank you so much, Judy! It was a treat to work on. 🙂

  21. Sissy says

    I am in awe of your vision and talent! Truly unique and creative. My sister was like you & always said that vision comes from the ability to look at things in a different way. I commend you in the way you encourage & include your child. It builds character and confidence. I wish you the best of success and health to you and your family. I love to see things reused and how wonderful to see them so beautifully done.

  22. Susie moyers says

    Beautiful! I purchased a vanity at an estate sale. It needs a lot of tlc. How did you attach the mirror. Mine needs to be reworked. Also need to make a drawer. Have the front though. I love the stencil. Good food for thought. Where do you get your stencils? Thanks so much for sharing and your time to reply. Susie Moyers Moriarty New Mexico

    • Larissa says

      Sweet! We used the upright braces that were on the mirror and attached it where the original mirror sat. I have the link to the stencil company within the post – Royal Design Studios. I hope you have a fun time with it!

  23. Tami Toppen says

    Absolutely lovely! I love the colors you chose and the stencil. So soft and feminine. It always does my heart good to find something that has been discarded and bring it back to life. You do wonderful work!

  24. Neta Monroe says

    OH MY, this piece is absoblutely gorgeous. You do such AMAZING work and give new life to pieces that have been discarded for the trash. You truly are an inspiration to me, and I am just beginning to get hooked on giving furniture new life. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing all you do. Be Blessed. Neta.

  25. Debrashoppeno5 says

    I am so sorry you are having problems and pray it gets resolved soon. The project is so beautiful and you are such an inspiration to all of us. Pinned and please let me know if I can help you in any way.

  26. S K Simpson says

    I just discovered your work & it really aligns with my tho’ts & decor. Your work is creative & fun. Please know I will also be praying Pinterest will resolve this issue to your satisfaction. Keep the faith; there are more “good guys” out there than “bad guys”!

  27. Sherry Davis says

    I just read your letter. What a sad world. I just love looking at your work, and reading the short, always funny stories behind them. For someone else to claim it as theirs is terrible, I am sorry this is happening . I have added you and family to my prayer list. God bless!

    • Larissa says

      It is a crazy world, indeed, Sherry, and so thankful I have a heavenly Father to turn to. Thank you for the love!

  28. Jacki ~ Junqinista says

    Larissa, so sorry that your picture was stolen and pirated. This happens to me too, and you’ve done the best thing; report it on Pinterest, and move on. Stay strong!

    • Larissa says

      It’s all that we can do to protect ourselves anymore it seems, and when we do, we still get flack. Ah well. Thank you, Jacki!

  29. Mary says

    If I didn’t know better, I would swear that this is NOT the same piece and you went out and bought this piece to replace it and took pics. THAT IS SOOOO FREAKING AWESOME !!! Oh, and ignore the ignorant people that are so full of themselves that they have to hide behind a computer screen and chew you out!!
    Girl, YOU ARE GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO !!

  30. Sandy says

    I love your work and I’m so inspired by you. Take heart. Even in the midst of adversity and attacks, the Lord can turn it around for your good and His glory! God Bless!

    • Larissa says

      I try to see it as a learning experience and how to glean from it. Thank you, Sandy!

  31. Vicki Sheets says

    I don’t know why some people are so miserable. Pray for them.

  32. Kim Schultz says

    Larissa, thanks for taking the time to write to us and explain the situation. Sorry to hear about all the harassment. I really enjoy looking at your work and someday I hope to be able to do as great a job as you do on yours. Please don’t let the haters bring you down! There are way many more of us who love you! God Bless!!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Kim. I’m using this as a stepping stone to build me up. Onward and upward! 😀

  33. Richard (in Charlotte, NC) says

    I see you have already done what I was going to suggest – that you watermark all of your photos from now own. So sorry you have had such a hard time with Pinterest and all those mad threatning emails and FB postings. Hang in there and best of luck going forward.

    • Larissa says

      Yes, watermark since I started, but that doesn’t stop them. Thanks, Richard. 🙂

  34. Melodie says

    Good morning Larissa, thanks for sharing what you do…Don’t get discouraged by others, you do beautiful work and it is so nice to see what other artists do…I know I get inspiration from other artists since it is an industry that can be a bit isolating…I have a full time job outside the art community so your blogs and posts are another way for me to take part and inspire me to be able to make my living as an artist some day!!!Thank you and keep em coming!!! 🙂

    • Larissa says

      It can be daunting for sure and as always a lesson to learn (and get thick skin)…hahaha… We can all use that, right? 😀 Thank you, Melodie.

  35. Karen says

    Larrisa, your work is breathtaking! I will keep you in prayer that this issue is resolved soon and that those who are angry from it find peace. Take Care 🙂

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Karen! This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last that stuff like this happens. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on. 😀

  36. Nancy F Lambert says

    Larissa, It’s beautiful. I love your work.

  37. Margaret T says

    You are inspiring me to get back to turning trash to treasure. I lost six pieces in the flood that were awaiting some TLC. You have gotten my juices flowing again. God bless you and your sweet family.

    • Larissa says

      Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear Margaret. I do hope you have at it as it can be therapeutic too. Best to you!

  38. Bonnie Cullen says

    Hi Larissa:
    Love, Love, Love this project!!!
    How did you attach the mirror? I have a similar project in progress but I’m at a loss on how to finish it.
    Blessings!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I just used the pieces that were on the mirror and drilled/screwed them into the top and back.

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