Mid Century Modern Chest ~ White and Wood

What would you say if someone offered you this Mid Century Modern chest for free?

Vintage Mid Century Modern Mengel Chest of Drawers Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Yell, SCORE! I live vicariously, can you tell? Of course I accepted this awesome gift sight unseen from some local peeps who knew I had a furniture fetish. This is a classic piece made by Mengel and has a design style that is out of this world. Seriously! If you don’t believe me, Google it. (that’s what we do nowadays, right?)

Mid Century Modern Mengel Logo in Chest of Drawers | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

* post contains affiliate links (see full disclosure)

This is by far one of the heaviest, most solid pieces I’ve come across, but…(there’s always a but. Can I get an amen?) it needed some lovin’. Today is Themed Furniture Makeover Day where each month a group of bloggers get together and share our makeovers. Today’s theme is all about RED, WHITE, OR BLUE and you can see the girls’ projects below.

I thought this Mid Century Modern chest would be perfect for this month because it was begging to have that cherry wood drawn out in contrast with WHITE. Yessssss….

The chest had some pretty deep gouges to the top and side, and even one of the side panels had split. Oh BTW, the top two pulls are present, but I had removed them to give them a good polish. pssst!! they are solid brass!! SCORE!

Damage Top of Mid Century Modern Mengel Chest of Drawers | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The top I repaired with wood filler and my sander, but that split side panel was a bit tricky. I had to lay it on its side and have my husband’s assistance to muscle the panels together and then attached together from the inside. Good as new!

Since I couldn’t quite save the wood of the cabinet, I could not resist showcasing the gorgeous cherry wood of the drawer fronts. That’s when I decided to go the route of one of my favorite methods of paint and stain combo like I used in this Mid Century set or on these pieces.

My all-time favorite stain after the years is Early American Stain by RustOleum. We’ve used it in our master bedroom, bathroom, and on numerous projects like our Pottery Barn inspired trunk.

Early American Stain for Mid Century Modern Chest | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

For the rest of the chest, I decided to go white. A flat white that I would finish in a RustOleum Matte poly finish as well.

The pulls were gorgeous, but needed some TLC, so I used my Bar Keepers Friend® to polish them up. Look at what was hiding in there!

Bar Keeper's Friend to Polish Brass Pulls | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

After all is said and done, I am tickled with the updated look that stays true to the classic retro style.

Mid Century Modern Chest by Mengel get Updated Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Clean lines and a style that can fit into most any decor. I love it.

Side of Mid Century Modern Chest by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Sleek Mid Century Modern Chest with Boho Flair by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

My newly blooming peonies are the delight of my heart and I couldn’t help but use them in my staging along with the vintage print I found.

Dark Pink Peonies on Vintage Chest by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Oh, and that leggy lady on the side is a part of a pair of chairs I just found while thrifting. I wasn’t even furniture shopping and they were calling my name! Can you blame me? The other chair has a hole in the caning, so I’m not sure what I’ll be doing to them or if they will stay with me. Time will tell.

Vintage Caned and Upholstered Queen Anne Style Chair with Blue Accents by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

As with most of my furniture makeovers, you can find this newly done Mid Century Modern chest in my shop (SOLD in a couple of hours!), along with oodles of other goodies. Be sure to stop by and check it out.


Do pin and share my Mid Century Modern chest makeover to inspire other to think outside the orange box too! ♥

A Mid Century Modern Chess Gets Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Up next, I’m be sharing with you some crafty fun fit for a feline. Head HERE to see.

Calico Cat Playing with DIY Natural Cat Toys Made by Prodigal Pieces | www.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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WAIT! Before you head off, you must take a minute to check out what my DIY Furniture Girls put together for the RED, WHITE, or BLUE theme this month.

Themed Furniture Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

More furniture makeovers like my Mid Century Modern chest:

Transform an Outdated China Cabinet with Wallpaper by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comOutdated Vintage Dresser Gets Industrial Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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  • [email protected]

    Wow..you certainly did find the mid-century lovely that was hiding under all that neglect. Beautiful job!! Susie from The Chelsea Project

    May 26, 2016 at 7:23 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I can’t get enough of Mid Century lines. They’re so very classy! Thank you, Susie. 🙂

      May 26, 2016 at 7:41 am Reply
  • Lucy ~ Patina Paradise

    Nice update on the stain and the hardware. Totally classy now! ;o)

    May 26, 2016 at 7:24 am Reply
  • cheryl B.

    Thank you so much for the oppurtunity to win such an amazing gift from you and Darren Gygi Home. I cant Thank you both enough.Its a blessing to offer cheer in my room.My husband is ill and Im hanging it up so we will have something very cheery hanging in the room.What a blessing. Hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial day weekend.Bless you all.

    May 26, 2016 at 7:51 am Reply
    • Larissa

      How exciting!! I am so happy for you, Cheryl, and will have you and your husband in our prayers. {{hugs}}

      May 26, 2016 at 8:01 am Reply
  • Lindsay Eidahl

    LOve that your drawers could be sanded down and stained. I really like the paint and stain look together. I have not had such good luck recently with being able to stain pieces, but just got a small chest of drawers that I can paint and leave the drawers as is! So excited to get started on it.

    May 26, 2016 at 7:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I just can’t hide gorgeous wood and love to showcase it instead. Thanks for the love, Lindsay, and have fun with your project!

      May 26, 2016 at 8:02 am Reply
  • Karin Chudy (ART IS BEAUTY)

    I love the two tone look! Great work as always!

    May 26, 2016 at 7:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Karin. It made those drawers and pulls pop. 🙂

      May 26, 2016 at 8:01 am Reply
  • Karen

    I was not expecting that look…fantastic job uncovering the beauty of this piece!

    May 26, 2016 at 8:52 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Awesome to hear, Karen! Thank you. 🙂

      May 27, 2016 at 4:06 pm Reply
  • [email protected]

    The paint and stain combination give this piece a wonderful update. It’s great that the pulls cleaned up so nicely! I really like this piece!

    May 26, 2016 at 9:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I just can’t paint brass unless it’s damaged and same for wood for the most part. So I had fun pulling out elements I enjoy. Thanks, Paula!

      May 27, 2016 at 4:05 pm Reply
  • Kathy Owen

    Gorgeous Larissa! I always look forward to seeing your furniture makeovers. I have never used stain…..ever. You have inspired me.

    May 26, 2016 at 10:12 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Seriously!? Wow, you have to try it, Kathy. I really love wood and only paint with reason. Seeing the grain come alive is invigorating. Yeah, I’m weird. Ha! Thank you!

      May 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm Reply
  • Renee

    I love that!! Love the paint stain together. Love the “cut” of the piece – love mid-century modern!

    May 26, 2016 at 10:15 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It has so much spunk! 🙂 I had fun and think the new owner will love it just as much. Thank you!

      May 27, 2016 at 4:02 pm Reply
  • Michelle

    As always you have managed to turn something sad into something amazing! I bet if that dresser could smile it would be grinning from ear to ear with pride now! You are an inspiration to me again. Oh, and your peonies (my favorite) are so gorgeous! Have a lovely day!

    May 26, 2016 at 10:54 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You know that’s what I was thinking when it was done…it was smiling. Thank you so much, Michelle!

      May 27, 2016 at 4:02 pm Reply
  • Marie, The Interior Frugalista

    Beautiful makeover, Larissa! Quite the difference – you’d never know it was the same dresser. I’m sure it’ll sell quickly for you. I’m shocked at the difference between the before & after of the hardware – need me some Barkeeper’s Friend (can’t find it here in Canada).

    May 26, 2016 at 1:24 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are such wonderful support, Marie. You were right, it sold in a couple of hours. Yay!

      May 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    Larissa, you did a beautiful job reviving this midcentury piece! What providence that it came your way <3

    May 26, 2016 at 2:47 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, a total blessing! Thank you, Jen. I can’t wait to show the other one they gifted me with.

      May 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm Reply
  • Stacy @ Anastasia Vintage

    So pretty, Larissa! I never cease to be amazed at how the simplest makeovers can make such a striking statement. Those white accents frame the piece so perfectly and really made the structural details pop. I’m not surprised at all that it sold quickly 🙂 Awesome job!

    May 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Stacy! I totally wanted to draw out the details and had fun giving it some life.

      May 27, 2016 at 3:59 pm Reply
  • [email protected] Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

    What a beautiful piece, Larissa! You score the best stuff ever! I’m not surprised it sold so fast. XOXO

    May 26, 2016 at 8:30 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I certainly was blessed by this gift. Wait until you see the other one they gave me. In rough shape, but will be a fun piece to give new life to. Thanks, Christy!

      May 27, 2016 at 3:59 pm Reply
  • Patty

    He is such a handsome fella you really dressed him up. The paint and stain is just beautiful it is like a piece of fine art.

    May 26, 2016 at 8:59 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      How sweet of you to say. Thank you, Patty!

      May 27, 2016 at 3:58 pm Reply
  • Audra @ Renewed Projects

    I love how you used paint on the drawer edges to create visual shaping. Helps soften the boxy look. Love the makeover!

    May 26, 2016 at 9:38 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you! I really wanted to draw out that part of it to give it character. 🙂

      May 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm Reply
  • [email protected]

    This is too pretty and I love the lines on this piece! I haven’t seen anything like this before in this shape. Now I have to look up the manufacturerer and read the history, what fun! Great job!

    May 27, 2016 at 8:27 am Reply
  • shanna gilbert

    This piece turned out gorgeous my friend! I love Bartenders Friend too!

    May 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm Reply
  • Kim Jones

    Larissa, this is a simply gorgeous dresser! I think you did a wonderful makeover using the stain and white paint! Not surprised this went fast! Just love what you did.

    May 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are so sweet, Kim. Thank you!

      May 30, 2016 at 7:09 am Reply
  • Tami @ Curb Alert!

    Wood and White – my favorite combination! I love how it turned out. Cannot wait to see your new craft project as well.
    ~ Tami @ Curb Alert!

    May 27, 2016 at 10:42 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Tami! 😀

      May 30, 2016 at 7:09 am Reply
  • Julie

    How did you repair the split in the side? I have an old child’s desk that needs similar repairs. I do love the white and the stain. I also appreciate that you tell us about your favorite products!

    May 30, 2016 at 9:52 am Reply
    • Larissa

      We had to reinforce from the inside by attaching “spines” over the crack. They had to be low profile so the drawers could still open and close. I hope this helps! Thank you for the love.

      May 31, 2016 at 6:27 am Reply

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