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DIY / Tutorials Furniture Woodworking

Rustic Chic Finish ~ Themed Makeover

I think there should be sweet music playing when I write for our Themed Furniture Makeover Day because it is my favorite time each month. Do you blame me? I don’t have local friends and neighbors, even family, who enjoy doing what I do, so having some peeps to share in the goodness is fantastic! Not only that, but they challenge me as well. Be sure to stop by the linkup at the bottom and check out all their hard work. This month’s project was all about RUSTIC furniture. tsk. Now you know that got me excited. Yay! Love me some rustic chic. ♥

A few weeks ago I was on Craigslist (like I’m never on there – right.), and was relisting some of my items. I make a habit of always checking the free section because you just never know. Here is what I saw when I clicked…

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Seriously, my jaw hit my desk and I grabbed my phone lightning-fast. (You know, I seriously wish I could see what my face looks like when this stuff happens. I’d laugh my rear off!) Missing a few drawers, casters, and mirrors, but it’s already stripped!!

Story goes like this: Lady tries to strip this set herself and finds out she took on more than she could handle. She damages it beyond repair (in her mind) and lets it sit in a friends’ barn (Man) for over a year. Man asks her what she’d like done with it because he’d like it gone, to which she replies, burn it. {{gasp}} Man says he can’t do that (good, Man!) and puts them on Craigslist thinking someone could do something with them. Enter in me…and the rest is history.

Now, would you drive straight over to grab them before somebody else? I would have, but couldn’t because you can’t fit 6 kids and bedroom set in a suburban, now can you? I asked the gentleman if we could come later that evening and thank the good Lord he said he would wait. He said it sounded like I was a nice lady. So, thank you, awesome hubby for driving an hour one way to get them, and thank you kind man for not giving them away before he got there!!

Funny thing though, sometimes the word free doesn’t totally mean free. There’s usually a trade. Gas to go get said items, etc. In this case, I knew that the man said they were a mess, but how bad could they be, right? What came to mind, was Maria on The Sound of Music asking the Mother of the Abby , “What’s wrong with the children?” when she found out they had trouble keeping governesses. So, what was so wrong with these pieces?

That man wasn’t kidding that the previous owner didn’t know what she was doing. Bless her heart she tried and here is the result…

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Snaggle teeth everywhere…the whole set was, well…fuzzy! I have lovingly named this set my “Fuzzy Duo”.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The veneer was coming off and it was dry as a bone from sitting naked for so long.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I used my towel-soak method to get two layers of veneer off the top of the chest, and it came off like butter on hot toast.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

One problem. Remember I told you my life’s motto is, “Haste makes waste”? Well, I knew the wood was parched, and when I soaked it good, it sucked up that water like a dehydrated elephant. It warped that top right into a rainbow and deemed it no good. I knew better than to do that method on dry pieces, but was in a rush to get it soaked overnight. grrrrr….

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

*this post contains affiliate links so you can find the products

See…even the dresser is smiling at my foolishness, but is still excited to get a new look. Some rustic chic lovin’.

So, not only did the vanity need new drawers, now the dresser needed a new top. Ah well, live and learn. So with my newest gift-to-self, my Kreg pocket screw jig, my husband built new drawers while I worked on the rest.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The theme is rustic, right? My goal is rustic chic, since this is an ornate set that is just aching for some styling. My base coat was done in one of my favorite go-to stains, Sunbleached, that we used in our master bedroom, my DIY bathtub tray, and also on this coffee table. I grab mine at Home Depot, but you can find it on Amazon too.
*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love too! (see full disclosure)

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Like I said, I knew these babies were dry, but my goodness! They sucked up a near full can of stain. I knew that staining would lift the grain even more, so I didn’t start to sand until after the stain was applied. That is not normal in most cases.

In those crevices, my handy-dandy Dremelwas a big help on saving my hands all the work. I seriously love the versatility of that tool.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

TIP: When you’re getting ready to stain any wood, it’s always a good idea to lightly dampen it so that the grain does lift up and open, and that allows the stain to penetrate deeply, giving a rich color.

To add a touch of color, I decided to use a bright blue to accent the details. This specific color is called Marine Blue by Glidden. Isn’t it purdy?

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Because I wanted a quicker painting method for some of the details, I used a Rust-Oleum spray paint, called Seaside, for the chair and accessories. It matched my Glidden paint perfectly.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Once the stain has dried and my tons of sanding is done, I do a wash of the blue on all the details I want to highlight. To do that, just brush over the part you want highlighted, and then wipe off quickly after with a rag, leaving the color behind.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now, I want to create even more texture, so with a dark, smoky gray paint thinned to about 1 cup paint with 1 tablespoon water (the color I used was a seconds paint and I don’t know the name – sorry!) and you can see more of my method on my garage door here. I brush it over everything, working in small patches. Quickly wipe off with a slightly damp cloth, again, allowing it to fill in the nooks and crannies creating dimension.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

After all has had an hour or so to dry, I added my topcoat. I wanted a subtle layer, so I used my paste wax to rub on one coat to the sides, and two coats to the top surfaces.

Thankfully, my hubby could help me whip up a dresser top from our stock, which made the dresser good as new.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now, the vanity also isn’t much of a vanity without a mirror. A few years ago I snatched up a busted up vanity found curbside that was in pretty bad shape. It really had been glorious at one time and I didn’t want to fuss with the expense of replacing the mirror, so I gave away the base and kept some parts. One of which was the center mirror backboard. I had planned to use this for myself in our living room remodel, but I needed a mirror…now.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesWith a little dismantling, and a good shaving down with a jigsaw, that backboard was ready for my vanity. I also had a mirror that would fit this backboard perfectly from replacing the original 1930’s mirror off of this vanity for a client a few months back.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The mirror was raw edged, but I took it to my guy at a local glass shop and he sanded it down on the spot for free. I love small businesses.

Since I had a remnant piece of that tore up vanity, I decided to use it as a stencil to create some mirror supports that would add length to my mirror stance.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The parts were cut out with my jigsaw and then attached using our Kreg jig. (tools over jewels, I say!)

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It seemed like the whole mirror was missing some intricate details like the rest of the set, so I added a bit of pre-formed wood carvings to the front.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Since I wanted to tie in the mirror with the rest of the piece, it also got a good coating of that Seaside blue and then glazed as before with that smoky gray.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It’s time to show you how it all came together! I’m super-excited and hope you are too.

Thanks to my dad’s farm, I was able to take my rustic chic pieces out there to stage them in a farm setting. It’s so wonderful to be able to be outside and I just stopped and smelled the wonderful scents of summer.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

See, now that chest is smiling. Can’t say that I blame it. Sitting unloved for over a year all hairy and unloved.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now how about those pulls! {{swoon}} Those mercury glass pulls are gorgeous and I can’t wait to use their goodies on more pieces to come!

Thank you to my hubby for the fantastic drawer work and building a new top at a moment’s notice.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

That vanity is so chic and lovely, don’t you think?

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The entire set came out just as I had planned, even amidst the little hangups. I am so pleased with this rustic chic finish and hope to do it again…soon.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Those soft tones are so soothing to me and I could say it a thousand times…I wish I could keep it, but alas, it is now available (SOLD) in my shop.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Hard to believe this is the same set that was going to be burned.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You know you want to try this rustic chic finish. tee hee. Be sure to pin it so you can find it again! And by all means, ask questions if you have any – I’d love to help.

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Here are a couple past themed makeovers:

Small Tables

Antique Treadle Sewing Machine Repurposed with Early 1900's Barn Wood Using Weatherwood Stain by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Pottery Barn Knock-Off

Pottery Barn Josefa Trunk Knock-Off by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now take a minute to visit these fine ladies and see their rustic goodness!

Themed Furniture Makeover Day
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More of my pieces and projects like this rustic chic set:

Grain & Gluten-Free Roasted Stone Fruit Dessert Cooked Campfire Style. Kick the S'more to the Curb by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comRepurposed Screen Door Turned Chalkboard Wall Art by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

40 replies on “Rustic Chic Finish ~ Themed Makeover”

Oh. my. goodness. Larissa, those pieces are GORGEOUS. I am always so amazed at your talent, and I think these are my favorite yet. Just wow. I might have to try some of that sunbleached stain, so pretty, and I always have a can of Seaside around. 🙂

Hahaha…you made me blush, Kimm! You have to try that sunbleached stain, it wonderful and another favorite is Weather Wood Stains too. I think I’ll be using Seaside regularly, my girls love it!

These pieces look gorgeous, Larissa! I love the colors that you used in your makeover and also how you were able to use pieces from your stash to make the mirror to complete the set. I’ve got bunches of tabs open on my computer after reading this post!

You are amazing and I adore your can-do attitude! You were lucky to find these pieces, but I think we all can agree that they were even luckier that you found them! Gorgeous, my friend!

Don’t you just love when you find the perfect piece on Craigslist and you’re the one to get it?! Sounds like these guys had lots of problems to fix but you turned them into such a beautiful set! Love all the dimension and texture they have 🙂

So pretty Larissa! I’m glad you worked your magic on it… I think a lot of people would have passed up the fuzzy set haha! Also, have you used wood conditioner before? It helps the wood not soak up too much stain because it basically solves that dry wood issue and the conditioning also strengthens the wood I’ve heard, because dry wood is often more brittle… But it seriously looks awesome just the way you did it! Great job!

Thank you, Rachel! Yes, wood conditioner may helped, but I guess I didn’t think it was that brittle since I could flex the veneer without snapping it. Ah well… the top under that veneer wasn’t very pretty anyway. I know better next time. 😉

Did you say FREE! I would’ve had the kids on the roof rack in order to fit those pieces in the suburban (just kidding). You and your hubby are quite the DIY team – so talented. Love love love the makeover you gave these two pieces. Wouldn’t you just love to see the look on the original owner’s face along with her friends? Talk about a trash to treasure story!

Amazing Rescue story with a Happy Rustic ending! What did hubby make the dresser top and vanity drawers from -something like Purebond plywood? I would love to see a tutorial on how hubby made the top and those drawers to fit an existing piece…this could be like an act of humanity in a furniture way, savings countless pieces from the dumpster or in this case the burn pile! Not sure if you would convince hubby to do a re-enactment, if not keep your eyes peeled on Craig’s list for items missing drawers and snap them up (as if you needed encouragement lol) !

Hahaha…the drawers are very simple with any cabinet grade ply or hardwood, if you choose. So easy with that Kreg jig (I love that thing!!) Hubby has told me maybe he should guest post sometime, to which I replied, “Absolutely!” 🙂

A guest post from Mr. Prodigal Pieces on this would be so cool! Remind him to dummy it down for amateur DIY’ers like me – he will be used to your wealth of knowledge and experience that all of us do not have…yet! Examples of Q’s from my side of the fence – did he router the dresser top and if so how do you do the corners, what router brand do you use? On the drawers I don’t even know where to begin – I think if the piece already had wooden drawer runners I would be tempted to chuck them as it would just make the task harder for me. How you get the groove in to hold the drawer bottom, what type of wood do you use for the bottom like a thin lauan for something small like that. How do you measure so it fits well but not too tight and the order of putting to all together – there is just so much to learn! Is he ready to be a Blog movie star and show us in a video or would that just go to his head ? haha! 😉

Speaking of drawers I just noticed the dovetailing on the Dresser – thank goodness you saved this set from it’s otherwise doom!

Seriously you outdid yourself on this makeover my friend! You know, like the phrase about turning a sows ear into a silk purse! Love the finish, love your vision…and the staging! Congrats on your new present to your self as well… a Kreg Jig opens up so many possibilities in building:)

Oh how I love a great save story! These turned out gorgeous Larissa, love the color choices and nothing’s better than free, especially vintage pieces like these… Sweet find, and sweeter refurbish! love it…

Larissa…you have left me speechless! And that’s not easy to do! These pieces were so lucky to have found you. I’m impressed by your vision and all the loopholes you had to work through to get to the end results. Simply stunning! Oh, I too live in an area that others don’t do what I do. I’m proud to be a part of this creative group. ~Jeanette

Lovely pieces. I wonder what they’d have looked like using pale duck egg blue. I LOVE what you’ve done with these. sharing these w/my mom.. she will have a fit over these. They are stunning.

What a transformation! Great work. Side comment: Our son had a foreign exchange student friend from Japan. One night he talked our son in to going with him to a “free” movie. Well, it was a good movie, but they spent a very long intermission listening to a promotion. Leaving, his friend said, “In Japan we have a saying that free isn’t always cheap.” You made a good decision to rescue those pieces.

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