Farmhouse Dresser Makeover ~ Rustic & Red

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! In case you missed it, last month’s furniture makeover theme was “words/letters”. My feed sack chair was a fun and funky project that still has me on the hunt for more feed sacks. It’s a must see, trust me. This month’s theme is “RED” – oh yeah.  Time for a farmhouse dresser makeover. Yay!

I like red, especially this time of year. I have no idea why red is associated with Christmas, but it’s such a festive color, so why not? Before I even knew the theme for this month, I had already envisioned my piece as red, so it was an easy decision on which one to make over.

Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Festive, right? I wanted a rustic, farmhouse dresser and I got what I wanted. Let’s start at the beginning…
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
This dresser was one of the three pieces that came home with me after the garage sale around the corner I mentioned in my dolled up dresser makeover last week.
 
I will admit the ornate highboy first caught my attention, but this one made me smile.  It has such lovely form and I have a thing for skeleton key holes. There’s such a mystery as to why people thought they needed to lock up their clothes and possessions when most of the time they didn’t even lock their doors.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
It would have delighted me to no end to bring this piece back to its original glory. The peeling veneer was just not repairable and the damaged top was far too gone with chunks missing from where a mirror had sat, not to mention the deep stains.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Take a look at the drawers…see how the previous owner tried to nail down the lifting veneer?  Though I don’t like the peeling look, I do like the nail heads.   Yes, I’m funky that way.  tsk.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
However, If you take a closer look, you’ll see that the dresser had already had a red coat on at some point, and someone decided to strip it down. That’s probably when the veneer was mostly damaged.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
 Since I liked the blonde color of the wood, I decided to try to remove that peeling veneer and see what I got beneath.
If you ever get a piece with veneer that needs removed, just do like I mentioned in my 10 Furniture Refinishing Essentials post.  Soak some bath towels and lay them on overnight or for 8 hours.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
That veneer will come off like butter off of a hot knife, I tell ya.  SOOO much easier than scraping and nicking your knuckles.  Ask me how I know.
Once the veneer was removed, I was left with a surface that just needed some sanding TLC.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Can you tell those pulls are not original?  I saw no sense in spending money on trying to locate some authentic pulls, so I took my Rub N’ Buff and gave them an antique feel.  You can find it here: AMACO Rub ‘n Buff Wax Metallic Finish in Ebony
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser with Rub N Buff by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser with Rub N Buff by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
It’s much more appropriate than bright shiny silver, don’t you think?
Here is the farmhouse dresser ready for a new red look with veneer removed. Sigh… It is already that time of year when I have to paint inside because it’s like January in November now.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
I was going after an old worn layered look and to achieve that I used a base coat of green.  My kids would walk by and say, “I thought you were painting red?”  To which I’d reply, “You’ll see.”
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
When I started the red, my four-year old boy announced, “That doesn’t look too good.”  Ha!  I love the innocence of that age.
Who can blame him?  At first you would think, yick.
After the red coat, I sanded the red down so that the green would peek through and also some of the wood was revealed.  I finished off with a topcoat of a dark hand-rubbed wax.  Now it looks like an old barn finish with it’s deep red color.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Those rustic worm holes and spots where the nails had been just screamed character to me and I love how the core of the drawer is now showing and displaying the story of days gone by.  Nothing done to them except a good coating of linseed oil to draw out the natural color and grain of the mismatched wood.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Here’s a fun split to see the difference.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Since this piece was missing casters, I was able to dig back into my caster stash I was blessed with. I’m so thankful I was able to put this dresser back on its rightful feet.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Ooh, I just love the rustic feel and the red is exactly how I had envisioned it. Now this farmhouse dresser is ready for the holidays and to add that special rustic touch to a farmhouse somewhere.  It actually sold quickly from my shop and is now residing in the Caribbean!
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.comNow the dresser is in the spirit of the holiday and my heifer head, affectionately named Maybelle, is too.  Moo. You can get one HERE.
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser with Heifer Head by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Do pin and share to inspire others to see past the flaws and what can be found underneath.
Rustic Red Farmhouse Dresser Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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More makeover and DIY fun like this farmhouse dresser:

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Custom Reclaimed Wood Projects by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Don’t forget that there are all sorts of fun stories of “RED” being shared by my fellow furniture makeover ladies, so head on over to see what they’ve come up with.  Prepare to be inspired!
Themed Furniture Makeover Day ~ Rustic Red Farmhouse Cottage Chic Dresser by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com

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22 Comments

  • Christy Little Our Southern Home

    It turned out beautifully! Thanks for the wet towel idea….I’ve never heard of it!! ~Christy

    November 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm Reply
  • Debbie

    It is a beautiful piece! Love the shape of it and thered is perfect! Love it!
    Debbie

    November 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm Reply
  • Kim

    I love that you left the drawers wood. it looks perfect with the green and red!
    Kim@reposhture.blogspot.com

    November 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm Reply
  • Marie Blackburn

    Wow Larissa you put a lot of TLC in this dresser. Love the toned down red. Thanks for the we towel tip – pinning that idea for future reference! Loving the red theme this month 🙂

    November 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm Reply
  • motherhen

    Lol Your write up made me smile – funny read with my morning coffee. Love what you did with the dresser – warm and charming!

    November 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm Reply
  • Farm Fresh Vintage Finds

    Larissa this is absolutely perfect! I LURVE it!

    November 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm Reply
  • Angie @ Postcards from the Ridge

    Such a beautiful piece! You really brought it to it’s full potential! You’re a talented lady, for sure!

    November 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm Reply
  • Whimzy Thyme

    Fantastic! Just in time for Christmas. Great job.

    November 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply
  • Karin Chudy

    Just beautiful Larissa,
    I love it when these pieces can be saved and made gorgeous again!
    great job!
    Hugs,
    Karin

    November 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm Reply
  • Jeanette Chaney

    You did an amazing job on this poor dresser Larissa! Stunning!
    Jeanette

    November 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm Reply
  • Breanna Bertolini

    This piece makes me really happy! I love the warm tones of it and the subtlety of the red. Just gorgeous!

    November 20, 2014 at 10:06 pm Reply
  • Wendi Wachtel

    Larissa…You’re dresser is gorgeous! LOVE the makeover and thanks for sharing how to get rid of veneer. Tha’ts the first time I’ve heard of that method! I love the nails in the drawers too:)

    November 21, 2014 at 12:57 am Reply
  • Paula@SweetPea

    I had no idea that damp towels will help to remove veneer. Thanks for that great tip. This dresser looks so pretty and I’ll bet that it sells quickly. I like the natural wood drawers combined with the painted top and frame.

    November 21, 2014 at 1:10 am Reply
  • Christy James

    SO beautiful, Larissa! I like that you kept the beautiful wood on the parts that were in good shape, and thanks for the tip on removing veneer!

    November 21, 2014 at 3:06 am Reply
  • Vanessa

    I love this piece and the red is my fave color too, Larissa. What paint brand and color did you use? I have a piece I want to try to on. I never try the dark wax over paint before, do you have to add clear first than the dark? Great piece!

    November 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm Reply
  • Artsy Chicks Rule

    That is gorgeous Larissa!!! I love the “touch” of red!! Perfect! 🙂
    Nancy

    November 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm Reply
  • Melanie, LostandFoundDecor.com

    First time visitor to your blog, beautiful work! The dresser is adorable and your photo staging is lovely as well 🙂

    December 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm Reply
  • lauren @ West Furniture Revival

    LOVE THE RED! I WOULD LOVE TO FEATURE IT , IF THAT WOULD BE OK PLEASE LET ME KNOW,
    LAUREN

    December 16, 2014 at 4:56 am Reply
  • Adina Johnson

    This is one of my favorites! I love red as an accent color, especially during the holidays. Great choice, oh and the two tone is another favorite.

    November 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s awesome to hear, Adina. Thank you! Yes, the multi-color style is one of my faves too. 😉

      November 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm Reply
  • Martha

    awesome I love to work with wood, I use stains most the time it brings out its naturalness. I wonder how a light stain in mahogany would have looked instead of paint! Just another thought. Merry Christmas 2017

    November 26, 2017 at 12:56 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      If the dresser hadn’t had to have the sides removed, stain would be an option, like I mentioned. I love paint and stain anyway. 🙂

      November 26, 2017 at 9:06 pm Reply

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