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Serpentine Dresser with French Country Style

“It’s pretty beat up…” those words are music to my junk-lovin’ ears. I purposefully don’t work on pieces that are just fine only to paint them. However, I look for the unwanteds, the misfits, the beaten down beauties just waiting for new life. Enter in this vintage serpentine dresser.

Vintage Mahogany Serpentine Dresser Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Damaged Serpentine Dresser Top |

This ol’ gal was hiding away behind some clothing racks and bins with no price tag. When I inquired with the owner on asking price, she wanted to verify the cost with her husband. That quote above were her words, and it made me think to myself…just wait and see. tee hee.

Yes, she is right. It IS in rough state, but that doesn’t scare me. Everything is present as far as hardware and drawers go. The only major issues are missing, damaged, and chipped veneer, chemical stains, and carvings into it.

Damaged Veneer on Right Side of Serpentine Dresser |

Damaged Left Side of Serpentine Dresser |

Aside from a few numbers and letters etched into the top, it looked as if someone purposefully felt like damaging the top edge. geesh.

Closeup of Damaged Serpentine Dresser Top |

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


Aside from the cabinet being a veneer layered piece, the drawers are actually faced with solid mahogany. cha-ching! Talk about a gorgeous wood. Naturally, my sander came out to play.

Sanding mahogany drawers on vintage serpentine dresser |

Thankfully, removing the original finish wasn’t too bad. However, there was a chemical bleed through on one of the center drawers. You can see it in the before pics. While I don’t think it’s going to be an issue for my final outcome, I won’t know for sure until I take the next steps.

Then, I grab my white wax and my Round Brush and begin to bring out that gorgeous grain. One of the best things about Zibra brushes is once they’re use up for painting, I use them for wax.

Waxing Mahogany Drawers with White Wax | #prodigalpieces

Limed Drawers with White Wax by Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces


The cabinet, however, had too much damage to the veneer, so it got patched all over with wood filler and sanded. In addition to that, I removed the damaged veneer, then stain the bare spots to match.

Veneer Removed from Serpentine Dresser Sides | #prodigalpieces

Then, I begin my phases of layers to get this serpentine dresser a brand new look. My goal is to create a time-worn feel using paint. When beginning a project with layers, you kinda have to think in reverse.

First, I began with a coat of this really funky caramel color over a stain blocking primer layer. I’m using my 2″ Zibra Angled Brush to get a nice even coat.

First Coat of Paint on Serpentine Dresser | #prodigalpieces

This color serves as a great base for the next two layers. Here it is in the final state with one layer complete.

First Paint Layer on Serpentine Dresser | #prodigalpieces

Not too bad, eh? Before you think me crazy, take a peek at how I used this very same color on an antique buffet HERE. Also, I used it on layering paint on candlesticks over HERE (or see in video below) and on my faux wood garage door in this post HERE. So, I think it works wonderfully for what I’m after.


Next, it’s time to break out my spray bottle of water and, again, using that same 2″ brush. This time, however, I’m using a soft beige over the cured caramel color.

Adding a Second Layer of Paint to Vintage Serpentine Dresser | #prodigalpieces

I guess you call this layer a wash, but it’s kinda different too. I lightly spritz the surface I’m painting with water and then brush on my paint in the directions I want to highlight. I’ve used this blending technique many times in the past and love how it allows me to be spontaneous and creative.

Last, I use the same method, but this time my color of choice is a basic white in an eggshell lustre. After all the painting is done, I apply waxes to highlight details and also protect the top.


Are you ready? Here is the brand new look for my vintage serpentine dresser.

French Country Dresser with Serpentine Front by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #farmhouse #french #home #homedecor

Side View Vintage Serpentine Dresser by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #home #homedecor #farmhouse

Quite the different piece now, isn’t it? Yahoo! I LOVE IT. This dresser not only has a fresh feel, but the new look allows all those gorgeous details to shine.

Vintage Serpentine Dresser with Paint Layering Technique by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #home #farmhouse #french #homedecor #diy #furniture

Paint Layering Technique showcased on Vintage Serpentine Dresser by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #farmhouse #homedecor

Plus, the best part about dressers like these is that they can function as a buffet, an entertainment center, an entry console, etc. You get the idea.

Also, in case you were wondering, I didn’t feel the need to change the hardware up. It already has a gorgeous patina because the swags are solid brass and the plates are a tin. However, I did clean them up a bit.

Dried Hydrangea Centerpiece on Vintage Dresser by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #home #homedecor

Gorgeous Vintage Serpentine Dresser with Paint Layering Technique by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #furniture #farmhouse

If you’d like to own this dresser, you can find it available in my online shop (SOLD) along with many other goodies. We do ship to your door and have been in the biz for over 7 years now. Crazy how time flies, isn’t it?

Shop Prodigal Pieces |


Zibra and I are all about empowering you to tackle you own DIY projects. We’re giving away this set of boxed brushes (my faves) to one of you {{applause}} .

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share my serpentine dresser with paint layering technique to inspire others to give DIY a try. It’s fun!

Learn this paint layering technique applied to this vintage serpentine dresser as demonstrated by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #furniture #farmhouse

Up next, I mentioned being on a short furniture kick. I am sharing this vintage entertainment center and its new life. SEE HERE.

Vintage Entertainment Center Before Upcycle by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces

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 furniture projects like my serpentine dresser:

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 #diy #furniture #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #vintageOutdated Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

72 replies on “Serpentine Dresser with French Country Style”

Wow, you are such an inspiration. I have a small table that I would just love to try some paint techniques on. It is hidden in the corner right now because the finish is sooooo bad. lol

I love how you purposely look for the pieces that everyone else overlooks, and then bring them to life in unexpected ways. It reminds me of the Father’s work in His children; a lovely parallel! I’d use the brushes on some tables in our living room that need to be refreshed after being enjoyed by the family!

These brushes would be great to win in my workshop where I have started redoing furniture. I love reading your posts as you give step-by-step on how to do this.

I do like this piece and think you made the right call to show off the beautiful wood in the drawers. You always inspire me.

#2. Thinking about your piece and forgot. I am deep into painting my kitchen cupboards, trim, etc., etc. and I can really use some Zibra brushes.

Hi Larissa! I absolutely love what you did to this dresser. I am working on one now that has beautiful wood and i am thinking about just doing a light white wash. Thank you for the chance to win the brushes.

The dresser has a huge chance at being loved again! Beautiful! I am going to be trying a chevron pattern on a dresser and special detail brushes would be awesome! Thank you for the opportunity to win these brushes!

Another gorgeous piece! You have inspired me. I just found a beautiful old dresser I want to redo into a kitchen island with a bar for my granddaughter who likes to help me cook. It is covered (very haphazardly) in about 4 layers of paint….and needs new hardware. Its been sitting forever but I am pulling her out today! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Don’t stop what you are doing! You inspire, motivate and, on some days when I need it the most, you make me laugh and remember God has a plan. I would love to win the brushes. Truly,

I’m always inspired by your posts, either with new techniques to try, different color combinations, or beautiful decorating ideas. Thank you!

Hello Larissa, I am so happy to see your beautiful work on a piece of furniture again! I know you are so busy with your remodel, home schooling, teens learning to drive and everything else, where did you find the time? I love the layering technique that you used on this curvy lady. I have got to say it again,
thank you for rescuing her and making her gorgeous again.

I love that style of dresser. I’ve been looking for one in rough shape for a good price, but no luck yet. This has convinced me to not give up looking. Beautiful finish.

I love how that paint layering works to bring a vintage patina to the wood. It never occurred to me to use a caramel color s the base. Thanks for the tips and inspiration! Great job Larissa!

The guy that owned the condo beforehand, painted the kitchen cabinets an ugly brown.. I realllllllly want to have a redo!

My husband is making over my dresser I had as a child. It is over 60 years old and this is what we would use these brushes on first.

Another gorgeous piece of furniture! We have a stool that my kiddos use to sit on to practice on our keyboard that needs new paint desperately!! Thanks for the chance to win this useful giveaway!

Thank you so much for not painting every single piece white! There are times when I wonder if people actually realize that the world is full of other colors and options, great job!

I’m the last one to do that…haha. I’m known for so many variations and that keep my creative spirit flowing. Though, my last one was white. 😉 I do love white too.

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