“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.
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.
Aside from a few numbers and letters etched into the top, it looked as if someone purposefully felt like damaging the top edge. geesh.
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.
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 to bring out that gorgeous grain.
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.
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.
This color serves as a great base for the next two layers. Here it is in the final state with one layer complete.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
In addition, pin and share my serpentine dresser with paint layering technique to inspire others to give DIY a try. It’s fun!
Up next, I mentioned being on a short furniture kick. I am sharing this vintage entertainment center and its new life. SEE HERE.