DIY / Tutorials Furniture Project Gallery

Mid Century Modern Dresser Makeover

My style is typically French farmhouse / shabby chic / cottage, but I seriously dig the lines and design of the Mid Century Modern era, like the console and Brasilia chest of drawers I’ve done. When my kids are watching flashback episodes of The Brady Bunch or Benji, etc. I’m gazing at the wonderful furniture that is featured.  Do you do that? Let me show you my Mid Century Modern dresser makeover in honor of those awesome times.

While doing my typically fun searches on Craigslist I came across this funkified bedroom dresser set.
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Apparently, someone was cleaning out an estate from a family member and wanted to “get rid of this ugly furniture” – translated in junker lingo, “SCORE!”.
I love to hear that type of statement coming from a seller and I try to put on my poker face and play the game. Most times I feel bad that they don’t know what gem they have, but in the end it’s win-win. They get rid of their “junk” and I get to play. tee hee. This set was in excellent shape, but, of course, the top surfaces had the most wear. All the dove-tailed drawers worked smoothly and were in great condition.
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
I grabbed my handy orbital sander and went to town. The top of the console dresser was so worn that the finish came off so easily.
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Funny note: A giant headache with a nine drawer dresser is figuring out where the drawers are supposed to go after you take them out. This previous owner has a genius moment and numbered the frame and drawers at some point. THANK YOU!
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Since the drawers were in excellent shape, I decided to sand and refinish them with a dark stain and poly topcoat. I found the manufacturer stamp on the bottom that read, “Japan, June 8, 1961”, another part of the story.
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
One of my favorite aspects of the MCM style is the lack of drawer pulls. Innovation and creativity were used to make these pieces function with ease. This set was no different with the inset places for a finger-grab hold. To draw attention to that detail, I painted with a white semi-gloss.
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
For the cabinet, I went to my handy dandy stash and pulled another favorite “seconds” paint of mine. Can’t beat paying $7 for a gorgeous blue semi-gloss from Home Depot.  I love it…sigh.
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Not sure what could be better about this Mid Century Modern dresser makeover than the offset mirror. It’s funky, different, unique and I’m all about that.
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Since this is a set, I wanted to stage them together and lack the wall space to do so (I’m working on a remedy for that!). I originally set them in front of my garage as I’ve done with other pieces, but it just didn’t do them any justice.  So, I decided to play in Photoshop and create a faux setting. I’m selling this set in my shop (SOLD) and wanted to present them in a clean way as the pieces themselves are a clean design.
Shop Prodigal Pieces |
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage MCM Mid Century Modern Dresser Set from Craigslist Gets Blue Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
What do you think? Would you have listed them with the garage, the brick, or the tweaked version? I think it’s fun to change it up! Do pin and share this Mid Century Modern dresser makeover to inspire others to give DIY a try.
Vintage Mid Century Modern Dresser Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

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More Mid Century Modern dresser makeover for you:Modern Chic Makeover of a Mid Century Modern Dresser Credenza by Prodigal Pieces |
Mid Century Credenza Found Curbside Becomes Entertainment Console by Prodigal Pieces |

DIY / Tutorials Furniture Home Decor Project Gallery Woodworking

Bureau, Bureau on the Wall

Now, I have never really said this before, but it is very hard for me to paint wooden furniture at times.  I grew up in an absolutely gorgeous log home (a dream home, actually) set in a state park, and I was taught to appreciate wood in its natural state. Once when I was painting a truly gorgeous piece for myself that wasn’t completely made out of wood, I had to keep telling myself, “It’s okay, it’s got some pressed board” over and over again.  Ha! I will say the “pain” has worn off to an extent, but when you see this next piece, you will understand why I can’t bear to paint everything I get. Enter in this gorgeous bureau…

Vintage Bureau Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | Isn’t that inlaid mahogany woodwork just stunning?
Front Face of Vintage Bureau | Prodigal Pieces |
The original owner would never believe this is the same piece he sold me. Take a look at the before…
Damaged Vintage Bureau Top | Prodigal Pieces |
Obviously this piece has been forgotten in some basement with broken pulls, damage to the top, and missing veneer.
Before of Vintage Bureau| Prodigal Pieces |
When I had agreed to purchase this piece having not seen it in person, I was pleasantly surprised to find this desk – hence the bureau name.  The cubbies are so fun!
Inside of Bureau| Prodigal Pieces |
Cue the Mighty Mouse theme song… “Here I come to save the day!” (I know that dates me, but I don’t care. Everything gets better with age. tsk.)

I hit this bad boy with my favorite sander like none other, and it totally paid off.

Bureau Door Before After Comparison | Prodigal Pieces |
 Just swoon-worthy…sigh…
Sanded Down Vintage Bureau | Prodigal Pieces |
My original intent was to stain the top and faces of the drawers and doors, but the top has some peeling veneer at the one edge and was too thin to be saved.
Working on Vintage Bureau | Prodigal Pieces |
I even tried some linseed oil to see how it wood draw it out and it was just too much.  Although it didn’t work for the top, it really emphasized the woodwork on the doors and drawers.
Applying Linseed Oil to Vintage Bureau | Prodigal Pieces |
Vintage Bureau Veneer Damage | Prodigal Pieces |
Not only did the linseed oil draw out the imperfection, but it just didn’t jive with the faces being made of a different wood.
Bureau Ready for Paint | Prodigal Pieces |
So…I painted the top. I am so glad I did because it really set off that mahogany and now your eye is drawn to the faces instead.
Take note of the smaller drawers pictured above.  Like I mentioned earlier, two of the pulls were missing or broken and I didn’t want to replace the entire set because these are the real deal – nice, heavy brass swag pulls that are irreplaceable.
It took me a while to wrap my brain around what to do with those small drawers.  I searched over 4,000 listings on different sites trying to find a similar style or something that would coordinate. Nothing appealed to me.
Then bingo, it came to me what to do (gave myself a head-smack for not thinking of it sooner). I found a couple of antique pulls with back-plates that were the same length as the width of the hole spacing. Score! To fill the holes, I cut some wooden dowel plugs and glued them in, making sure to drill the pull hole before nailing the back-plate on. I’ve done this method before on other pieces, but those were painted.
Cut Dowel Pieces for Bureau| Prodigal Pieces |
Antique Drawer Pull Back Plate| Prodigal Pieces |
Simple enough, right?
Vintage Bureau Before and After| Prodigal Pieces |
Refinished Vintage Bureau Open| Prodigal Pieces |
Side of Vintage Bureau Open | Prodigal Pieces |
Love it?  It has sold from my shop, but there’s always more on the way! *Just a little note about my shop: We do ship and typically are able to give you a rate close to half of what it costs to freight furniture elsewhere.  Just send a message if you’re interested.
Pin and share the makeover love! ♥
Vintage Bureau Gets Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces com
 Now I can at least say I’m a partial wood purist.  Being strictly one or the other is just too boring.  Which are you, painter or purist?
Stay tuned to my next project by signing up for my newsletter either in the side bar or at the bottom of this post. Let’s get our DIY on!

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More makeover goodness like my bureau:

An Antique Vanity Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
20 Different Table Transformations | Prodigal Pieces |
DIY / Tutorials Furniture Home Decor upholstery

Upholstered Rocking Chair Redo

When I found my first upholstered rocking chair face down, curbside, and broken, I had no idea how popular my rockers would become. Today, I’m sharing this makeover for our Trash to Treasure Transformation Tuesday, so be sure to check out all the projects at the end by my blogger friends.

Best of Trash to Treasure Transformations | Prodigal Pieces |

This first one was a gorgeous antique with swan’s head arm rests and intricate carvings.  My husband perfectly remade the back leg, and I upholstered the chair,  making it as good as new.  The original finish was already perfectly distressed and needed nothing.

Curbside Rocking Chair Repair and Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

My next rocking chair was from a garage sale where the curves are what beckoned me to bring it home and rescue it from the fabric it was wearing.

How to Upholster a Rocking Chair by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comUsing this rocker, I wrote tutorials on how to reupholster & paint a rocking chair.  Check them out if you’d like to know some basics!

This particular rocker sold within a couple of hours of being listed in my shop, and I have had over 20 requests for another.  So, I am constantly looking for another candidate because there are a ton of mommies-to-be that are asking for one.

Do you know how hard it is to find an antique upholstered rocking chair?  If I was looking for a solid wood one, no problem.  The upholstered part is the key because every mom knows how much a soft, comfy chair is needed to rock that new baby in.

After getting another request, I went on a hunt and found this beauty on Craigslist.

Art Deco Rocking Chair Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comThe original fabric was faded and worn, but was gorgeous in its own right with the Art Deco design.  The spindles were the draw for me, and most importantly my client loved them too.

The story behind this rocker is the lady who owned it bought it from an estate sale from a grand home in her neighborhood.  Although she owned several rockers, this one was her favorite because her colicky son would only be calmed by the rocking of this chair.  You see, the rockers are smaller, creating a shorter rock, which soothed the baby like none other.  She even said she would have strapped it to her car and taken it everywhere with her if she could.

He’s in college now and it was time for this chair to belong for a new little one and the mommy-to-be.

Time for the face lift!

Deconstructed Art Deco Rocking Chair Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comA couple of broken springs, but overall just needed some love.  So I replaced the webbing and burlap, and gave it some antique white chalk paint topped with a hand-rubbed wax.

Painted Vintage Rocking Chair During Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Back of Art Deco Rocking Chair by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comDon’t you just love how distressing brings out the detail?

Distressing Rocking Chair Frame by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comNext, came the springs.  Originally, tried to find replacements online and even asked on Freecycle, but time was sparse. I went ahead and purchased new. Do you know as soon as I placed my order I received a response from a lady on Freecycle with a rocker that had the exact size springs I needed.  Isn’t that the way it always works?

Oh well. If you’re looking for how to replace coil springs in the seat of a chair, you need to check out the tutorials from Design Sponge on how to construct coil seats.  The seat was better than it ever was by the time I was done.

Reseating Art Deco Rocking Chair Seat Springs by Prodigal Pieces |

Let me just say I had hard time getting my rear end out of that chair once it was done.  With the new springs, foam padding, and batting, it was soooo comfy!!

Here it is!

Ikat Art Deco Rocking Chair by Prodigal Pieces |

I love the blue Ikat fabric and the white frame just freshens up the entire look of the chair. Don’t you think?

Back of Ikat Upholstered Rocking Chair by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comTha the reproduction Ikat fabric chosen by my client was gorgeous and here’s what she said:

 “We got the chair yesterday and everything is seriously perfect!” 

One more look at the change…

Before and After of Upholstered Rocking Chair by Prodigal Pieces |…aah…so much better. Funny thing is I found out I was expecting our sixth baby, and had no idea the roller coaster ride I was about to be on. Amazing how life changes.

Pin if you loved this makeover!♥

Art Deco Rocking Chair Gets a Modern Ikat Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Not long after I refinished this rocker, I found another candidate with this vintage Bentwood rocking chair and gave it an embroidered twist.

Outdated Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

I currently have another upholstered rocking chair awaiting a makeover in my stash. Hmmm…what will it become?? Follow along to see. Sign up for my newsletter to get updates, my FREE Furniture Buying Guide, plus a discount to my shop.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

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Now, take a minute and check out these fantastic Best of the Archives makeovers by my blogger friends:


Thrifted Stool Gets Rosette Makeover by Confessions of a Serial DIYer

Confessions of a Serial DIYer

Thrifted Books to French Decor by Bless'er House

Bless’er House

Gilded French Nighstands Before by Girl in the Garage

Girl in the Garage

Vintage Chest Gets Nautical Makeover by Artsy Chicks Rule

Artsy Chicks Rule

More makeovers like my upholstered rocking chair:

Antique Stereo Repurposed Into Sewing Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesDiamond in the Rough Thrifted Dresser with an Old World Look by Prodigal Pieces |

Furniture upholstery

Art Deco Dressing Table ~ My Painted Lady

It’s always fun to redeem a piece of furniture or make cast-off items into something useful, but do you ever have one that just screams at you the instant you see it? Sometimes while perusing Craigslist, a listing will just make me sit up, make my pulse start to race, and I begin to pray that it isn’t already taken while I grab the phone and dial! This Art Deco dressing table was the one that did that to me.

$50!!!!  Do you see why?

Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
A gorgeous antique Art Deco dressing table in the waterfall style… just waiting for some love.
Thankfully, I was the first caller and asked how soon I could come over to see (needless to say I didn’t quite hide my excitement well).  I grabbed my kids and we headed for our 20 min. drive.
FYI: Let me just tell you that when someone says “need to bring help to bring downstairs”, they mean it.
This beauty was located in a very old upstairs bedroom that was nearly impossible to get down because the stairway had a long banister. The mirror came off easily and I brought that down myself. But…the base was solid and my son and I had so much trouble getting it up, around a corner, and down a VERY narrow staircase (you know the type where you’re standing on the step facing backwards and you can almost touch the next steps up with your nose?) I was bruised and beaten up by the time I got it home, but hey…it’s all worth it, right?
My favorite feature of the unfinished piece:
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Need I say more?  (Don’t you love my wardrobe for working out in my garage in zero degrees?)
Other than some minor wear to the veneer, she was only missing pulls and a matching bench.  Never fear!  Thanks to eBay and Craigslist, my missing pieces problem was resolved by a few clicks of my mouse.
By far one of my favorite colors is light aqua and I knew instantly this piece had to be that color.  The mirror had an accent strip just below it with tiny gold mirrors and I wanted to draw that out.  The carved work on the drawers fronts, feet, and mirror were just begging to be noticed.
For this piece, I made my own chalk paint using a seconds gallon from Home Depot – score!  Then, using an acrylic ivory and an antique gold, I added accents to those glorious carvings and a little distressing.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
 Antique starburst glass pulls with gold center really set the accents off.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
The mirror was a dynamic 40″ diameter with the most beautiful etchings – just perfect for primping and studying oneself. Don’t you wish you wish you had one?
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Found the bench on Craigslist and I already had the perfect upholstery in my stash that was given to me by my mother, who also used it on her vanity bench.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
 All was finished in a hand-rubbed wax, both light and dark to give that lustre I so love.
I really hated to part with my painted lady… we all did, but I had nowhere to put her.  Maybe I should have just gotten rid of my bed!
To make a memory, I had my 3 girls dress up and pose sitting on the bench in front of the mirror – so precious and worth more than any dressing table I will ever have.
Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesOnce listed in my shop, she sold in 3 minutes.  I was so stunned, and, honestly, sort of disappointed that I did I didn’t get to keep her. The new owner said she had one just like it as a little girl and she knew she had to have it.
There’ll never be another one like my painted lady!
More fun transformations for you:
Vintage Chair Gets Feed Sack Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesIkea Rast Dresser Done Brownie Camera Style by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces