Vintage Chest Makeover with Prairie Style

Do you ever find yourself wondering what it was like to live in a certain time period? One era I am sure wondering if I had what it took to survive were the days of prairie life, the 1800’s. Those folks had such determination to make it. While I sit at my desk with a screen full of comfort and ease, I sometimes ache for that simplicity. Today is Trash to Treasure Tuesday and I have a vintage chest makeover that I chose to give a touch of prairie style. Be sure to check out below for the other ladies makeovers.

Vintage Chest Before Makeover | Prodigal Pieces |

At first glance you may not notice anything wrong with this chest. However, even though I noticed from the listing photo there were issues, the owner even pointed them out to me on delivery. He said it was his aunt’s chest that was a sorry sight before he got it. If you look at the top drawer, you will notice it doesn’t match the grain of the rest. The owner tried to sand down the veneer that was there, but it ended up coming right off. He decided to leave the green wood below and topcoat it.


The rest of the surfaces, including the sides and top, also had veneer that was cracked, bubbling, and lifting. The owner had put a fresh topcoat, but it was still pretty evident damage was there.

Damaged Chest Top | Prodigal Pieces |

Not to mention that those modern pulls also didn’t fit in the holes and I can’t stand fake brass. ha! So, this little gem qualified for a vintage chest makeover.

First order of business was to fill the drawer pull holes. The were so large that the best way to resolve that was to insert a piece of dowel leaving a bit of space at the back. Cut off with a hacksaw and then tap in flush.

Repairing Holes in Chest Dresser | Prodigal Pieces |

*post includes affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

Next, I knocked down all the bubbles and cracks with my sander to get a smooth surface.


Look at this pail of sunshine! It’s called Jackfruit by Behr, but I use Glidden paint with my favorite Zibra brushes.

Jackfruit Yellow Paint by Behr | Prodigal Pieces |

This color reminded me of the simple daisy flower and it would suit the look I was after. Before that though, I used my handmade furniture wax to rub in places that I wanted distressing to occur. I use this method and my other methods when I want to heavily distress.

Waxing Chest for Distressing | Prodigal Pieces |

All I did next was paint two layers of the Jackfruit, letting it cure between coats and then for some added fun.

I realize that most prairie homes had extremely basic furniture and this chest makeover is by no means to replicate it,. However, it is meant to give the feeling of simplicity. To create that feel, I did some hand-painting that I thoroughly enjoy to give it that extra touch.

Larissa Haynes of Prodigal Pieces hand-painting |

The next step for my vintage chest makeover was to add these fantastic pulls by Rustic Brands. Aren’t they cool?

Replica Antique Key Hardware by Rustic Brands | Prodigal Pieces |


Last, I use a bit of sandpaper to distress those waxed surfaces and edges, and then apply my hand-rubbed wax. Take a peek at my finished results.

Rustic Yellow Chest with Hand-Painted Designs by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Yellow Chest of Drawers in Prairie Style Bedroom by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

The color is perfect for my vision. I had such fun praying, reflecting, and dreaming while working on this piece.

Distressed Chest of Drawers in Jackfruit Yellow by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I envisioned the story of this chest to be one of great adventures, like being hauled across country to a new land. The chips and marks show love, and that this was a family-loved piece. Am I being a romantic? You betcha.

Hand-Painted Yellow Chest by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Prairie Style Vignette by Prodigal Pieces |

What made this piece feel more authentic were those truly unique pulls.

Rustic Brands Hardware of Vintage Chest Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Peek inside to see the vintage wallpaper lining. See…It’s smiling at you. tee hee.

Inside Yellow Vintage Chest | Prodigal Pieces |

If my newest creation strikes your fancy, you can purchase it from my shop.  SOLD (or maybe I can sneak it into the corner of my bedroom??)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Praire Style Bedroom with Vintage Chest by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

My hope is that my vintage chest makeover has inspired you to give DIY a try. Making your house your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Do pin and share to inspire others too!

Prairie Style Vintage Chest Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

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. Now, don’t miss out on what the ladies have for you below!

blog signature


WAIT!! Don’t miss out on the inspiration from these awesome ladies!

Trash to Treasure Tuedays - Thrifted Makeover Fun | Prodigal Pieces |

Trash to Treasure Tuesday May 2017

  1. Bless’er House
  2. Arsty Chicks Rule
  3. Girl in the Garage
  4. Confessions of a Serial DIYer

In addition, more projects like my vintage chest makeover:

Knock-Off Pottery Barn Bench | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comHow to Freshen Up Your Outdoor Decor with Repurposed Planters and Succulents by Prodigal Pieces |

Previous Post Next Post


  • Cheryl

    I. Love the simplicity of the piece and you rocked it with that color?!

    May 9, 2017 at 8:11 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m so happy to hear it, Cheryl. I had fun just letting loose. Thank you!

      May 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm Reply
  • [email protected] of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

    I love the sunshine this piece brings the space! It is chippy perfection now! XOXO

    May 9, 2017 at 8:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s been so gray around here I had to do something! 🙂

      May 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm Reply
  • Cathy

    LOVE that color!!! And the hand-painted details are perfect. Another homerun!!

    May 9, 2017 at 8:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      happy dance!! Thank you, Cathy!

      May 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    Larissa, are the horizontal tear drops on the top drawer also hand painted? And the bows ? I can see that the circles are a little different from each other so I know those are done by hand. What did you use for a circle before you painted the small white marks?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:22 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, all hand-painted. Circles on the front and ovals on the side. I just drew the circles with chalk and went from there. I love to hand-paint. 🙂

      May 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm Reply
  • Kaycee

    I Love the softness you created with the yellow color and your hand painted designs! ❤️❤️

    May 9, 2017 at 9:31 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much, Kaycee. 🙂

      May 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm Reply
  • Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule

    That is so sweet Larissa! I haven’t painted with yellow in a long time. It’s such a happy color! xoxo

    May 9, 2017 at 9:45 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s been a few years for me too and I needed some sun! 🙂

      May 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm Reply
  • Marie|The Interior Frugalista

    Oh I just love the yellow color on this piece and your hand painted details are just lovely, Larissa!

    May 9, 2017 at 11:59 am Reply
  • Sandra

    So pretty. I would definitely sneak it into the bedroom.

    May 9, 2017 at 12:39 pm Reply
  • Annie (Canada)

    Beautiful, I love the rustic prairie charm!

    May 9, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      So fun to hear. Thank you!

      May 13, 2017 at 9:06 am Reply
  • Mary - the boondocks blog

    Larissa this is indeed a bit of sunshine. The addition of the white painted lovelies only makes it brighter and happier!!

    May 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    Such a bright, happy color. And I love your hand painted designs, Larissa! It’s truly a treasure.

    May 9, 2017 at 7:53 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the love, Jen.

      May 13, 2017 at 6:31 am Reply
  • Mary Vitullo

    Love your hand painted detail on this beautiful yellow shade. It’s just so pretty now.

    May 10, 2017 at 11:02 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I certainly had fun getting my smaller paint brushes out. One of my favorite pastimes. Thanks, Mary!

      May 13, 2017 at 6:30 am Reply
  • Karen Baumgardner

    I think this is my favorite piece that you have worked your magic on ! Outstanding enough to become a piece in a furniture line ……maybe a new idea for you?

    May 12, 2017 at 1:04 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Karen. It has always been on my mind to do many things, but I need time and manpower. One day… 🙂

      May 13, 2017 at 6:16 am Reply
  • Natasha

    Such a super cute makeover! It’s lovely to see something so blah turned into a vintage-look piece!

    May 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      So sweet to hear, Natasha. Thank you!

      May 18, 2017 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    Once again, a lovely outcome!

    May 18, 2017 at 8:08 am Reply
  • Nancy Marshall

    I love it Is the paint u use a chalk type paint

    August 11, 2017 at 8:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! For this piece I just used a latex in eggshell. 😉

      August 11, 2017 at 10:03 am Reply

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    You may also like

    This site utilizes cookies to offer you the best experience possible. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.