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Vintage Dixie Dresser with Frottage Paint Technique

Are you in the mood for a furniture makeover? I am! Funny thing how the internet works. It studies your behaviors and throws ads up that it thinks you will be interested in. Well, it worked this time. I spied this for sale in a local market only because an ad popped up and I was hooked. I mean, just look at that beautiful bow front! sigh… Now it’s time for not only a makeover of this vintage Dixie dresser, but also some fun for you too.

Vintage Dixie Dresser with Bow Front Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

The unique lines of this piece is what caught my attention. I’m such a long time fan of this era because they are built to last. However, this vintage Dixie dresser had some damage errors that needed fixed. Almost all the drawers had missing veneer and what looked like cat scratches. In addition, the legs and skirt had missing veneer, and the top had wear, but looked repairable. {{happy dance!!}}

Top of Vintage Dixie Dresser with Damage |

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

The bonuses are that all the drawer pulls are present, the drawers open fairly easily, minimal damage, and no stink (HUGE bonus).


First, to get this makeover party started, I broke out my favorite sander and hoped that the veneer would be good to me. There were some deep gouges I wasn’t sure about. I’m sure hoping I can save it!

Sanding Top of Vintage Dixie Dresser |

This is where patience and a slow, steady hand pays off. So exciting to see that all the wear came out and I was able to give it a fresh new stain. {{second happy dance!!}} I chose to use a favorite of mine called Java Gel. Just one coat is all it took and it’s got the rich deep tone just like I used on my curbside find dining set.


Once the stain cured, I broke out my favorite Stubby Brush to apply several coats of a satin poly. The Zibra brushes are my favorite because of their ability to work with most any medium without brush strokes. You can see evidence of that in all these past posts.

Applying Dresser Poly Topcoat with Zibra Paint Brush |

Next, I set about to work on the dresser cabinet and drawers while each coat of poly was curing. My wood filler came out to play and seriously looked like my project had been attacked. haha! Actually, it had been… by a cat. tsk.

Drawer Fronts with Wood Filler |

In addition, it was necessary to rebuild a bit of the feet and front skirt to get them worthy of a new look too. I gotta say that real wood veneer sure is beautiful, but man it does not hold up well if not taken care of.

Repaired Dresser Foot |


Using the same Stubby Brush, I chose to apply a coat of Kilz primerΒ because this mahogany finish would most certainly bleed through.

Applying Kilz Primer to Avoid Bleed Through |

Once that cured, I began to start the painting fun. My goal was to create a time-worn effect using a frottage technique. Back in 1925 a man named Max Ernst was inspired by the time-worn wear see in the floor boards of ancient homes (a man after my own heart – read more HERE).


For the base, I’m applying two coats of Vintage using the same Stubby Brush again.Β see…I told you these brushes are awesome for anything. πŸ˜‰

Painting Dresser with Vintage Chalky Finish Paint by DecoArt |

Next, the fun gets even more funky. tee hee! I am using a beige color to create a blended look just like I did in this other vintage dresser. First, I lightly spray the surface with water, then randomly brush on my color in vertical strokes.

Misting Dresser Paint for Frottage Technique by Prodigal Pieces |

While the paint is still wet, I used crumpled paper to press and rub it into the paint and create a textured look.

Using Crumpled Paper for Frottage Texture by Prodigal Pieces |

After working all the cabinet and drawer with this color, I let it cure and begin applying the next coat. This time, however, I switched to an antique white paint and am using my Round Brush so I could swirl my layers.

Zibra Paint Round Brush for Frottage Texture Technique by Prodigal Pieces |


For added texture, I used a crumpled rag to pounce and rub that layer of paint while the antique white layer was curing.

Adding Texture to Dresser with Frottage Technique |

Last, but not least, I used my Square Brush to add brown wax to the cabinet and drawers. This deepens the texture I created and really brings out the lines of this piece. Bonus of this brush is the angled tip that allows me to really get the wax in the deep lines and accent just how I like.

Applying Brown Wax with Square Zibra Paint Brush |


Ready to see it all come together? Take a peek at this vintage Dixie dresser fixed and ready to go.

Absolutely Stunning Vintage Dixie Dresser with Frottage Technique by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

Elegant Vintage Bow Front Dresser done in Frottage Technique by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I’m completely smitten with the way this came out and can say that my favorite part is the top. That dark stain sure does wonders to revive old wood. Isn’t this combo is striking? The dark stain helps tie in the dark patina on the drawer pulls too.

Vintage Bow Front Dresser with Java Gel Stain Top by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Dresser with Round Bail Drawer Pulls by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Since the drawer pulls have a gorgeous patina as they were, I just add a touch of white wax to accent those beautiful embossed details. I love this kind of dresser that has varied sized drawers for plenty of storage.

Frottage Technique as demonstrated by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces on this Vintage Dixie Dresser |

As is the norm, my goal is to inspire you to give new techniques a try and have fun with DIY projects. The sky is the limit when you have the right tools and information, plus a willing spirit.

If you would like to own this dresser,Β  you can find it available in my online shopΒ (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Beautiful Frottage Dresser in Vintage Style by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |


To jump-start you on your next DIY adventure, Zibra and I are giving away this sweet set of brushes.

4 Piece Detail Brush Kit by Zibra | Giveaway by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Easy entry – just complete as many steps as you like using the widget below. Enter daily even for more chances to win. 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

In addition, pin and share this vintage Dixie dresser makeover with this frottage technique. Others need inspired too!

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 #vintage

Up next, it’s Furniture Fixer Uppers time and this little cutie is going to look soooo different. See the after HERE.

Round Accent Table Before Makeover |

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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Also, more furniture projects like this vintage Dixie dresser makeover:

Outdated Vintage Dresser Gets Industrial Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comOutdated Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

132 replies on “Vintage Dixie Dresser with Frottage Paint Technique”

Love the color and technique you used on this dresser… it’s beautiful!
These brushes would work perfectly on the picture frames that have been collecting in my basement!

Lovely! And I never would have thought to use tinted wax on drawer pulls…another neat tip I’m going to have to try now!

I love what you did to this dresser. Your projects always motivate me. I have a bookcase just waiting to be painted!

Beautiful makeover, Larissa! I really love the dark stain top with the light painted dresser! Makes it pop! The brushes would make painting intricate details a lot easier! You are so talented!

Oh my goodness, that dresser is so beautiful! I too am drawn in to that style furniture. I love any old furniture that has curves or unusual details, because it reflects the skill of the artisans who created it. My father was a furniture maker and reupholsterer from Europe, and I inherited his love of woodworking from him!! You do such a wonderful job honoring the beauty of the pieces you create. Thank you for once again inspiring me!

You and me both, Judy. I couldn’t wait to get this dressed up and fixed. I felt sorry for it with all the cat scratches. My family was also the same history and makes it fun. Thank you!

it is absolutely stunning. Everything about it turned out so beautiful. I love the dark wood top with the painted dresser.

This piece is breathtaking, Larissa. I believe it’s one of my favorites that you’ve done. Of course, you’ll wind up doing another makeover that will be just as stunning. You never cease to amaze and inspire me! I have a couple of pieces that could use paint and I would love to try the blended paint technique. I started it on an end table but it looked like a hot mess. Thanks for the giveaway and the inspiration.

The dresser turned out great! That will be a beautiful addition in just the right home. I love bow fronts and curves, anything with lots of detail. Great job

Wow – love that dark stained top! I’ll have to remember the Java gel – I was going to catch up on my posts as I had some time, and saw this one had a giveaway – yay! Thanks for doing this. BTW, the Zibra brushes are divine!

Loved the look of this dresser . I would also use the dark gel stain. It makes the piece look so rich. Your technique for painting the rest of it is interesting and I will have to try that. You always are amazing to see your ideas come to life.

Love the look! I have a waterfall top cedar hope chest that was my mother-in-laws. The drawer is missing some veneer and it also needs a new bottom since the old one is loose and its really challenging to open the drawer. I’ve wanted to refinish it for years! One of these days I’ll decide on the look I want and actually get it done!

I absolutely love your work ! This dresser is one of your best works yet! I would love to win the brushes to try some of your ideas myself.

Oh my gosh, Larissa! This is so beautiful!
Every time I think “Now, This is my favorite piece that you’ve done” you do something else that becomes my new favorite!!
Those colors just play together so nicely it just glows with a beautiful light. Nice Job!
Those brushes would be so helpful as you have made me fall in love with them and I could certainly put them to good use πŸ˜‰

I am always inspired by your work, Larissa, and this dresser is no exception! It now will have a new life in a home that will make it shine as a centerpiece! I would use my Zibra brushes on a few old large picture frames that need updating.

Seeing your work always gets my creative juices going. I’m in need of some quality brushes and would love to win a set of these!

Firstly, this dresser looks AMAZING, thanks to your handiwork! I love it! My next painting project is still waiting for me… 2 end tables in my living room!

I am enjoying reading your posts. You have amazing ideas!! I would probably paint an old frame I have with lovely detail but needs some tlc. Thank you!

Larissa, as I mentioned, this piece needed to get into your hands! This painting technique and the colors you used on this piece are just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your talents with us!!

I could use some good brushes.
I have an old computer cabinet unit that will be transforming to hold all my handheld power tools.
Thank You for this wonderful giveaway opportunity. You R an Inspiration to us all.

Just beautiful! Love the color. I have been on a break from painting but this inspires me. I’ll use my new brushes for my comeback!

Beautiful! I need to play around with wax someday. You do some cool things with it! I’ve go a chair that needs some love and paint… and maybe wax! : )

I purchased a whole set of these a while back, put them up somewhere and to this day still haven’t found them! I need them for some projects I have waiting and some day I might get them done! Love the colors you used on the dresser!

I really love what you did for that dresser. First thing I would use the brushes for? My own dresser needs some love and those brushes would sure help.

When I saw the first pictures of you painting in the post I thought ‘mmmm, I’m not sure I care for this color’, but after seeing the finished piece all I can say is WOW! So beautiful. I need the brushes so I can try this technique out on an ‘antique’ (meaning 1970s) dresser I have.

Hi Larissa,
So to create texture you used a crumpled up paper bag on the first coat of Vintage, then you used a paper towel to dab at the second coat of antique white that was painted in swirls? I’m trying to get the steps down right to create this exact look on the exact dresser. I just love what you do.

Hi Cheryl! πŸ™‚
After my primer and two coats of Vintage, I used a beige color to wash onto the Vintage and then used the brown paper bag to tamp it. After that, I used my Round Brush to add a white in swirling motions, then an old rag to lightly pounce that layer of white. Then, brown wax with my Square Brush to accent. Feel free to email with questions if you have more. Hope this helps and you have fun!

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