Waterfall Dresser Makeover – Before & After

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any furniture makeovers on the blog.  I’ve been a bit consumed with the Holidays and my book (which is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo and many other online book retailers!  WAHOO!

Hubby and I have this unwritten deal;  I handle everything up to Christmas and he handles everything Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day.  For me that means a month worth of work decorating, cleaning shopping, planning, wrapping, baking etc – BUT it also means that right about now is his turn to put on his game face and plan and shop for stocking stuffers and groceries, and since he is the main chef in this house, he also has the job of cooking Christmas Eve, Christmas morning and Christmas Day meals.  It might sound a bit lop-sided, but he hates what I do and I hate what he does, so it equals out in that we can both fully enjoy the Holidays without the tedium and torture of tasks we don’t enjoy doing.

Why did I bring that up?  Because it meant that I finally had a bit of ‘down time’ to tackle a dresser makeover that has been sitting in my garage for a couple of months now.

I’ve wanted to tackle a waterfall dresser ever since I saw this amazing piece from Prodigal Pieces:

Volkswagon dresser from Prodigal Pieces

It’s amazing right!?

I was determined to make something equally as amazing out of this beat up, multi-layered wreck that I got for $10 (and overpaid).

Waterfall dresser makeover, refinished dresser, dresser makeover

This piece just BUGGED me.  Layer on layer of paint, clearly without any sanding to smooth out drools.  The holes drilled for handles were over-sized and uneven – not to mention it was missing 50% of the handles altogether.

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I wanted to take the Volkswagen idea and evolve it a bit – no use copying exactly – what if mine wasn’t as good?  You’d have a total comparison image to rate me against!

Who else drove a Volkswagen-esque van?

Scooby Doo!

I could paint a “Mystery Machine” and hopefully sell it to someone that was a Scooby Doo fan!

Are there any Scooby Doo fans anymore?

That’s a risk – do I create a totally pinnable image and (hopefully) get lots of blog traffic, or do I create something less pinnable and hopefully sell it.

As I stripped and sanded I kept debating

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Look at that!  Someone painted right over the varnish of the original finish!  No wonder it looked so crappy!  This thing was stained and varnished – probably the original finish – then painted blue-black, then off-white.  There may have been a layer of brown in there too.

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I don’t like using paint stripper (I usually get burned), but this was more than I could handle with just sanding.  As it was, I still ended up sanding for about 3-3.5 hours just to get the last layers off.

Doesn’t she look gorgeous though?

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I didn’t even notice the ridges on the original piece?

Look at the beautiful wood that was hiding underneath!

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I decided I couldn’t suffocate the poor dresser with paint again after having finally let her breathe – no Mystery Machine today folks.

Instead I went with a combination of Minwax Special Walnut and Dark Walnut stains and some leftover grey paint I had from another project (it’s been so long, I can’t even remember what project the grey is from?)

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Not loving the cool grey with the warm wood – time to buy more paint – this time CIL’s Smart Paint in a custom navy finish.

It appears almost royal blue in the photos, but it’s actually a fair bit darker – this is what I custom tinted from:

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.54.02 AMWaterfall Dresser makeover - 9

I had to find hardware that would cover up the old holes and still fit with an antique look.  I spent $9.20 per handle, but I think you’ll agree it was worth it (one handle is on back-order until next week).

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I used a triple thick varnish on the stained areas and sanded with 320 grit between coats.  This glossy shine is from two coats of the triple-thick, which technically should be the equivalent of 6 coats of regular varnish.

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She’s so beautiful, I’m giddy!

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Now that is a dresser makeover!

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This is an antique piece, so the drawers are on old-fashioned slides – meaning the drawer sits on rails on either side of the cabinet and slides in and out.  The castors on the bottom of the piece are original, and the drawers could stand to have a drawer liner in them – but you have to consider that this is a piece that would have taken up landfill space.  A classic antique that just needed a bit of love to become a statement piece in anyone’s home.

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That’s the thrill for me;  I love seeing how beautiful a swan the ugly duckling becomes.

Pin it!

Waterfall Dresser makeover P

I’ll post this one for sale on my SHOP page if you’re interested.  (with all of the handles of course)

Have a great one!

too funny

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2018-06-18T13:41:20-04:00December 21st, 2015|BEFORE & AFTER, REFINISH/REPURPOSE|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Trish December 21, 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    This piece looks amazing. I can’t imagine sanding for 3 hours.

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca December 29, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      It’s mindless work – so it’s actually relatively relaxing for me. I put on my ear protectors and block out the children for awhile – I mean, work diligently. lol Thanks for commenting!

  2. Laura May 14, 2016 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Beautiful and I’m inspired! Just curious about the drawer sides – why not the same or similar treatment as the drawer fronts?

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca May 30, 2016 at 11:59 am - Reply

      I probably should have kept the sides the same to keep the integrity of the piece intact – but because I refinish as a hobby and blog topic, I need to change up colours and finishes here and there to showcase something new or different – basically, I need to create a “pinnable image” that is a bit different from everyone else’s. Besides, it’s kind of fun to try out something different when you have nothing to lose except a bit of time.

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