Penny – The Vintage Dresser

I named this one Penny because I found a lucky penny in one of the drawers!  Penny is not an antique but she is vintage, probably circa 1960.  A friend salvaged this dresser for me when someone they knew was getting rid of it.  Normally, I don’t like to take on furniture that has already been painted.  I either have to strip it or sand it, neither of which sounds fun.  But since it was free I took it and put it in the corner where I store all the misfit furniture that I know I’ll only work on at some point of desperation.  During the COVID 19 stay at home order, Penny started looking like a pretty awesome challenge!  I was running low on inventory and she was just sitting there begging to be transformed so this was Penny’s moment to shine!

I was out of paint stripper so I decided to use a heat gun to loosen the paint and scrape it away.  I had never tried that technique before and it worked pretty well!  I watched a Youtube video to get a feel for the process.  You hold the heat gun in one hand, heating the paint until it starts to bubble and in your other hand you use your scraper to follow the path of the heat gun.  I could peel away large strips of paint with this method and was much quicker than chemical strippers or sanding.  As the paint heats up and is loosened it dries to a crisp, almost like potato chips, and can be easily swept up and thrown away.  That’s way less messy than using goopy paint stripper!  I’ll warn you if you try this, do it in a well-ventilated garage or outdoors if possible.  I did this in my basement and it was very stinky and even though I used a mask while I worked it probably was not good to have those fumes in the house.  I used an orbital sander to clean up any paint that was left on the surface.

After cleaning and small repairs, I applied two coats of Shellac to the entire dresser to prevent any bleed through.  I painted the insides of the drawers with some latex paint in a muted teal color that I had on hand from another project.  I used the same teal on the sides of the drawers and then stenciled a vine design on the sides in a light blue color for a little extra bling when the drawers are opened.

As a little birthday treat to myself I ordered some products from Dixie Belle.  Normally their paint is a little out of my price range but it is really awesome paint so when I can afford a little extra, I get some.  I love the colors they offer and I’ve never tried Drop Cloth.  I thought it would be a good neutral choice for the dresser.  Also from Dixie Belle, I got one of their pricey brushes, some voodoo gel stain, a wood graining tool, and some decorative wood appliques by WoodUbend that look like vintage locks.  You should have seen me hopping up and down, clapping when the FedEx guy arrived with my package!  I can’t wait to try all my new stuff!

I applied two coats of Drop Cloth to the dresser, lightly sanding between coats.  It looks gorgeous, I just love that Drop Cloth color!  I top-coated with Polycrylic.  I decided to use the WoodUbend lock appliques on this project too, so I painted them with metallic bronze and used dark wax to emphasize the details.  I had six drawer knobs I had ordered from Hobby Lobby that had more of a green finish on them so I touched them up with some of the teal, used a little antiquing wax, and highlighted with the bronze.

I did splurge a little on Penny with the pricey paint, knobs, and locks, but I was having fun!  I think instead of naming her Penny I should have named her Mucho Dinero!

I think the lucky penny should stay with the dresser so I’m going to attach it to the inside of one of the drawers before I put her up for sale!

Pretty cute, right?  Now I just need the Country Fair Mall to reopen for business and I will have several pieces ready to go!

Products Used:

  • Dixie Belle Dropcloth
  • Valspar latex in Northern Juniper
  • WoodUbend applique locks
  • Hobby Lobby knobs
  • Rustoleum Chalked Serenity Blue
  • Zinsser Shellac clear
  • Rustoleum metallic in Bronze Medal
  • Minwax Polycrylic

Thanks for stopping by!

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