This sweet little chest of drawers is the only piece of furniture remaining from the very first bedroom suite my Mother and Father-in-Law bought after they were married in 1956.
They purchased it used from a relative and the only information I can get from them is “it was old even back then”. I’m guessing it’s from the 1930’s but so far haven’t been able to find any information on what appears to be an art deco diamond ring design.
Today I’m sharing all the painting details and techniques to achieve this look using paint provided by Dixie Belle Paint.
Originally the chest was stained wood. It’s first paint makeover was in my pre-blogging days so I don’t have any before photos. The veneer was not in very good condition but otherwise it was a sturdy piece. If memory serves, the diamond ring design and other details featured a slightly different color of stain.
About 9 years ago I painted it aqua but even this paint job was beginning to showing it’s age.
I used a simple whitewash technique to highlight the detailed drawer designs.
I began by removing all the hardware and lightly sanding the entire piece to clean up some of the rough spots on the top of the chest. REBEL YELLOW
I chose Dixie Belle Paint’s Rebel Yellow as my new color.
I began this process thinking I might simply paint it yellow without any special paint treatment. But the Rebel Yellow was just a bit too intense for what I had in mind. It’s a really pretty yellow and even though it looks fairly tame in these photos it was just too strong a yellow for this space.
Once I’d painted the chest with two coats of paint I used a very stiff old washcloth to lightly buff the paint before starting the next step.
I’d used this old washcloth to clean something the day before and left it wadded up overnight by my paints. The paint doesn’t need to be sanded but wanted to smooth it down just a bit. This washcloth was very stiff and ended up being perfect for this step.
For the next I used Dixie Belle’s Whitewash Glaze. Not sure what I’m doing with that hand.
I started applying a fairly generous layer of whitewash in and around all the groves on the drawer front.
This was a guessing game for a while until I figured out just how much of the white wash I wanted to use.
I used the same brush to evenly distribute the whitewash across the drawer front.
I used a 2″ sponge brush to wipe off the excess paint.
I experimented with wiping off most of the glaze and only leaving it in the grooves.
Then I layered it on a bit thicker…
Until I finally got the look I wanted. I really liked how the white wash softened the intensity of the yellow.
Next I tacked the chest itself. I was a bit nervous about how easy it would be to achieve the same look with the whitewash on the chest as I had on the drawer fronts.
But the Whitewash Glaze was just as easy to use on the larger areas of the chest as it was on the smaller drawer fronts.
Once I had the everything whitewashed I used a wadded up brown paper bag to “sand” the entire piece. I really like using this trick to sand down the slightly rough texture of the paint before the final sealer or wax. Again, It’s not necessary but it makes the piece slightly smoother to the touch which I like. This is a great technique especially if you’re not distressing your piece.
The final step was a coat of Dixie Belle Clear Coat. This product is so easy to use and dries really quickly.
Actually all the Dixie Belle products are really easy to use and dry super quick.
When I painted the chest aqua I spray painted the original hardware silver.
I didn’t really like the solid silver with the yellow paint so I sanded each piece to allow some of the original brass color to show through. Hindsight, I wish I’d never painted the hardware in the first place!
Now my vintage “it was old even back then” chest of drawers has a brand new look and I love it!
Currently it resides upstairs in what we still refer to as Courtney and Kaleigh’s room even though they’re both married and haven’t lived here in over 7 years and 2 years respectively.
Recently a friend asked about the post showing how I’d decorated my “guest room”.
I’m embarrassed to say there’s not one! It’s still not finished!
While it may have 2 freshly painted beds (and I’ve changed the linens since this post), a pair of dainty ribboned curtains, a stenciled night stand and now a sweet little yellow chest of drawers it doesn’t have a single thing on the walls.
Not. One. Thing.
Oh, well. I’ll get there eventually and you’ll be the first to see!
MORE FURNITURE INSPIRATION with Dixie Belle Paint