Hey guys! Thank you so much for the birthday love last week! I am excited about this new decade ahead of me and am sure it will be my best yet, at least after this week. This week is sure to be one of the hardest. Chris is away all week for work, Emmy is in camp 10-3, Sawyer 7:30-12:30, plus soccer practice starts this week… I’ll be shuffling kids all over the ends of the earth, all while trying to squeeze in naps and feeding time for Wilder. Send help! Send wine! It’s actually quite amazing that I am getting a blog post up, but I wanted to share some of my new pieces that are at Sweet Clover for our sale coming up this weekend. I already showed you my teal and wood midcentury dresser last week, and today I have another midcentury gem. Today brings a fun furniture makeover: black, wood & gold midcentury chest. (At the bottom of this post, you can find a list of all the products I used for this makeover; these are affiliate links which earn me a small commission.)
I found this dresser at a local thrift shop. At the time, I was shopping with Wilder and the kids were at a movie with friends. I had to go pick them up so I couldn’t get anything big, or at least take it home that day. This particular shop allows you 24 hours, so when I saw this piece for a great price, I did a happy dance.
I had the tag in my hand, when low and behold I saw another beautiful piece. I knew I could only get one so decided upon this one, but then an angel’s voice rang out over the intercom and called, “Attention shoppers, all furniture is 50% off today only.” I grabbed the other tag, ran to the register and asked them if I could please pick one up tomorrow and the other the next day. It was my lucky day and they agreed! The other one is awaiting its makeover, but it’s a beauty I can’t wait to transform.
Back to this midcentury chest though… I loved its shape and those awesome star like details on the top two drawers. However, as you can see it was in rough shape finish wise, and the faux painted handles also needed some attention. I loved the top two drawers and didn’t want to mess with them too much other than to revive them a little. I decided to paint the body and the bottom drawers to allow those top two to stand out even more.
Lately I’ve been into black, and with the design on the top drawers appearing very dark and almost black, I decided that black would be the perfect complementary color. I removed the hardware, and removed the top two drawers.
I sanded the entire body as well as the bottom 3 drawers using my orbital sander, and sanding any curves I couldn’t reach with that by hand. Once it was all sanded, I gave it the first coat of General Finishes lamp black and left it to dry.
I came back out to work on it the next day and discovered a huge problem. The dresser top had something in it that was resisting the paint… some sort of oil or greasy product must have spilled and seeped into it at some point in time. I tried EVERYTHING to get rid of this. I tried mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, liquid deglosser, but no matter what, the oily substance kept creeping through my paint and causing adherence issues. Finally, I resanded the top, removing all of the stain as well and allowed it to dry in the sunshine. It felt very dry to the touch, looked even, and I was sure I was finally good to go. I once again painted it, and was thrilled that this time it was working. We left to go to a cookout, and the next morning when I came outside, again, the substance had crept through and the top felt greasy to the touch. UGH. I could never sell something to someone if I was not sure the finish was durable and of good quality. At this point, I had a couple of options, sand and repaint again and seal with a water based polycrylic, or prime with oil based primer and then paint. I tried the first option, sanding it down yet again, repainting with a couple coats of black, and then adding one coat of polycrylic to test it out. I again let it sit overnight, allowing time if the substance were to creep back out again.
I was thrilled to find that this time, it was sealed in and safe! I applied a couple more coats of the polycrylic for the most durable finish, and applied it to the rest of the black painted areas as well. I used a satin finish which has a slight sheen to it.
As for the top drawers, I didn’t want to mess with them too much after all that I went through with the dresser top. I could see they were slightly stained on the left from the same substance. Instead, I opted to clean them with simple green, and using a rag, rub a little gel stain over any light blemishes. That being said, the top drawers are not perfect.
As for the handles, I sanded them lightly to give them something for gilding wax to adhere to, and then I used my favorite Rub N Buff to give them an updated gold look. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but they were in bad shape and an odd size, so it was a great solution for this piece.
After that, I put the handles back on and he was finally finished! I felt like I would never complete this makeover, but I am so glad I persevered with that darn top.
Chris and I hauled them over to Sweet Clover Saturday before Sawyer’s birthday party and before he had to head out of town. Of course, we were about to load it up, in the bright sun, when I said, “Oh crud (or possibly some expletive)! I didn’t take a photo… we need to do that quickly!” Thus, these photos are not my proudest…. Life is busy and I am doing the best I can, so I’m giving myself a little grace here and hope you will, too. 🙂
If you’re local to Maryland, NOVA, DC, we’d love to see you this weekend at Sweet Clover, open August 17-19.
And if you’re looking for the products used in this makeover, find them here: