Happy Monday and Halloween Eve! I hope you had a great weekend. We spent ours on the soccer field, carving pumpkins, and setting up my space at Sweet Clover for the sale that starts this coming Thursday November 2. It’s our holiday open house, so Christmas is on! I’ve made several DIY holiday ornaments and I will be sharing them here with you over the next couple of weeks. Over the last few weeks, I’ve also finished several new pieces and have brought those to the barn as well. Today I am going to show you one of those new additions for this furniture makeover: antique clawfoot dresser.
As I mentioned last week when I shared my indigo vintage dresser, although I am drawn to midcentury, classic pieces with beautiful details still make me swoon. This one had gorgeous feet that dug their pretty claws right into my heart! Late September one Saturday morning I awoke and said to Chris, “I really do not feel like hitting yard sales today, but I know I probably should.” He encouraged me just to get out the door and do it, or perhaps he didn’t want me around nagging him. Whatever his motive, it worked. One foot in front of the other, I set out. The first two sales I hit were a total bust, and I was feeling even more like I just wanted to go home. I saw one more sign, and decided it would be the last sale I went to. I crossed my fingers and hoped that I would find something that would make my morning travels worth it.
As I pulled up to the old farmhouse hosting the sale, I grew hopeful; old houses like that are always treasure troves. I spied a beautiful vintage hutch and had to double check the price as it seemed way too low. Score! I bought that immediately, and turned the corner to see this sad chipped clawfoot dresser in need of some love. Again, it was a fantastic price and I bought it. Lastly, I also found an amazing old trunk. As I paid, I told the nice couple that I was so thrilled because their sale had made my morning out worthwhile. They told me that my arrival at their sale made them having it worthwhile, so in the end everyone was happy.
When I first brought the dresser home, it looked liked this…
The veneer was damaged, especially on the bottom two drawers, and some of it was loose where it hadn’t yet come off.
Because of the way it was damaged, I wasn’t able to fix it with woodfiller, and replacing and matching the veneer was going to be a challenge as well. I decided to just roll with it and create a distressed shabby chic style look (I really don’t like that term, but it conveys my point!). I removed the drawers, and used my orbital sander to sand the dresser body all over. As for the drawers, I sanded them as well, and when it came to the bottom two, I allowed the loose pieces of veneer to just sand and fly off. I wanted to be left with only the veneer that was still securely in place as I don’t want it to fall off in someone’s home after I’ve sold it.
Once it was all sanded, I pulled out my General Finishes Persian Blue which is such a gorgeous very soft gray green blue. I applied just two coats as that was all it took. Once it was dry, I used my orbital sander to lightly distress the edges by just softly hitting only those ares I wanted distressed. When it came to the drawers with the chips, I lightly ran the sander over their surfaces to distress the chipped areas a bit as well. I then finished it with General Finishes Satin Finishing Wax.
Finally, it was time for the crowning touch! Knobs can truly make or break a piece, don’t you agree? I knew I wanted something glass to keep this piece soft and pretty, but I didn’t want the classic antique style glass knobs I often go for. I loved the slight modern flair of these spherical glass and chrome knobs from D. Lawless Hardware and the folks over there were kind enough to supply them for this project. Look at how they catch the light!
As soon as I put them on the drawers, I felt giddy inside. (I mean, truthfully it doesn’t take much to thrill me, but these knobs really are something special.) Below you can see how the bottom two drawers turned out. I think their worn look suits this dresser just fine.