Dressers are always my go to pieces for refinishing. They’re the most versatile as they can be used as media consoles, dining room servers, changing tables, and, of course, as dressers. They make a statement in a room and showcase the style and aesthetics of the homeowner significantly. For those reasons and then some, refinishing or painting a dresser is the most rewarding kind of furniture makeover I do. Today I an sharing with you a black midcentury dresser I painted and also talking a little bit about when black is best; to be honest, it wasn’t my first color choice for this guy. (Affiliate links included for supplies).
I found this dresser when I was out with Emmy during the last weeks of summer, hitting up our favorite thrift shops. I loved the shape and original hardware, but of course its finish was in need of a lotta love! (Cue Nicolette Larson, and I am really aging myself with that hit which was released the same year I was born.)
As you can see, it had several blemishes, as well as a burgundy stain. I truly thought this piece would have looked amazing in white with those handles really popping, giving it a bit of a glam look. However, as I began sanding and saw that the red was deep into the wood, I knew that this stain would bleed through, and painting it white would require using at least a few coats of heavy-toxin-laden oil based primer. I am not opposed to using that primer when needed, but in this case, I decided to take a different route and go with General Finishes Lamp Black. I knew that the bleed through would be much less significant with a deep dark black. Black is also a classic color, and although it wouldn’t be the bright modern glam look I thought would be perfect, it would give it a moody glam look I could also appreciate.
To get it all sanded, I removed all the hardware from the drawers, removed the drawers from the body, and used my orbital sander. If you’ve been around a while you remember my dog Jake who passed away this summer. He used to be my sidekick when I’d paint, laying right near me ad keeping me company while I worked. These days, I still have company, but it’s not either of our dogs.
Squeakers the hen is a Rhode Island Red, and they’re known to be one of the most sociable breeds of chickens. Whenever I’m outside working, you can bet she’ll be near. Sometimes she can be a bit of a nuisance, but mostly she makes me laugh. In the photo above, she’s exploring the body of the dresser while the drawers were out, probably thinking it would make nesting place. Would it help to sell this dresser if I advertised it comes with free eggs? She’s truly a funny chicken and we already have a collection of Squeakers stories from the year that we’ve owned her.
Anyhow, let’s get back to the dresser. After one coat of paint, I could still see the bleed through, but after three coats, we were set. I finished it off with General Finishes Satin Top Coat which is water based and low VOC and gives it a nice hard protective finish. One thing I want to mention, as well… people have asked about brushes, sprayers, rolling. I am an old fashioned kind of girl and I hand brush everything. I don’t use any special furniture painting brushes, and have always loved the smoothness of my Purdy Brush which works beautifully with General Finishes paint. Everyone has their own individual paint brand and brush brand they love and these are my two favorites.
Once everything was dry, I replaced the hardware and styled it for a little photo shoot.
The shape of this dresser is truly one of the things that makes it unique as well. The defined angles set it apart from anything I’ve seen. (Black is the HARDEST color of furniture to photograph, by the way, as the light reflecting on the finish makes it look uneven, but it’s really not!)
This piece is one of the dressers that I will have at my October sale at Sweet Clover as it didn’t sell this month. I did, however, have a fantastic first month back and sold 3 other dressers, so I feel back in the game and felt like it was a sign that I’d made the right choice for myself. I also had so much fun on Friday when I worked at the sale, and loved being back among the people who inspire me creatively and make me laugh. The weekend came to an end with me feeling like I had filled a little void in my life, and I am a little more complete now. 🙂