Friday, July 26, 2013

Red is the color of my true love's ... top coat?

There is a plethora of red empire dressers out on the web. As well as some awesome antique white ones, but right now red is my obsession. I've spent the last few days bringing a left-for-dead empire dresser back to life and what better color than Tricycle could I pick?

Who would imagine that this handsome guy started out as ........

Mr. Bad Rabbit:  How much did you pay for that?
Me: Uhhhh, what?

Can you believe that veneer? I think there ended up being more in my car than on the dresser by the time I got home.

We kept it upside down to flatten the warped top. We used the weight of the dresser to flatten itself out and by the time I was ready to paint, the top was flat. (It was a year later, but I never checked it before that.)

I took all the veneer off the front. This time, instead of using an iron, I went back to using my heat gun. It's been a couple years since that blackened table incident and I've learned a thing or two since then.

 Such a handsome devil.

First, I painted the dresser black, then when it was dry, I sparingly put patches of Vaseline willy-nilly over the paint.

For the majority of the dresser I just let the milk paint do its thing and produce those fine cracks I'm so wild about.

This dresser is really rustic which is perfect for milk paint.

 Here's my chance to ask for advice. My camera lens (18-55, the lens that is bundled with the Canon Rebel) causes lots of distortion. See how one knob is looking up and the other is looking down? I'm tired of it. Any recommendations?

I painted the plain knobs that were original to the dresser and waxed them. Buffing was sure made easier by my drill attachment!

And now, the supporting cast:

 The toys. Rabbits and horses call to me with their little voices;
come buy me, come buy me,

and then I am in their power.

 I came across this old birdcage at a yard sale. I'm not usually the one who finds the really cool stuff but this time I guess it was my turn. We did some research and found the cage to be from the early 1900's. And is that Luckett's Green?

 The chippy chair, again, from a yard sale. The seller couldn't wait to get rid of it. Her loss, my gain.

 Really not a prop but I like the unusual door plate. I don't remember seeing one like this before and the best part is the door was free!

Linking up to:
my uncommon slice of suburbia
funky junk 
nifty thrifty things
make it pretty monday


  1. I L O V E red and I love your red dresser. I am not sure I would have attempted to revive it.

    1. For some reason I LOVE removing veneer. It's like a zen task, I just relax my mind and do it.

      Wait 'till you see what's coming next!

    2. I completely agree. I don't enjoy doing it until I start doing it. Your dresser came out beautiful!!!

  2. WOW...what an AMAZING transformation! Beautifully done!!!

  3. Gorgeous piece! and what is the method to remove veneer with a heat gun, please? (A pine table caught on fire for me once and I put that heat gun back in the cabinet!) I've always used an iron and a wet tea towel.

    As many ugly ducklings as I have rescued, your dresser would have frightened me off-you are a very courageous woman - in many ways!!

    Off to find something to paint in Tricycle!!!!

    1. Heat guns are scary! Mine was shelved as well. I just used some heat then put the gun down (on a safe surface) and scraped veneer. Then applied heat again, etc. until I was done. The trick is to pay attention and don't use too much heat. I think I did about 10 seconds. LOL. I'm a daydreamer and I think that's why I had my own "incident" a couple years ago.

  4. This turned out beautiful! I love everything about it!!! Especially that bird cage sitting on top of it...
    Great find!

    Sorry to hear about the Chemo...Sending prayers your way.

    Suzie @ Dorothy Sue and Millie B's too

  5. Wow! What a crazy transformation. I love the red.

    As for the distortion of the lens....a couple of things could help. What editing program are you using? I use Lightroom and there is a feature called Lens Correction. The program will read what type of lens you used and then correct accordingly. (I am sure Photoshop or Elements has something similar). The other option would be to purchase a new lens. My 35mm pretty much lives on my camera, but it can be challenging to get a wide enough angle for some shots (i tend to switch back to my 18-55 for room shots), so you could potentially look at a 28mm - although without an editing program it might also distort since it's quite wide.

  6. I love this piece. Red was the perfect color. Hope you are having a good day. Thank you for submitting to Transformed Tuesday.

    Peggy~PJH Designs

  7. Daena, your piece is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. You will be one of the features tomorrow at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog. Hope to see your prettiness again tomorrow at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  8. Hopping over from the Dedicated House to say your dresser is absolutely beautiful!! Very well done :)

  9. LOVIN the RED! Its Beautiful,great job:)

  10. Wow, what a wonderful transformation.......I have one of these in storage, missing one back leg :( but seeing yours made me think it still has possibilities, hope your wearing a mask when you unpeal your furniture :)

  11. I love your miniature horse selection. If you ever stroll over and check out my blog, take a look at the last photo in my Master Bedroom Reveal post. I love them, too. :)