by Brittany on October 4, 2012

in Crafts, House Love

Where have I been? Oh you know, making furniture. Like Jesus.

So, as you may remember, I’ve been a bit of a garage sale whore lately, hunting down some great wood pieces to refinish and introduce into my home in a way that says, hi, I’m super eclectic and artsy. Like if Zoe Dechanel and Wes Anderson had unprotected sex and birthed an ironically weathered sofa table.

So, amongst my finds was this white and powder blue pine dresser.

It had a lot of chips and this weird dark brown stain in the bottom drawer. Andy said it looked like diarrhea, but I prefer to think something was murdered in there.

Regardless, I loved the shape and really wanted to find a cool buffet like thing to toss in between my dining room and sun room, but I have mediocre crafting skills and a very short attention span, so getting this thing pretty and refinished during fall show premier season seemed like a frivolous use of my time.

Then Sunday night I realized I couldn’t sit through the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion show without having a stroke like those kids in Asia watching those high-stimulation cartoons, so I put some pants on, headed to Home Depot, and spent a few hours wandering around trying to figure out how to make the dresser look less murder scene-like and more vintage.

Verdict? Success.

Here’s what you need:
1 Quart Behr Ultra Paint & Primer in One, Polished Pearl in Satin
1 Quart Minwax Oil Based Stain, Early American
1 Quart Minwax Oil Based Satin Finish Polyurethane
A large bristled flat paint brush for stain
Small paint pan and small roller for paint
Regular paint brush for Polyurethane
Sandpaper (fine and coarse grain)
Rubber gloves
Paper towel

Here’s what I did:

1. I removed the hardware and lightly sanded the entire thing. I am not sure this needed to happen, but I felt better about the whole drawer body fluid thing after I did it.

2. I rolled on one coat of the Behr Ultra paint. The best part about the whole paint and primer in one thing is that it gives great coverage with minimal effort. I let it dry for season 1 of Downton Abbey.

3. Next, I wanted to created a weather, paint worn look, so I took some coarse grained sandpaper and sanded the edges and corners down until the pine wood was exposed. I did this in a very random, nonuniform fashion, so it looked more natural.

3. My goal was to take this off-white weathered dresser, make it appear tea stained, and help all the sanded down wood parts stand out. So using the large flat brush, I painted a layer of stain over each section, then I put on my rubber gloves and used a paper towel to wipe down the excess and smooth out the lines. What’s going to happen is that the parts you sanded down to wood will take the stain and POP and the normal paint covered parts will look totally vintage.

Just brush the stain right over the paint.

Wipe excess stain with a paper towel, leaving a worn look.

Tip: You have a limited window to do this… I learned. Do it section by section.

4. Let it dry overnight. Stain takes forever to dry.

5. When it’s finally not moist, brush on a layer of polyurethane and let it dry for at least 8 hours.

I actually liked the old drawer pulls, so once the dresser was dry, I re-attached them and promised Jude two Fruit by the Foots to help me haul it in the house.

You would think this would motivate me to tackle all the other pieces I have to restore. And yet…. I’m watching X Factor in a work out shirt and tankini bottoms. Um, who has time to do laundry when I’m Martha Stewart’ing furniture, you guys?

Crafts also seen in the photos:
Ikea Ung Mirror. It only came in glossy black, so I spray painted it a glossy leather brown
Painted glitter pumpkins… click here for my tutorial!

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Johanna October 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Nice work! My mom was always creative with finds from The Salvation Army and garage sales. I didn’t get that crafty gene.


Daisy October 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm

So, as I said before, I could really use a neat dresser/changing table for our nursery. It would probably be a better idea than the creepy labor & delivery photos you were offering up.


Alison AlBawab October 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Oh wow, you did an amazing job. It’s beautiful and I’m impressed. We are getting ready to move locally in two weeks and are looking for some guest room furniture, if you are looking for a new project.


Brittany October 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm



Amy in MI October 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I love it – can’t wait to see your other DIY projects. PS – love your blog, I’m a recent follower!


Brittany October 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Thank you!


jen October 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Fabuloso!! Well done!!


Rachel B. October 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm

That looks amazing!!!!


Shauna October 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm

This looks amazing. Well done!


Nikki Nicholas Mohamed October 5, 2012 at 11:22 am

I’m impressed you didn’t freak over the use of the word ‘moist.’ hehehe


Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} October 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Great job, Brittany! This makes me want to bust out the power sander and get some shit done around here.


GrandeMocha October 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

It looks great! I really expected wild, Disneyesqe colors from your intro.


jaclyn @ October 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

wow looks great :) i am impressed


Peaches October 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Looks fab! This is easily the best thing to come out of that RHONJ reunion, that’s for sure. Well done.

PS: If you decide to do more refurb/distressed finished furniture, look into Annie Sloan Chalk paint. It’s the Cadillac of furniture paint. Makes everything look like it fell out of the Pottery Barn catalog.


Elaine A. October 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Wow girl, you did a fantastic job! I love the curves on the piece. Seriously. ;)


Louisiana Meredith October 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

This? ” Then Sunday night I realized I couldn’t sit through the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion show without having a stroke like those kids in Asia watching those high-stimulation cartoons, so I put some pants on, headed to Home Depot, and spent a few hours wandering around trying to figure out how to make the dresser look less murder scene-like and more vintage.” Brilliant! I no longer love Caroline in so much as I want to face punch her!

Love the restoration job!


Antonia Murphy October 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This piece makes me believe that you are an eclectic and creatively inspired person! As do the gourds teetering on the top! (WTF is up with GOURDS? They’re so ugly, yet so tasteful every time…)

Nice post.


Miss-E October 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm

For not being crafty, I think you did a bang-up job!


Cindy October 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I am not a gigantic fan of all things antiqued, but this looks really pretty in your home. You did a beautiful job. Just curious, did it come with the glass top???


Brittany October 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

It did. It was actually one of the things that drew me to it.


gaylin October 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I had a boring Ikea tv stand that I wanted to white wash. Only what the heck is white wash?
I had a tin of leftover white latex paint, watered in down 50/50 and used that. Awesome, easy and cheap.

The dresser looks great! Love the glass top.


Brittany October 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm



Moe aka @biggirlblue October 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Very impressive. You must have great patience. I painted the bathroom vanity this summer white and I wanted to pull my hair out.


Jana Frerichs October 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

WOW! I’m totally pinning this shit.


Gamanda October 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Wait, what are tankini bottoms? Are those like Skants featured on regretsy?

Also, expect a shipment of one dresser from Colorado so be sanded and stained. Feel free to distress it too if necessary and post to your blog. Just try to have it done before my baby comes in January. Oh, and ship it back please.


Brittany October 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Dude, sanding is the BANE of my existence. So when you ship it, sand it FIRST.


Lindsay October 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Love it! I am so going to copy you! Super CUTE!


Brittany October 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Let me know how it comes out!


Kel October 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Love it Britt! I have a white dresser sitting in my garage…I am totally gonna replicate this! How much (just curious cause I have never “Rummaged” before…just don’t do the used thing…but I may with furniture now I have seen this Resoration Hardware/Pottery Barn ensemble!!! Seriously..I would pay $150-250 for this…no joke! I love it. Thanks for the blog..anyway you could make the directions able to be copied so I don’t have to write all the colors/stains and directions down. I sent this blog to several peeps that I know have Great style like we do (hehe!)…SO look for a few new followers!! Love, Love it! Now get on to the other Rummage finds and show us how artsy fartsy you are! *envy* :)


Brittany October 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Oh I am all over a coffee table and two side tables…unless I get distracted:)

I bought that dresser for $20. TWENTY DOLLARS.


jenn October 5, 2012 at 12:27 am

It looks amazing! Thanks for posting the how-to!


Jennifer October 5, 2012 at 5:00 am

very nice find/refurb! I would love to do something like that, but so far, I have not found a great home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes near here. The locals keep naming off DIY stores that sound Home Depot-ish, but I am always disappointed when I get there. I also don’t know if it would ever dry here as damp as it is all the time!


Tia October 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

I love it!!! It turned out beautiful!


Taters October 5, 2012 at 10:01 am

Good work!! You should come work on my house. I have ponies and I live in NJ. Gigi can learn to ride and we’ll get drunk and be crafty, but not at the same time.


StrongerMe October 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

Holy Hell, Batman! You are creative. You’ve just been holding out on us. It looks awesome and I was so hoping that you accomplished it with one step that included spray paint because that’s about my limit.


Nikki Nicholas Mohamed October 5, 2012 at 11:24 am

MAN. SOOOO cannot wait to get back to the U.S. now. I’ve got about 900+ DIY and For-the-Home pins on my boards that I cannot do until I have access to places like Home Depot and Michael’s again. *sigh*

You do beautiful work, Brittany. Love this. AND I don’t believe your attention span is that short. I’ve got this and Andy’s work center as proof. So there.


meleahrebeccah October 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

Shut the front door! That’s AMAZING! You’re super talented!


Amberlee LeTourneau October 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Love it!!


SarahMac October 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Crafty to the max!


Alisa Grandy October 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm

To all your aspiring DIY fans, checkout your local Home Depot for upcoming Do-It-Herself clinics. They’re very chick-friendly and unintimidating, with free access to all the power tools you’ve always wanted to try but were afraid to touch. October will be a tiling class, and November will be some lighting, wreath thingy.


alicia October 8, 2012 at 3:04 am

OMG!! This is so amazing. I love the distressed wood look. Our house is currently decorated with some nice modern pieces and a whole heap of hand me down furniture from our parents. I now have motivation to bring those hand me downs into the 20th century without spending a small fortune.


Laura October 8, 2012 at 9:39 am

WOW! And “Downton Abbey”? Fab!


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