~White French Provincial Dresser~A Makeover Story

July 1, 2016

This little French Provincial Dresser was something I found on Monday while shopping at antique malls with my daughter.  I had been looking for a couple of tall dressers to refurbish and sell in my shop at Daisies & Olives.  I like tall dressers because I can fit more of them in my booth space.  One of my favorite parts of this job is shopping for furniture to refurbish but after 3 antique malls with no luck,  I was starting to get discouraged.  

 

It had been several hours shopping and as they say, "Time is money", so I was about to go home when we stumbled onto this beauty of a dresser.  It was a great price, solid wood (translation, really really heavy) and in good shape.  The top of the dresser did have some pretty good surface scratches but as the surface was really shiny, I planned on sanding it down anyway.  It was perfect!   I actually couldn't believe what they had priced the dresser, but that's the great part of what I do!  A lot of people look at a piece like this and because it's damaged, they don't consider trying to fix it which is great for those who enjoy refurbishing.   What's that saying?  One man's trash is another man's treasure.....and this was one treasure I wasn't about to pass up.  In fact, I hustled up to the front desk to stake my claim on it!  Even though I was looking for multiple dressers, I only found this one on our shopping trip.  But boy, oh boy, I couldn't wait to get home and start working on this dresser and give it a makeover! 

 

My hubby had to come back with me that evening to get it from the store because it was too heavy for Emily and I.  We even had to take out the drawers to carry it!  I started sanding it on Monday evening after dinner until in got dark outside.  Here is a close up look at some of the scratches that we sanded down. 

 

On Tuesday morning, I finished sanding the dresser and brought it inside to start painting when it got too hot to work in my garage.  My garage is really nice to work in until about 1:00 p.m., when the sun starts to creep into my work area.  I got the dresser (minus the drawers) completely painted, distressed and ready for wax.  That evening and into the next morning, I finished sanding, painting and distressing the edges of the drawers.  Because this dresser had so much detail and curves, it took a little more time, as to not sand off any of the points or crevices.  I used a creamy white called "Summer White" from Shermin Williams and made it into chalk paint using my Chalk Paint Recipe.  My chalk paint recipe is safe, easy to use and cost effective if your looking to do it yourself.   Otherwise, I have used Annie Sloan's chalk paint, Maison Blanche, and Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint.  All of these are good brands that I have used before and would recommend.  This isn't a sponsored post and I don't get paid by these brands to endorse their products, but rather it is my own experience and opinions.

 

I ended up deciding to put a little dark wax into the clear wax to darken the white and to make the distressing and detail pop a little more.  I use Annie Sloan's clear and dark wax to seal the paint and also give the piece of furniture a nice satin and finished look.  I mix the two waxes sometimes to give the piece a little color.  Dark wax can add richness to a color when using it.  I only used a 80/20 mixture, with a 20% of it being the dark wax.  If I would have used 50/50, the white would have turned a cream instead of white and I liked the white better.  By Wednesday evening, I had finished everything but adding the hardware.  Garrett helped me move it into a spot so that I could finish it the next morning and stage it to take pictures for the blog!  

 

 

 

On Thursday, Emily helped me stage the dresser with a nice vignette on top and helped with lighting.  It takes me an hour or two to stage and take pictures.  On this day, it was definitely longer because it started to rain just as we were ready to shoot.  Lighting in my already "light" challenged home was quite tricky.  It takes a few hours to edit photos and type a rough draft for the blog.  After creating some small home decor items, making tags for the shop and finishing editing, it was a full day.   Here is a look at the finished dresser.  Isn't she a beauty?

 

 

 

 

 Normally I can do two pieces of furniture in a week, but this week it took me longer to finish this piece and I always wonder where did the time go!  :)  

I had a hard time this time pricing this piece of furniture.  Sometimes when that happens, I will google other "like" kinds of furniture and see what kind of prices I get.  I found anywhere from $450-1200 for retail prices, which was a pretty wide range.

 

 The other characteristic that I have to consider is that often now in retail furniture, it is not real hardwood and that can change the value in my opinion as well.  I was so indecisive that I almost thought about putting a picture up on my Facebook wall and and ask opinions on the price.  Unfortunately, I ran out of time, so I had to make the call.  I finally decided on $399, even though my husband thought it maybe should have been higher.  I could have priced it higher but part of the reason I liked doing what I'm doing, is to turn good quality furniture into one of a kind pieces that are still affordable.  So.....$399 is what I priced it and we will see what happens.  Normally, I price my dressers between $250-$300, but this one was extra special to me, especially because of all the detail and because French provincial style furniture has my heart!  

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing this furniture makeover story!  Tomorrow my family and I leave for an extended holiday vacation.  We will be back on July 11th.  We will be joining friends at the beach for 4 days and then heading to South Carolina to see my baby!  Okay, he's 20 (almost 21) years old, but he will always be my baby!  :)  It's been five weeks since we will have seen him and we all miss him terribly.  We will be taking 4 days with him heading to Charleston, Beaufort and wherever the wind might take us in those few days along the coast of South Carolina.  I've never been to the east coast shoreline and for those of you that know me, it's been on my bucket list to discover some coastal living.  My plans are to be retired on the east coast and the Carolina's seem like the perfect place for me!  In fact, a little secret is that I listen to the ocean as white noise when I go to sleep each night.  It's very soothing!  :)  Since, I will be gone for a few weeks, I will miss you all but I will see you in a few weeks with some great pics of our coastal vacation to share!  

 

Until next time....I leave you with this quote by Helen Keller,

 

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."

 

Blessings,

 

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