Hello lovelies and welcome to Furniture Fixer Upper Day!! My friends and I all have brand new furniture flips to share with you, so be on the lookout for their makeovers at the bottom! I’ve got the sweetest magnolia dresser makeover to share, but it didn’t start out that way!
This was definitely a fixer upper!!
So. not. cute. But, I just couldn’t pass this one up for only $15.99.
These super needy pieces usually end up being my favorites to work on because you can really only go up from here!
Here’s a view from the top…
And what exactly is this finish??
Faux corkboard? Nice.
Sand all the boo boos
I started there with my sander:
Luckily, that weird corkboard looking surface sanded away to reveal nice wood beneath it.
I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
Here’s another shot of how bad the finish on this was:
I just kept sanding though until as many of the imperfections were smoothed out as possible.
I sanded just about every surface, including the sides of the drawers that were splattered with stain that had been applied without much care.
Then, I vacuumed up all the sanding dust with my shop vac and gave everything a good wipe down with White Lightning to clean.
Fill holes and gouges
There were so many scratches and imperfections that I was not able to sand away, so I filled those with Dixie Mud and then left everything to dry in the warm sunshine…
Once that was dry, I sanded the Mud smooth, vacuumed the dust, and gave everything another wipe down with a clean, soft cloth.
I get my “clean, soft cloths” that I mention in every other post at Lowe’s in these bags:
They are like cut up t-shirts and one bag is packed with a ton that lasts me for a long time.
Prime for Possible Bleed through
Once I had everything clean once again, I used BOSS stain blocker just in case of potential bleed through since this is an older piece and I sanded all over breaking the original seal.
No tannins seemed to come through the BOSS on this piece though, so there is a good chance I wouldn’t have needed it, but it doesn’t hurt to be too careful!
You can always paint a drawer to test first also, and then BOSS if needed.
The Fun part: Paint!
I love Vintage Duck Egg, but I love it even more lightened up! I usually will mix it 50/50, but I was a little heavier with the Fluff on this one.
It looks super light going on but dries darker…
Even if I didn’t need the BOSS, it always makes for such a nice base for the paint layer and you can see how well the custom paint mix is covering!
I did give it two coats and then lightly sanded all over with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and distress just a little.
Even if you don’t want to distress, you’ll want to sand to get a buttery smooth finish and these sanding sponges are perfect for that!
Don’t forget to tape off the sides too (FrogTape is my favorite painting tape), so you get a clean, professional looking result:
The most fun part: adding a transfer!
I decided this dresser needed a transfer, and I’ve been wanting to use this large magnolia transfer on something since I got it in:
I just love how HUGE the blooms are!
I cut apart the pieces and laid them out first to get an idea of how I wanted it to look:
If you’re adding a transfer to a dresser, laying it on its back makes it much easier to apply.
Then, I went at it!
If you haven’t used transfers yet, they are super easy to add to your projects!
- Get an idea of how you want to arrange it first like I did here. Transfers can be cut apart and combined anyway you like.
- Peel off the white backing.
- Lay the transfer onto your surface.
- Use the enclosed stick (or this fancier tool) to burnish (rub with pressure) to release the image from the clear top sheet onto your surface.
- Once the image has been transferred, peel back the clear top layer and remove.
- Then, take your fingers, a clean cloth, or a finishing pad and rub it across the entire surface of the transfer to be sure it is adhered well all over.
I do cut them apart in hard to apply places though like here:
Cut them before removing the backing.
You can see all the transfers I have in stock in my Etsy shop HERE.
Redesign is in the process of replacing all the transfers they had us pull due to a patent issue, and the first ten are in! PLUS, there are more on the way AND a bunch of BRAND NEW smaller transfers coming soon!!
As you can see, I trim the top and bottom to give me a straight edge on either side:
Using the sponge on these mostly flat surfaces makes applying sealer so much easier!
I did two coats on everything.
Every drawer on this dresser was sticking. I did have to reassemble a couple which helped, but I also went over all the outsides of the drawers with Big Mama’s Butta:
This is the BRAND NEW Fresh and Clean scent, and I think it’s my new favorite!
I also added it to the rails where the drawers slide on the interior:
Not only does the Butta hydrate the wood and make it smell amazing, but these drawers all slide like a dream now!
The Big Reveal
Here is how this once NOT cute dresser looks now!
This soft blue is so pretty…the top color is more accurate. The bottom is reflecting light from outside.
And this transfer! I love the big, bold magnolia blooms!
They start at the side on the bottom…
I swapped out the original hardware also.
Although I liked the original cup pulls, I felt like they didn’t work with the softness of the magnolias. I’ve definitely saved them for a future piece though.
The small knobs on top have bees on them:
All of the hardware came from Hobby Lobby.
I always love this detail on the backs of older dressers:
Perhaps that is what drew me to this piece in the first place.
I found a spot for some of the transfer on the top there too:
The drawers were in bad shape on this one. All were sticking, stained, and had peeling veneer on the insides:
Luckily, this tool helped to remove the veneer pretty easily:
I had to rebuild a couple of them that were coming apart. Wood glue and clamps to the rescue!
Here they are now all fresh and new!
The insides got two coats of Silk paint in Oyster.
Silk paint doesn’t require a top coat and although it typically requires that you sand first, there is no need with raw wood, so it’s perfect for drawers!
And look how pretty the sides are!
I loved bringing this fixer upper back to life!
Don’t forget to check out what my friends are sharing today!
A couple of them are redos of redos…I love seeing what they do the second time around!
One more done!!
See everything I’ve completed so far below!
Painting the Smalls #20 (Six mini makeovers!)
If you enjoyed this post today, you might enjoy this one too!
See what I did with it HERE!
I’ll be back on Tuesday with this 80’s towel rack shelf thingy:
UPdate: See how I updated HERE now!
Have an amazing weekend!!
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