Welcome back, amazing friends!! It’s furniture Fixer Upper Day, and instead of redoing something so close to the holidays, in December, we like to showcase our favorite Furniture Fixer Upper Makeovers from the year. Be sure to see what my friends chose at the bottom!
When I looked back through all the pieces I have made over this year, it was a no-brainer!
This antique dresser from my Mother’s Day Haul won, hands down:
Isn’t she a beauty? Well, not yet, but just look at those curves! SO much potential!
But she was in need of a LOT of love. I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
To start this project, I removed the drawers and gave it a good cleaning all over. White Lightning is perfect for this!
Getting rid of the musty smell
It was super musty on the inside, so to combat that, I brushed on one coat of BOSS in clear on the inside:
I covered every interior surface. It works amazingly well to seal in those musty odors!
Removing the veneer
Next, I tackled the veneer on the top.
Here is what I was working with:
Unfortunately, the veneer on this one was too far gone along the front and in some areas on top to salvage, so I decided to remove the veneer on this one. I learned the best way to do that from my friend, Larissa of Prodigal Pieces.
I laid soaking wet towels on the surface and left them overnight. The water softens the glue.
The next morning, I was able to scrape the veneer off in strips with a large putty knife:
You can soak the towels and take them to your project, or you can lay the towels out (I used two here), and pour water on them from a pitcher, which is what I did.
I didn’t expect the top to be in pieces after removing the veneer:
This would have been an awesome top had this been more of a farmhouse style dresser, and I may have even stained the top instead, but that was not the look I was going for.
Filling in the missing parts
The next challenge I had was the corner on this drawer:
Part of it was completely missing. I turned to a tutorial by my fellow fixer upper friend, Denise from Salvaged Inspirations because I have seen her fill in some crazy missing parts using a product called Bondo. You can read all about it on her blog HERE. Let me tell you, this is the stinkiest product I ever have used in my life!
But dang, it sure does the job!
I did as her tutorial suggested and splinted the area to be filled, and after mixing the two products included, I slapped it over the area with a putty knife:
This stuff sets up in about two minutes, so use it quickly!
I was done with the stink, so I filled the rest of the imperfections in with Dixie Belle’s Mud in brown:
I sanded those smooth also once they were dry.
I ended up hand sanding across all the drawer fronts just to smooth them out a bit.
Finally, time to paint!
I chose Caviar for this project and gave the dresser two coats:
I did remove the drawers to paint them, but slid them in while they dried.
Applying the transfer
Now for the fun part, the embellishment! I chose to add a transfer to the drawers. I’ve been hanging onto this one since last fall and this it the perfect piece for it. Applying transfers is as easy as peeling off the backing, laying the top piece on your surface, and burnishing the transfer onto your surface using the included tool:
This one is called Somewhere in France. You can find it several places on Etsy if you do a search. I cut this one up and used it in pieces. I only used the top two sheets for this entire dresser!
Once the image was transferred, I peeled the top layer off slowly. (If any of the transfer remains on the top, lay it back down and burnish some more. You do have to be careful where you place it, because once it touches down, it is pretty much stuck!)
Of course, deciding where you want to put the pieces is the hard part!
Fixing the Mirror
This dresser also came with an amazing mirror!
It was coming apart in three of the joints though, so I removed the mirror and took it apart. Then I used Titebond wood glue to put the pieces back together:
It and the harp that holds it also got two coats of Caviar:
Then I sanded everything lightly with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around an old foam sanding block. I also sanded over the drawers with the transfers. I vacuumed up all the sanding dust with my shop vac.
Ready to see the result of five days of work in 100+ degree temperatures??
(It’s hard to imagine weather that hot right now lol!)
Ooh la la. Am I right?
She’s a sexy little number now!
You can see now why a rustic top just wouldn’t work with the beautiful details in this dresser. It needed to be sleek, and I am so pleased with how the top turned out!
How about those gorgeous details on the bottom?
You probably didn’t even notice that some of them are missing…
I don’t think it even matters though. It’s part of the story of this piece.
And the mirror with that harp…
It’s hard to see the details up close, but they are exquisite…
The original dresser did not have one salvageable knob unfortunately, but these glass ones from Hobby Lobby did the job…
That photo also shows how well that Bondo worked on the upper right corner of that drawer on the left!
Now, let’s talk about those drawers. The top three worked really well, but I had the hardest time getting the bottom drawer out. When I finally did, I realized the bottom of the drawer was coming apart in layers. I had to disassemble the drawer to get the bottom out, cut a new bottom with my jig saw, and then reassemble the drawer.
I cleaned them really well and then I applied Big Mama’s Butta to the sides and back.
It hydrates and protects the wood and comes in three scents: Orange Grove, Suzanne’s Garden, and unscented. I tried out Suzanne’s Garden this time and it smells so beautiful! It smells like roses, which I normally am not too fond of, but this is lovely!
Then for the bottoms of the insides of the drawers, which I always save for last, I had purchased a fabric with some french wording on it, but I was not looking forward to cutting it to fit all those curves.
Instead, I taped off the perimeter of the drawer bottom with FrogTape and then painted the bottoms of the two top drawers in one coat of BOSS in white, followed by one coat of Fluff. Then I added FrogTape to create my stripes. (See how I do that the easy way HERE!)
I removed the tape as soon as I applied the second coat of Caviar to the stripes. I used Clear Coat in Satin to seal, but this time, I used a brush specially designed for polyurethanes by Wooster. The sponge is a game changer for applying the sealer to the outside, but it can be tricky to use a sponge on those inside corners.
I love how they turned out!
For the middle drawer, I painted the bottom black instead and used another part of the transfer!
I repeated the stripes on the bottom drawer:
Adding a little something to drawers is such a great way to add an unexpected touch.
Whew! Wasn’t that a lot of work?
It was so worth it to see this pretty lady come back to life though!
Can you see why this was my favorite Furniture Fixer Upper post this year?
Now you have three more fabulous makeovers to visit!
And here are all my Furniture Fixer Upper makeovers from this year! I’ve included the links to them below if you missed any or just want to revisit some fun makeovers!
1. January: Secretary Desk Makeover
2. February: $25 Thrift Store China Cabinet Makeover
3. March: Thrift Store Desk Makeover
4. April: Farmhouse Hutch Makeover
5. May: Ornate Sofa Table Makeover
6. June: Mary’s Dressing Table Makeover
7. July: Today’s Makeover 🙂
8. August: Antique Twin Headboard Makeover
9. September: $60 Thrift Store Dresser with Transfer
10. October: Sheet Music Cabinet Makeover
11. November: Vintage Secretary Desk Makeover
I am so thrilled that I got to share this one again! Some of you have been asking for a booth update, so I’ll be back with that on Tuesday. Here’s a peek:
Have a fantastic and safe weekend!
Update: See what my booth has been up to HERE now!
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