Hello, amazing friends and welcome to Furniture Fixer Upper day!! I have a gorgeous serpentine dresser with French transfer makeover for y’all today! And my friends have furniture flips of their own, so be sure to visit their projects at the bottom!
I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
Here is how this classic serpentine beauty started:
Nice, right? Now here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly!
It was a steal at only $34.95! And, it had zero stink yay!
But…isn’t there always a but?
It needed serious work to bring it back to life!
The top had missing and chipped veneer and one of the drawers needed an entirely new bottom:
I was able to remove a good portion of the veneer pretty easily:
But then, there was no budging what was left. I applied soaking wet towels to the remaining veneer and let it sit overnight and part of the next day:
Once I scraped away the rest of the veneer, I gave the top a good sanding using my rotary sander:
This sander is great and comes in a corded and cordless version. I started with 120 grit sandpaper and finished with 220 grit.
Once the top was taken care of, I moved on to the drawer bottom that needed replacing. Someone had tried to hold it together with a piece of an old crate at one time:
But it really needed to be replaced. I traced the bottom pieces onto a fresh piece of thin plywood and then cut it with my Ryobi jigsaw
This is a great saw to use on those rounded edges, especially if you swap out the original blade for a smaller scroll saw blade (made for the jig saw).
Most of the dovetail joints were loose and coming apart as well. I used wood glue to glue them all back together.
Once the drawers were all repaired, I sanded all the sides to make them fresh and new looking again using my Corner Cat Ryobi Sander:
Finally, I was getting closer to the good part!
Once I had everything repaired, I gave all the pieces a good vacuum with my shop vac followed by a thorough cleaning with White Lightning:
I rinsed with clean water and I was ready for paint!
Or so I thought.
This dresser threw me another curve ball.
As I started to apply the paint, I immediately got bleed through:
It may be difficult to see it in that photo, but that was an open invitation for my go-to stain blocker, BOSS:
I chose white, but it also comes in a clear formula and a gray formula as well.
This white BOSS will both block the bleed, and save me a coat of white paint.
I let that dry overnight to be sure it was good and dry. (Proper dry time is the key with BOSS!)
Then I was ready for paint!
I applied two coats of Cotton white over the White BOSS:
This was the first coat and you can see how yellow the BOSS was underneath in that photo.
I taped off all my drawers with FrogTape before painting to get a nice clean edge and removed it as soon as I applied my final coat of paint.
All the painted areas got a good sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to make my surfaces as smooth as possible, hitting the edges a bit more to distress.
I vacuumed all the surfaces with my shop vac to clean up any sanding dust.
See my complete tutorial for The Best Way to Paint Furniture White HERE.
Of course I reached for another gorgeous Redesign with Prima Transfer, the French Specialties transfer:
The fantastic thing about these transfers is that you can use them as is, or you can cut them up and use them any way you like!
That’s what I had to do since the original design didn’t fit my dresser.
I first laid this dresser on its back and then decided on the pieces I wanted to use.
Once I was settled on a design I liked, I used the included tool to burnish it to the surface:
I also have a nicer tool in my shop HERE if you use a lot of transfers.
I kept adding my design until it was complete!
This piece has yet to be sealed because I noticed some blemishes on the top that I hadn’t noticed until I pulled it out into the light of day. I’d like to fix them with Dixie Mud first. I ran out of time before I needed to take photos, but I’ll seal with Clear Coat in Satin using the blue sponge once I get those taken care of.
Serpentine Dresser with French Transfer the After
Here is how this classic beauty looks now!
I love a classic black and white!
I always get questions about the clock when I share it in posts…it came from HomeGoods several years ago.
I swapped out the plain wooden knobs for these pretty metal ones from Hobby Lobby…
They came already painted and were just perfect for this dresser!
Of course I had to give the drawers some love!
I had this gorgeous floral print in my stash that I’ve used on a few other projects HERE, HERE, and HERE, and I knew I wanted to use it here also!
For these drawers, I made a pattern first and used my rotary cutter set to cut the fabric:
Here’s a video on how I line drawers with fabric:
If you have trouble viewing, find it on YouTube HERE.
I applied the fabric with matte Mod Podge.
And how pretty are the rest of the drawers now?
After sanding the wooden sides, I rehydrated them with Big Mama’s Butta in Orange Grove scent. It smells so good and makes the drawers look amazing!
I used my Best Dang Brush to apply it and a clean, soft cloth to remove the excess:
Look at the sheen after buffing!
I also added it to the bottoms of the drawers where they slide and they slide like a dream!
They look SO good now!
I loved watching this dresser come back to life with each step!
I still have a few pieces of this transfer left that I can use on another project:
This transfer was just what it needed to finish it off!
Find this one and over 120 more in my Etsy shop!
Don’t forget to visit my friends’ Furniture Fixer Uppers as well!
Only one more furniture piece in this haul to go!
See anything you might have missed at the links below:
Mirror Makeover with Transfer
Flatware Box Upcycled for Christmas
Upcycled Picnic Basket with a No Sew Liner
Painted Empire Dresser
Neutral Rocker Makeover
Pink Painted Night Table
Mass-Produced Shelf Makeover
Repurposed Cabinet Door
Oak Drop-Leaf Table Makeover
Child’s Rocker Makeover
Vintage Banker’s Chair Makeover
Terra Clay Paint Case Makeover
Tea Kettle Makeover
Tray Update with Stencils
Painting the Smalls #18
How to Turn a Spindle Bed into a Bench
Dated Shelf Makeover
80’s Clock Repurposed
Stenciled Demilune Table
DIY Fabric Lamp Shades & $5 Thrift Store Lamps
Thrift Store Dresser Makeover
I’m working on a few things from this haul at the moment, but I’ll be back with this piece on Tuesday!
Have a wonderful weekend!!
UPATE: See how I repurposed the frame of this rooster art HERE now!
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Mary Kaiser says
Oh I am so in Love with this dresser! I am so happy that you saved it, and brought so much beauty back to it for someone to love it again!!! Some one will be so lucjy to have this in their home!
Thank you, my friend! I really enjoyed seeing this one come back to life! Have a lovely weekend! XOXO
Janice Holt says
I knew this dresser would be beautiful and is it ever. Love the transfer and of course the drawers inside; such beautiful fabric. Like I say, you never cut corners and it shows. Have a great week-end.
Aww thank you so much, Janice! I’m so glad you like the end result! Enjoy your weekend too, my friend! XOXO
Simple black and white! I like the shape of serpentine dressers , the curve doesn’t seem so pronounced on this one, which is nice. The fabric seems to add to the French flare of the transfer. So pretty!
Thank you, Niki! I really enjoyed working on this one! XOXO
Jackie C says
There is nothing as beautiful as these old pieces of furniture. You gave this piece a beautiful 2nd chance. I betcha this one goes quickly!
I agree!! I just love these older pieces! Thank you so much, my friend! XOXO
Denise - Salvaged Inspirations says
You turned it into a french gem Christy! Gorgeous! XOXO
Thank you so much, my friend!! XOXO
Marcie Lovett says
I thought it looked pretty good and was a great deal at $35. Good thing you didn’t pay more because you truly put some work in, Christy! But, as always, it ends up beautiful when you’re done. The transfer looks great, it would be fun in a kitchen as a baking center or coffee bar.
Thank you, Marcie! Even with all the issues, it was a fabulous deal for $35! It would make an amazing coffee bar for sure! Have a great weekend! XOXO
Thank you, Lizzy! XOXO
Another beautiful result!…after a lot of hard work. LOL. Simple and classic. I love it!
Thank you so much, Cyndi! XOXO
Beautiful job! (as usual 🙂 ) I love the decal you used. Love it!!!
Thank you so much, Lani!! XOXO
Oh, man! That dresser’s beautiful, undulating drawers and bottom trim are fab! One of your best! Here is a weird question: I looked closely and I do not see any ‘keyhole’ metal inserts in the before pic, but I can see them in the after pics. I need some for my antique sideboard. Any advice? I saw some on D Lawless Hardware but maybe you know another place? Many thanks!
Thank you so much, Laura! The curves of these beauties get me every time! The key holes are there in the before picture. I think they may be more pronounced against the white paint once I painted. You can find them on Amazon if you search “keyhole inserts for furniture”. They have simple ones and some really beautiful ones if you want to get fancy! XOXO
Rose Lefebvre says
You hit another one straight out of the park!! It is so lovely. Great job.
Aww thank you so much, Rose! Have a wonderful weekend! XOXO
Ellen Shook says
You have outdone yourself yet again! Great work.
Thank you so much, Ellen! XOXO
Michele M. says
Absolutely amazing transformation!!!!
Thank you so much, Michele! XOXO
Sharon L Austin says
LOVE it! At first, I was “noooo!” but then you showed all the damage and it’s like, thank God she saved it, such a cool piece!
Ha ha right? Looks can be deceiving at first glance. I don’t know how these gorgeous pieces fall into such disrepair! Thanks, Sharon! XOXO
Constance Colvin says
Maestro maestro maestro!!!!!
Ha ha!! I love it…thank you, Connie!! XOXO
I was guessing it was going to be a black one…….wrong. Lovely white with lettering. Good job!!!! Love the way you complete the project and do the inside of the drawers too!!!…pretty!!!
Have a good weekend!!! xoxo
This would have been exquisite in black! However, my last furniture piece was in black, so white it is ha ha! Thank you so much, Addie!! Enjoy your weekend too! XOXO
Debra Hubbs says
Wow back in the day I bet that burled? maple was gorgeous. You put a lot of work into this and it is gorgeous. Love the fabric inside, goes so well with this piece. Never thought of sanding the drawer sides. I’ll have to remember that. Love everything about this piece.
Thank you so much, Debra! I am always surprised when the drawers are not in nice condition since they never really handled much day to day, but sanding them is a great way to make them new and beautiful again for sure! XOXO
Caye Cooper says
Well Christy, you’ve done it again–another masterpiece. It’s just lovely!! It all takes soooo much time, doesn’t it? Thanks for sticking it out.
Thank you so much, Caye! Ha ha yes…I always take my time getting to the needy pieces, but it is so rewarding to see them coming back to life with each step! Hope you are enjoying your weekend so far! XOXO
I rarely see these serpentine dressers for sale down my neck of the woods. I love that you shared all the pulling to pieces and fixing up. I really like the front “feet/legs” of it. Love the white of course and also the french transfer makes it perfect. I bet it will get whipped up quickly. Have a lovely weekend 🙂 xo
I don’t see them too often in our area either, but I was so tickled to find this one! Glad you like the result! Thank you, Petra! XOXO
Jen @ Girl in the Garage says
I love serpentine dressers (they always seem to have so much damage though, ugg) and you made this one gorgeous, my friend! xo
Aww thank you so much, Jen! I love them too and I’m sure the only way I can get my hands on them is when they have damage that others don’t want to fix or are unable to lol! XOXO
Susan Renaud says
I adore your classic black and white pieces. And the transfers are beautiful.
Thank you so much, Susan! XOXO
It is so lovely. Great job.
Thanks, Olivia! XO