Hey guys! Dani here coming at you with another episode of Flip or Flop – Furniture Edition!
I had this dresser in my storage unit for a good 6 or so months, along with about 15 other dressers waiting to be transformed – ay carumba! I was so busy with custom work and painting others’ projects but finally, I got through all of their lovely projects and it was time to dig into my own and get creative!
I have about 7 more items in the queue that I’ll be busting out and turning them into more makeovers for you to follow along with.
This one when I looked at it, I had thought “I’m picking this one because it should be fairly easy and routine”. I had been going through about a month of saying this to my dressers I’d pick from my locker and each time I’d get into it, they’d be NIGHTMARES! Every single one. And guess what – this one was no different and was the worst of the worst, lol!
So, let’s start with what happened here. The peeling veneer was rough but not even the worst part about it. I patched it up using Drydex putty – no problem!
Then as I got closer and checked the dresser out, I realise the TOP was completely lifting off the dresser. Well – I guess the top layer of veneer. So that obviously had to be addressed, and I ferociously looked around for alllllll the wood glue. I didn’t have enough clamps to be able to glue the top down, so I did the next Hulk move possible. I put so much glue in there, flipped the dresser directly down onto its top, and looked for heavy things I could put into the spaces where the drawers were for weight. I didn’t have many options so I found some heavy table leaves and Steve’s really heavy toolbox. Then I lifted a dresser onto the base of it to add as much weight as possible. It did the trick quite well, I flipped it back and it was secured. Then i had to apply Drydex putty to conceal any detachment around the top edge. Whenever pieces are nightmares, you want to conceal any evidence that this dresser sucked at one point. No one wants to know this stuff, lol!
Back to the peeling veneer. So once all the putty was dry all over the dresser, my sanding assistant (who just so happens to be my mom) tried out the SurfPrep sander for the first time. I was doing something for a few hours and came back and saw she had only sanded smooth the drawers, when I had assumed the whole dresser would have been sanded by that point.
I failed in SurfPrep training because I didn’t let her know it’s just for scuff sanding and not deep, heavy sanding. I looked closely at the finish that was on the dresser and it was THICK lacquer. Really ridgy. So uneven and ridgy that it legit needed to be strip sanded. I said I was so sorry that I got her to use the SurfPrep and she was probably so stressed out sanding so much and wondering why it didn’t take 20 minutes and 3 hours to sand drawers LOL! Oops! Sorry mom!
We both learned some lessons. So the top and sides had to be totally smoothed down via strip sanding the heavy ridgy varnish off, we used an orbital sander with 40 grit paper to get it off.
Alright, fantastic, the dresser was good to go, it was way harder to smooth it down than to just “scuff sand it” which is what we usually do. This dresser was proving to be a lil drama queen I tell ya! Once it was sanded, it was my turn to prime it up.
I did 2 coats of primer as per usual. Then I noticed because of the strip sanding down to the raw wood, the grain was popping like craaaazy with the primer on. It looked so ugly! So I did my wood grain filling trick – you can find the blog post by clicking here – and waited it out, sanded it smooth, then re-primed.
The water in the wood grain filling trick activates bleed through, so it was all over and the primer before was pretty much a wasted effort and had to re-prime with BIN Shellac primer. MMMkay, good to go now!
I call this color the “Justine Green” because my friend Justine Marie Studios painted a feature wall for us in our living room in the summer of 2020. We love it SO much. We still to this day are in awe that we have this beautiful wall she created for us. Gratitude to the max! She’s an amazing artist and we love her, and I’m happy to say she’s one of my closest friends!
Anywho…I’d been drawn to a particular spot in the wall that was like a cucumber melon-y green with just the slightest touch of sage. I wanted to get a color that reminded me of that, so I pulled out my Behr deck and found one that was similar, with less sage. The color chosen was Behr “Aloe Nectar”. Thanks Justine for the inspo!
I made my usual paint mix using BB Frosch Paint Transformer Powder with my favorite paint Behr Premium Plus Paint & Primer in One. I actually show how I mix this paint/powder combo using this shade for my dresser in my “How to Mix BB Frosch Paint Transformer Powder” blog post which you can find here if you’d like!
I used my sprayer to paint and seal this dresser and she was goooooodddd to go!! My friend Kirsten of Peach Poppy Designs came over to pick something up from my garage, I opened up the door and when the natural light hit the dresser I saw things I didn’t see in the garage. Now, let’s not knock the garage lighting. I have extra stage lights for brightness in there and usually it’s great – I can see things in that lighting that natural lighting would be too bright to see. But this dresser was MEANT. TO. BE. SEEN. that day in the lighting in all its horrendous glory. LOL! The top was horrible – the grain was still soooo visible. I said OMG Kirsten, you see this right. And she said yeah, you don’t want to sell it like this if you don’t personally love it. And I said exactly, I need to re-do this thing AGAIN. I’ve created a YouTube video on this transformation and in there I don’t show me failing yet again. That would just get boring – like oops, I did it again! And again! And again! So I skipped out on showing one of the failures but that’s ok – it shows enough of them. I puttied this piece up like craaaazy again. This piece was beyond the wood grain filling step. This needed deep layers of putty using a large drywall scraper thing. It was seriously like I was spackling a wall for smoothness. Anywho – I eventually got it good and right where I was proud of it. Primed, painted again, sealed again (just the top at least, phew!) and THEN it was good. Put the original handles back on – they’re so cute! Luckily the interior drawers are perfect and I didn’t need to do any work to those. #winning
Normally a dresser like this will take me about a week from bringing it home to staging/photographing/listing it and bringing it to Two Girls and a Locker but this one was about a 2-3 week transformation. Of course I was doing other things in the background but that’s how much of a nightmare it was.
But that’s the thing – it WAS a nightmare. But now so much love and attention has been poured into it, and I can say it’s no longer a drama queen. It’s a beauty ready to be loved and live a life with a different kind of energy. A refreshing energy that will some day be in someone’s home and loved!!! I can’t wait to find out who ends up with this lovely piece, and I hope they appreciate it a little more after reading this and the things we go through that no one knows about. Will it sell? Only time will tell!
Want to watch the video version of this transformation? Check out my YouTube video below!