Friday, January 20, 2012

The Yankee Doodle Dresser

I've been busy this week transforming an unassuming five-drawer tall chest into something special, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, of course.

Though ASCP can be used without sanding, I take a few minutes with a fine-grit sanding sponge to lightly sand dresser and the drawer fronts ... to prep the surface and to check for any imperfections that may need a bit of attention.

I tape the edges between the areas I'm going to paint and the places that don't get paint.  (Sloppy paint lines are a big pet peeve of mine.)

For this dresser, I used my two newest ASCP colors:  Paris Grey and Aubusson Blue. 

The harlequin design for the sides of the dresser was pretty easy to lay out (graph paper was really handy for this) and it didn't take as long as I thought it would to tape it off and paint it.

Step One:  tape, tape, tape.

Step Two:  Paint.

Step Three:  Remove the tape.

Step Four:  When the paint is dry, I used 220 grit sandpaper to carefully distress and blend the harlequins.

I didn't realize that I sanded it THIS much. 

The distressing revealed some of the original stain of this dresser, and it had a bit of a red cast against the grey and blue of the new paint ... so I went with it and added 'Primer Red' accents.  (the green strip is tape, to prevent me from getting red paint on the side of the dresser ... I'm not a very tidy painter.)

(I know Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is an English product, and that "Primer" is probably pronounced "primmer", with a short "i" sound ... but the American voice in my head pronounces is "prImer", with a long "i".)

I've kept you in suspense long enough ... thank you for being patient ... without further ado, allow me to present the finished product ...

The Yankee Doodle Dresser.

This dresser was worth all the effort, because it is a really well-made piece of furniture.  Look at those dovetails.

The body of the dresser is finished with clear wax (I use Johnson's, because I like the mellowness of the slight amber color), followed by Annie Sloan dark wax for some instant patina. 

The original colonial pulls would have done nothing for the dresser in its new skin, so I installed new satin black bin pulls.

It's unusual for me to distress a piece this heavily.  While I was doing it, I was telling myself a story with a fictional history of each scrape and scuff.

The red top is accented with a light rub of Valspar antiquing glaze and finished with two coats of Minwax oil-based polyurethane for durability.

Here's a really huge coincidence ... Janet of The Empty Nest (and my trusty source for all my Annie Sloan paints) has been working on a similar dresser this week, too.  Neither of us compared notes on what we were doing to our dressers.  I sent her a photo of my dresser when I finished it the other night, and she quickly replied with a photo of HER dresser.  To prove that she and I may truly be sisters separated at birth, she and I INDEPENDENTLY produced dressers that are eerily similar to each other.  (cue the creepy Twilight Zone music).  Hers is paler than mine, but the motifs and the design are almost as if we were reading each other's minds.  Janet's dresser is posted HERE ... go take a look, you will be amazed.

My dresser is now in my booth at the Minuteman Mini Mall, along with a couple of other pieces that I will share with you later.  It feels great to get some more big pieces finished and out of my stash of unfinished 'treasures'.


  1. Wow, your dresser came out great! A wonderful redo, Laura

  2. This reminds me of the famed Omega Workshop in the early 20th century.

  3. Connie, You did a marvelous job on it...I CAN tell it was a lot of work but, like you said, sooo worth it. Can't wait to see your friend's piece. xo Diana

  4. Nice! I'm getting ready to do something whimsical on an old coffee table for my girls "TV room". I've never tried ASCP - I really need to jump on that bandwagon....

  5. Love. it. So incredibly cute! Great job! And I love your fur babies! :)
    PS Come show off at my place on Wednesday if you can!

  6. I LOVE THIS!! GREAT JOB! And so inspiring!

  7. Oh my...I love this chest!! It takes my breath away...wish it was in my home:-)) Just became a new follower, julie

  8. Stunning! Wow. I love the colors, the harlequins, and the piece itself. Great job. Visiting from Miss Mustard Seed and now your newest follower.

  9. I'll have to investigate this paint further; I have 2 dressers that need facelifts. This paint looks like just the thing I need!

  10. It turned out fantastic and I really like the pop of red!

  11. Love the transformation! You have a good eye for this! hugs, Linda

  12. Very creative redo! It looks more like milk paint that ASCP--

  13. I'll admit that sometimes I cringe when I read a post about the chalk paint because there are times when I truly preferred the beautiful old wood that will never be seen again.
    BUT you've done this one a favor! It looks terrific! Love the reddish top too!

  14. This is just awesome! The detail and care are so obvious and it is beautiful:)I would love for you to come link up at my party going on till Monday night:)

  15. I love your creativity, Connie. But to be honest, I probably would have been very tempted to buy it in the original condition - paint on such lovely wood, no matter how well done, mostly isn't for me. Despite that, hope it sells fast and at a good price for you!

  16. Looks great! I just picked up another CL find (even though I said I wouldn't), and I'm eager to get some painting done! This working thing is cutting into my creative time. Hope the booth is doing well!

  17. It turned out beautiful! I love a harlequin pattern and this looks great! I love the blue.

    Visiting from Inspiration Friday

  18. Connie, your dresser turned out absolutely beautiful! I love that you kinda got off track and distressed it more than planned and what you did thereafter added to its beauty. You should sell this piece in no time!
    I am anxious to see what your "twin" came up with in her dresser redo. :)

  19. Wow! It looks fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing. What a beautiful space you have created my very first visit here I will follow on my way out so I know my path back here. Perhaps you will find the time to come visit me soon and do the same. I look forward to engaging more throughout the year and beyond. Take care. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  20. Very cool, and how weird that you both painted your chests in a similar fashion. I bet it won't last long at your booth!

    Kat :)

  21. love this!

    visiting via french country cottage and hope you'll enter my kate spade & bling giveaway:



  22. Morning Connie,
    LOVE your dresser!!!! The photo of the Primer Red top is that a little wood grain I see... beautiful.

    The distressing was perfect and I love the black pulls.

    I am still shaking my head over the coincidence of our two dresser designs. I will be posting about mine as soon as we get a smidge of sun for a good picture. Yesterday was foggy and today it is supposed to rain...sheesh. I may never get this baby staged and photographed.

    I bet Yankee Doodle Dresser does not last long in your shop. He is way to unique.

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  23. Great painting minds think alike... you and Janet are too funny and have both created such unique and fun pieces that should sell very well... that is, if you plan to sell it.

  24. Such a lovely piece! Thank you for sharing your lovely project at Potpourri Friday!

  25. Just a quick note. I jumped over to The Empty Nest to see her dresser. It is funny that the two of you were thinking along the same lines. But truth be told...I like your piece much better!! ;)

  26. Love it- it turned out darling! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

  27. This is so cute, and I love the finished product, it is perfect! Thank you for sharing. I am featuring at my party tomorrow :)


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