Mid-Century Modern Dresser Makeover

 I had awesome grandparents. Interesting, dynamic, hard-working and loving. I really could go on and on, but what I really want to focus on is this dresser. What does it have to do with my grandparents, you ask?  Well, they lived in Georgia for as long as I can remember and had this really cool bedroom set. Growing up I thought it was strange and so dated, but now I totally appreciate the lines and style of the pieces. After my Grandpa passed away, my sweet Grandma moved up north to PA to live with my parents and she brought along her bedroom set. Sadly, my grandma passed away a short time later and my parents had to decide what to do with all of her stuff. This is where I come in. I jumped at the chance to inherit a dresser that reminds me so much of two people I loved so much. I knew it would be the perfect addition to Bennett’s nursery .  Lots of people may cringe at the fact that I made changes to it, but Mo and I are huge fans of making family furniture work with your style. All the history, love and memories are still there, it just now fits better in my home.  To each, his own, I guess, and for me, this piece is just right now.

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This dresser is no shrinking violet, huh? It’s a long and low piece with a ton of storage, but I didn’t want to go with the warm, honey tone (I know, I know, Monica predicts honey tones are in, but guess what?! Not in my house. Ha! Now she’s the one rolling her eyes.)  I love love love the legs on this dresser and wanted to draw attention to them, so I knew exactly what direction I was headed.

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Aren’t these drawers funky?

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Enter Annie Sloan Decorative Chalk Paint. Guys, if you haven’t tried this stuff, what are you waiting for? No sanding. No priming, No work, basically. Just brush it on, distress (or leave full-coverage) to your liking and seal with furniture wax. So incredibly easy! I wanted a charcoal gray, so I mixed a custom color of Paris Grey and Graphite. I just kind of eye-balled the color as I went, adding a little bit of graphite to the Paris grey in a pan until I got the right tone.

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 I brushed on two coats, letting it dry between each coat. Wierdly, the color was a bit lighter than I was hoping, but rather than mixing more paint, I had another idea in mind.

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  I mixed Annie Sloan’s clear furniture wax with a bit of the dark wax on a paper plate, wiped the mixed wax onto dresser with a brush, and then wiped it off with an old t-shirt.  Mixing the clear wax into the dark makes the dark wax a bit more forgiving- you can adjust the darkness as necessary. Slapping on the dark wax by itself would be way too overwhelming and would be difficult to get a non-streaky look. This process allowed me to get just the right color. Man, I love it when you can completely customize a piece to your liking. Such a good feeling.

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Finally, I added orange to the bottom apron and all four legs for a fun, surprising pop of color that tied in with the rest of the nursery. I like that the orange makes this piece not too serious and draws attention to those great legs. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Am I right? Once the dresser cured for a while (read: a month or so after the baby was born because I was slightly thrown off that he came four weeks early) I had the perfect mid-century modern beauty for my baby’s new room.

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 Actually, I’m kind of jealous that it’s not in my room. Just doesn’t seem right. ;)

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Now that baby B is four months old (what?! Is that really true?), and we’ve spent a good amount of time in his nursery, I can honestly say that this dresser makes my heart happy. It’s a fun piece, but also reminds me of my awesome grandparents every day.

Tell me. Would you paint family furniture to make it work with your design or is it too sacred to do that? 

Oh, and PS. If you want some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint of your own, we order ours from Shaunna here. She’s the best and has some awesome tutorials for how to use it on her blog. Tell her we sent you! :)

Comments

  1. I dont have a family piece however i did score on a Dixie Furniture mid-centry dresser at a garage salefor $20. I’m totally afraid of painting it!!

    • That sounds like a great score Beth Marie! Maybe let it sit for a little bit and think about what you’d like to do with it…and check out our blog for more ideas!! :)

  2. I would like to give chalk paint a try on an old vanity but the thought of ordering a paint color online is daunting. Are there any local stores that carry the product? (I am in Harleysville)

  3. I love the color combo you went with! I also love the “Oh boy” letters above the dresser – too cute!

  4. Love this reincarnation. Our son, coincidentally named Bennett too, has an armoire in his room which is the only piece of furniture that my great grandparents brought over here from Italy. It was my grandfather’s as a child as well. I painted it white and did an orange color gradient down the front drawers. My grandparents are thrilled that it has a “new life” and it reflects both our family history and the new life in our family. :)

  5. stephanie says:

    What is the name of the mint paint you used?

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