A Mint Vintage Dresser Makeover

Welcome to the first edition of “It’s So Ugly it’s Cool,” a new series hosted by Jess at Domicile 37. This challenge is about showing off how you makeover, re-purpose, clean up, etc second-hand items to fit with your style and needs. Does the item have to be ugly–not at all! But then again I have seen amazing things done with pieces I wouldn’t have given a second look, so it will be really interesting to see where people’s creativity takes them. This is an Instagram challenge, too, so if you are an Instagrammer and you have something you want to share, post a split screen and tag it #itssouglyitscool. We’d love to see your handiwork!

For me personally, my approach to DIY is usually to seek out quality vintage in need of a little love. So when it comes to crazy ambitious upcycling in which you discover X thing can be turned into Y thing you’d never imagine in all your days–you probably won’t be seeing that from me. Painting, refinishing, cleaning, reupholstering, etc, are much more in my wheelhouse.

Enter this week’s vintage dresser makeover. This was a very simple refresh that involved sanding, painting, and waxing, and that’s pretty much it. We’d been looking for a small, old dresser for our entryway, and I wanted something a little more antique-y than most of the furniture we own. I also wanted something that I could paint, and I feel bad painting wood about 99% of the time unless it is completely dilapidated or already painted. When Justin found this one in a local vintage shop, it ticked all my boxes, plus added a little extra cool with the hardware and nifty embellishment.

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There was honestly nothing bad about this dresser to begin with, and at first I considered the possibility of leaving it as it was. A couple things encouraged me to go ahead with a new paint job, though. The most important thing was that although I think farmhouse and shabby chic styles are completely charming in stores, in magazines, on the internet, and in other people’s homes, they simply are not one bit “me.” Plus I had the idea in my head that whatever piece of furniture went in the entryway would be mint green, which is why I wanted a paint-able piece of furniture in the first place. I think we all have the experience from time-to-time where an idea takes hold of your mind and won’t let go until you make it a reality. For me usually those unshakeable ideas have to do with ordering pizza, but in this case it was the that the dresser would be green. And so it is.

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This was one of those super easy projects anyone in possession of a paint brush can do. I painted the dresser with Valspar Chalky Finish paint and finished it with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural. I had never used chalk paint before but found it extremely easy to work with, and the super matte finish was great for hiding the imperfections in this piece. I did sand with a relatively fine grit sandpaper beforehand just to wear down some of the chippiness, though I think that is technically not necessary with chalk paint. The Valspar Chalky Finish paint is one of the few fully tintable chalk paints out there that I could find. Lowes carries it, and supposedly it can be tinted to any Valspar brand color. I used Valspar Pale Oak Grove, and although it didn’t come out the identical color to the paint swatch, it was honestly close enough for me.

Looking back at the before pictures, I definitely feel that I took the right approach for this piece of furniture in my home. It’s the perfect size and the green-on-green makes me really happy. I also think it looks quite a bit fresher now, and the pulls stand out more on the solid color.

I’m keeping to a few pictures today because I’m trying not to show too much of the entryway. I do plan to do a reveal post once the last bit of baseboard trim is in. The floors came out so beautifully thanks to some pretty intricate patching on Justin’s part. I’m sure no one remembers, but there used to tan tile in this space! (You can see the pictures from when we moved in here.)

So I’ll end with one side-by-side picture…

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And one picture of Fatty, because he was there too.

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Looking forward to showing you more of this space a little farther down the road (but hopefully not too far).

Now be sure to check out the rest of the It’s So Ugly it’s Cool participants! I have no idea what kind of projects the other ladies took on, but I’m eager to find out!

VINE & LACE

20 comments

  1. It looks great! The farmhouse girl in me though the first picture was the after!!! But, the “real” after is so YOU! Looks great! I love chalk paint and it’s matte finish! Can’t go wrong!

    1. Haha, I can totally understand that, Sara! I did really like the before, but I have to agree that all in all the after feels more my thang. If I ever get rid of it, I’ll ship it off to you–you could work wonders with your chalk paint skills!

  2. Hi Britt! This is such a beautiful makeover! I especially love that you made it fit your style even though it was okay to begin with. I’m wondering if I can find that chalk paint here at my store. I need to do some touches to a piece I previously painted and it sounds like it would make the process much easier! Thanks for sharing the info!!

    1. Thank you, Iris! I would bet anything your Lowe’s does carry it. Definitely a good alternative if you aren’t near anywhere that carries specialty chalk paint. Not having to custom mix your own colors is also a plus!

    1. Hehe, thank you, Corinna! I can appreciate pretty much any decor style done well, but I can’t necessarily live with them all. I’m really happy with the outcome. And I can’t wait to reveal the rest of that freaking hallway!

  3. Love love love!!!! Brittany you have beautiful style and your eye for vintage finds is wonderful. Love the mint color and swooning over the green wall. ITS SO BEAUTIFUL

    1. Ha, thank you so much, Steph! I do love the green in this space, and the walls, too! Emerald is still definitely the color of my year! And my life. 🙂

  4. Love your dresser makeover! Especially the color. I’ve always been afraid to paint furniture with a color, but your turned out wonderful. I just did my first chalk paint project too (white hutch) and I used Valspar. I think it turned out great, but afterwards could only find posts about Annie Sloan and was worried I had made a mistake with my paint choice. I’m glad you are a Valspar fan! Looks great.

    1. Thank you so much! I definitely get that colored furniture can be a little daunting, but with this green especially it feels really subtle and very livable. I came across the same thing when it came to researching chalk paint. There really wasn’t too much out there about Valspar, but I dont’ even know of anywhere in my area that sells Annie Sloan, and the Valspar was quite a bit more cost effective if you only need it for one piece. I bet your hutch turned out lovely! Yay for us–trying new things. 🙂 Thank you for the comment!

  5. This is so pretty! I’m about to paint my kitchen chairs mint to break up all of the white. Have always loved the color and it feels so classic for not being neutral. Beautiful lines and details on the dresser and that hardware!

    1. Thank you, Kathy! I bet mint chairs in your kitchen will be GORGEOUS!!. And even though it’s “in” right now, I have to agree–I don’t think you can ever really go wrong with mint!

    1. Haha, thank you! Yes, the name did change, but it was just in February, so you aren’t too behind. 🙂 I’m glad you were still able to find the site–I set up a site redirect, and I happy to know it is working. Thanks so much for checking in!

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