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