DIY | Vintage Dresser Makeover

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

I thought I would break up my Fall posts with a little DIY action. This was actually a project I worked on well before we were even fully moved into our new home. I’ve only waited this long to share the project because I so wanted to decorate it prior to posting, however, I have not yet found exactly what I am looking for…so stay tuned because there is definitely more to come!

If you remember my DIY china cabinet makeover post a few weeks back, then you may remember that Shahin’s dad and step mom provided us with that beautiful vintage china cabinet that I was able to update. I had only mustered up the courage to take that project on solo because I had exposure to this one first with a little help from my friends (cue in The Beatles song). And by a little help from my friends, I actually mean a LOT of help from my friends. I truly could not have taken on this beast without some of my closest girlfriends along for the ride – Stephanie (check out her blog here), Jennifer, and Ashley. See, no one should believe that a DIY project is a daunting task, rather, something extremely enjoyable – make a day or evening of it! After indulging in a few glasses of vino, a slice of Fuel Pizza, and some good ol’ catching up, we got right to work.

Below is an image of the original piece we were working with. Shahin’s dad and step mom also let us take this old dresser to revamp for the new house. When I initially looked at it, I knew exactly the direction I wanted to go in as I saw the great potential it possessed. It’s no secret that I am a lover of vintage things. I like anything that is rough around the edges but still encompasses elegance and character.

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{ The dresser: BEFORE }

I decided to scour Lowe’s for the perfect paint colors. I had a vision and needed to see it through – I wanted to get a vintage/worn feeling and knew that crackle paint was partly the answer. I had some experience using this medium in the past (when I worked on the vintage door for our wedding), but a good bit of time had elapsed since the last time I had touched it. So, what is crackle paint, you might ask? Pretty much the best thing ever. It’s a paint medium/faux painting technique used between different layers of paint that once applied, crackles on its own and can be easily distressed to provide an “old” look with layers of different colors peeking through. After purchasing a couple of paint cans (color choices shown below), a can of crackle paint and some sanding blocks – I was in and out of Lowe’s in less than 30 minutes. Done and done.

After removing the knobs on the dresser, we used my first color choice, Valspar’s Coastal Villa, for the bottom layer of the dresser. With four of us, we were able to knock it out pretty quickly. This is actually the same color I used for my china cabinet as I had paint left over and absolutely adored it. It may look beige here (the image does not do it justice), but it’s actually the perfect shade of greige (grey/beige).

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{ Valspar’s Coastal Villa – the color chosen for the bottom layer of the dresser }

After we let the Coastal Villa paint layer dry, we applied the crackle medium. Any crackle paint should do but below is one by Valspar that you can easily pick up from Lowe’s or order online here. Otherwise, you can always pick some up at any other home improvement store or craft store such as Michael’s.

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{ Valspar’s Crackle Glaze Medium }

Once the crackle medium was applied, we added the top coat of paint about an hour later (the minimum), but if you’re trying this project out – do not wait any longer than four. The second color I chose was Snowcap White, also by Valspar.

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{ Valspar’s Snowcap White – the color chosen for the top layer of the dresser }

Once we painted this on the dresser and allowed it to dry some, we could see that the paint was really starting to crackle on its own. However, I wanted to distress it even more. My friends and I used various tools such as screwdrivers in addition to the coarse sanding blocks to really rough it up, particularly around the edges. The finished product turned out BEAUTIFULLY – especially when I purchased new knobs (about $4/each from Lowe’s). That’s when the dresser really transformed.

TA-DA! Below is our finished/custom/one-of-a-kind beauty that I am so proud of! Y’all, no lie – it’s everything I could have hoped and dreamed. I love the distressed, old-timely feel mixed with a touch of classic elegance. The contrast between the grey and the white is ridiculously amazing and what I treasure most is that the original warm wood color is still somewhat visible through the crackling.

To finish it off, I put a lace runner on top of the dresser (which I upcycled from our wedding), and am now in search of the perfect set of gold or vintage brass lamps…oh, and of course some little nick-nacks and decor. Check out all of the lovely details below.

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If I had tried to purchase this piece somewhere, it would have cost me a small fortune. The DIY route was the best decision ever and even more, we now have a unique piece that can not be found anywhere else! I have to admit, I am one happy girl!

Interested in using the crackle paint medium? Here are a few very important pointers to remember:

  • Make sure that the two different colors of paint you choose have enough contrast. If you pick colors that are too similar to one another, the crackle/distressing will not be very obvious to the naked eye. Play with different color combinations – the possibilities are endless!
  • When applying the crackle paint medium, be sure to use it modestly.
  • Ensure that you are covering everything as the crackle is clear and can be hard to see.

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