Shawna reached out to me in hopes that I could help her with a dresser that was very special to her. It was a piece that belonged to her grandmother. In fact, her grandmother used to put Shawna down for a nap in one of the drawers when she was just an infant.
However, she wasn’t sure what could be done with it, as it was in “very loved” condition. There were several large burn marks from candles, lots of candle wax, scratches, missing hardware (and of course a very unique/rare piece), and a base that Shawna really disliked. But the piece was solid, and a part of Shawna’s heart.
Normally, I might have done a lighter Scandinavian design with this dresser, but — between the damage and the missing hardware — we had to get creative.
Then Shawna fell in love with a mid-century modern inspiration photo. The piece featured dark drawers, a white base, and MCM turned legs.
So we had a plan:
Stain the drawers dark. That would help us mask the filled hardware holes, since finding a match would have been like winning the lotto.
Paint the base white, since there was no removing the burns.
Find new hardware.
Replace the base with legs.
I searched for leg options and fell in love with Tablelegs.com. They have a great selection of quality products.
We chose McCobb Mid-Century Modern Feet because they were just the MCM design Shawna was looking for. We added the wood cleats after speaking the very helpful customer service department. This particular dresser was very heavy and I wanted to make sure it had adequate support. In fact, we added a fifth center support to prevent the center from drooping over time.
After a long, hard search for the perfect hardware I stumbled upon this gorgeous walnut hardware from Forge Hardware Studio. They even resembled the original split handles. I gave Shawna a list of options and these were her absolute favorite.
Shawna loved the contrast of natural walnut against the java drawers, so we left the hardware unstained. We also removed the original base and installed our new McCobb Modern Furniture Feet.
Now what’s a project without a little drama?
Even though we stripped and sanded the drawers there were areas that didn’t take stain as nicely as I had hoped. It can be impossible, in certain instances, to remove wax and oils from wood furniture, and my guess is that this was the cause of our problem.
So, to blend these areas, I first used a tinted top coat. I added a little General Finishes Medium Brown Dye Stain to my High Performance Top Coat. After it was all dry there were still just a few spots along the handles that needed to be blended further. I mixed up a little Walnut and a touch of Black Cherry water-based stain, and blended the areas with an artist brush. Lastly, I gave it a few more coats of High Performance Top Coat.
The Redesigned Dresser
Shawna was blown away with the final turn out! This beloved dresser is now the focal point of her master bedroom, and the inspiration of her room’s future makeover.
I thought this one was over until I saw the TableLegs.com call for furniture pics. Even though this project wasn’t my normal aesthetic, I think we made great use of their McCobb Mid-Century Modern Feet and Straight Cleat Set, so I sent in a picture and some info.
I was pleasantly surprised, a few weeks later, when I found out we had another award-winner dresser in the portfolio! Big thanks to Shawna, TableLegs.com, and all of you who supported us by voting!
If you need a redesigned dresser of your own, check out what is still available in the store, or get in touch if you want to talk about a custom piece!
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