Blog stalking and a dresser re-do

Hey ladies! So if any of you read my post about the color help then you know that I got a fab dresser and was at a loss for what color to paint it. Well after stalking Miss Mustard Seed (check out her amazing blog if you haven't already...she's awesome!) I decided what I was gonna do to my dresser. She's one of the only bloggers that I've seen that does two tone furniture re-do's and she recently re-did a french provincial dresser that looks similar to mine. Well it looked so amazing that i just HAD to copy her and do the same thing. Her philosophy for white painted furniture made SO much sense and totally made me re-think my white pieces. She loves white painted stuff but on a lot of pieces she stains the top a dark stain and the contrast between the white paint and the dark stain makes my heart go pitter patter! It makes so much sense because stain is really resilient and doesn't show wear and tear as fast as white paint does. Well as much as I was adoring the idea of a turquoise dresser (and I'll get up the courage someday) I thought that I would do the two tone look instead and I just happened to have all the stuff to do it!

Now I don't know about the rest of you but when stuff is stained...for me it has to be DARK. I don't like those in between redish oak-y colors...but thats just me! Maybe its because our rental house has redish wood trim around the floor in the whole house and I want to paint it white SO bad but can't. I'm just bitter I guess!

So yesterday I got to work stripping the paint off the top of the dresser. It was so much easier than I expected it to be since the paint was only a couple layers thick and latex. I used a natural stripper that's safe for the environment and water based and it worked amazing! Who needs chemicals when the natural stuff works just as well? I put on a thick coat...let it sit for about 15 mins and then scraped it off with a metal scraper. I put on another thick coat...let it sit and scraped it off too.

Once the whole piece was bare I sanded the top starting at 60 grit and working my way up to 120. Once the top was as smooth as a baby's booty I wiped off all the dust and got to work staining. Now I'm a novice stainer...I'm not good at it because I don't do it very often. Hopefully, with this new found love of two tone furniture pieces I will get lots of practice...(I will soon be refinishing my hubby's dresser and doing the same thing on his...Yay)
Now a tip for those of you that don't stain very often and something that I just learned MUST stir your stain very well before you begin staining. All the color settles to the bottom and you won't get very good color if you don't stir it well. Am I the only one that doesn't stir my stuff very well??? (sheepish shoulder shrug)

Ok so next I got to work applying a thin and even coat of Ebony Minwax liquid stain to the top of the dresser in the direction of the wood grain. I let it sit for about 10 mins and then wiped it off. After it was totally dry I went back over the spots that didn't look even and re applied a little more stain with a rag. I let that sit and then wiped down the whole top gently. I let it sit and cure while I painted the drawers and dresser a creamy white. I applied another coat of white today and let it dry. I then lightly distressed the piece on the edges, etc. I applied about 3 coats of Minwax wipe on poly to protect the whole piece from wear and save all my hard work. I absolutely LOVE  how this dresser turned out. The top didn't stain as evenly as I had hoped but that's ok...I like things a little imperfect! I used knobs in an oil rubbed bronze finish to unify the piece and I am SUPER excited to have this gorgeous dresser gracing my bedroom!

Here's what she looked like before I stained the top (but after I had stripped the paint off...sorry for not taking a proper before pic

And here's what she looks like now....

 Now I swore to myself that I wouldn't take a picture of this dresser until it was properly "staged" but once I finished it (and my son was in bed) I HAD to take a pic to show you my hubby isn't home to help me get it in the house. Oh and for some reason the picture on top looks like there's a weird discoloration on the top of the dresser but its just how the picture turned out with my sub par photography skills! Hope you guys like it even though I chickened out and its not turquoise! :)

I'm linking up to  
Transformation Thursday on The Shabby Chic Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed 


  1. It is so pretty--I love the curviness of it!

    ~ Sarah

  2. It's looking amazing so far! I agree, stain has to be dark for me to like it. Im also not a fan of blonde wood. Can wait to see her all dressed up. Thanks for swining by and leaving a comment. Much appreciated!

  3. Kelsey, it's gorgeous! Fabulous job! I love the two-toned look! I have a dresser sitting in the garage that I wanted to do that to! Good job! Love it.

  4. Hey! if you are playing with your background/adding pages- LOL! Cuz I just was, too, lemme know, and I can make a different header for ya, send me the .jpg of the header background and some thoughts and I'd love to help, if you want! Really! It's fun.
    (I just made my 2 column blog into a 3 column...)

    I love this dresser re-do!
    I don't blame you for not staging it first ;)
    You should be proud of yourself!!
    What color paint did you use?
    Now you can relax and watch the stain dry...

  5. Hi there. Stopping by from Transformation Thursday. I love this dresser. It has such wonderful lines. Would love your thought on my transformed cabinet too.

  6. I love it! The dresser's lines are gorgeous. Your transformation turned out beautiful!

  7. What a pretty dresser! You did a great Job!

  8. Well, that turned out really nice.
    I think Miss Mustard Seed would be proud that she inspired you...not to mention what a great job you did on your dresser.

    way to go!

  9. What a beauty! Nicely done!

    : )

    Julie M.

  10. nice redo! i get antsy about taking photos of my finished rehabs, too, so you're not alone :)
    i love the shape of this dresser.

  11. Kelsey - - thanks for stopping by my blog!! I took a moment to peek through your posts and you have some great stuff - - I'm loving this dresser!! You asked about my chair - - I couldn't tell you where I got it from since it was over 13 years ago, and unfortunately the tag has long ago disappeared, but I have seen them in the Pottery Barn magazine and also the Ballard Designs magazine. Hope that helps ;)

  12. Very nice, looks more mod now instead of french, I like it!

  13. it looks great! i love the stained top! just bought a similar piece and might try the same thing!

  14. Love it - what stripper did you use? I have a couple furniture projects in my future that I could use some advice on!

  15. Thanks so much for the compliments and for being a stalker. :) I love that dresser, of course, and the color you chose to paint it. It looks really great! You'll have to share a picture of it when it's back in the house.

  16. Such a pretty dresser! Enjoy your fabulous work!!
    Have a happy day, your blog is lovely!!

  17. That is awesome! The shape of the dresser is amazing. You could have put any color on it and it would have looked fab. Beautiful!

  18. Thanks so much for all of your sweet comments...totally made me love the dresser even more! You guys rock!

  19. I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.