My First Furniture Re Do

August 28, 2014Katie

How to antique white furniture

About a month ago, and before the oven broke, the entryway flooded, and my life was vaguely normal and boring…..I refinished this dresser.

It was a dresser that my daughter had with one of her first bedroom sets and it was that pale blonde wood color, which I no longer like at ALL. Except for the part where she had hand painted scriptures on it…


Kayla is my hipster daughter and her bedroom was an eclectic mix of mission trip relics and general mess.

I was redoing her room upstairs since she has taken up residence in California for the next two years, and
didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but I did want to give it a good facelift.

On account of most people who move to California from Oklahoma never come home again.

I can’t imagine why for the life of me?

It’s 105º today and my flowers and tomatoes are burning up. The 15 minute drive to and from work barely gives my car enough time to recover and just start to cool down resulting in me taking LOTS of showers.

I will not set foot outside the door and away from the air-conditioning unless it’s a life and death emergency. The dogs beg to go out, hit the door frame and whine and turn around to say, “I’d just rather HOLD IT!”

Compare that to my daughter’s California and being surrounded on three sides by National forest, beauty and a pretty reasonable driving distance to San Francisco, L.A. beaches and a Trader Joe’s in her hometown.

Come to think of it, she may never come back to Oklahoma again.

Anyway, I figured I’d redo her room as a guest room so I decided to distress this old dresser.

I started with a layer of Zinsser Bin primer and didn’t even have to sand the dresser. Because sanding makes me crazy. And it produces a lot of dust residue and I didn’t want to move the dresser downstairs and outside.

Nuff said?

Then I painted it with dark brown paint as my undercoat. Then I took a candle and rubbed it around allthe edges of the dresser.

Distressed white antique dresser

Then I painted it with antique white paint.

Then I realized it was WAY too white for what I was going for.

Then I searched my Pinterest Painting Techniques board for distressing and realized there were 100 different ways to distress furniture.

So I dove right in and tried the technique using stain mixed with a clear glaze, because I already had those in my garage and I didn’t want to spend any more money.

I mixed equal parts of stain and glaze (the stain was mahogany) and dipped a rag in it and rubbed it right over the face of the dresser.

Then I had a mild heart attack because I thought I’d ruined the entire thing. Because it looked way too dark and stained!!!

But then I used a clean rag and wiped the stain off.

How to distress a white dresser

And I loved the way it looked!!!

The next day I went to Hobby Lobby and bought these knobs on sale for 50% off.

Antique knobs for distressed antique white dresser

For the love of Pete (whomever he may be), NEVER buy anything FULL price there, because if you wait a week, it will go on sale for 50% off. I got lucky this week!, because knobs were on sale!

Then I excitedly ran home to put on the knobs, only to realize….

Did you know you should REMOVE the drawers before you paint them?

Yep, the drawers were painted shut.

I never said I was a professional furniture distresser…

This is how we learn things in life.

we DID get them open….

After the knobs were on, I was really pleased with the overall look.

Antique white distressed chest of drawers

I can’t wait to do the old desk in the room next!

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