The Big Back Breaker Project!

Yes, you read that right....the big back breaker project!  It has indeed been a back breaker.  Let me catch you up....Before we moved into our current home we sold just about all our master bedroom furniture.  We'd had it a long time and it needed to go to a new home.  That meant when we moved we were down a dresser and nightstands.  After scouring pages and pages of magazines and searching online for something I liked, I decided to buy some older furniture and give it new life.  We found a dresser at our favorite little antique store for $100.  The dresser was in decent shape, but needed some love.  The top made me nervous because there were some pretty large scratches in the wood, but I figured it would be OK with some sanding and some paint. 

I had this great idea (cue the sarcasm) to move the dresser upstairs so I could use it until the weather turned nice.  That's what we did.  It was easy getting it upstairs and in place and of course filled with clothes :-)  I'd been enjoying using the dresser when the weather drastically changed.  So, I decided it was time to drag the old girl (not me, the dresser) downstairs to the garage so I could get to work.   As Hubby and I were taking this large thing down the narrow stairs I hurt my back.  Immediately it hurt, but it wasn't until 2 hours later that I realized how bad it was.  I couldn't get up on my own or do anything without excruciating pain.  On the bright side, I was able to get a ton done in 2 hours!


This is what the dresser looked like in the master bedroom.  I had better pictures, but my computer got a case of the forgets and lost them.  You can see it's a nice piece, but has a lot of wear and some damage.


This was after I sanded the top and gave it the first coat of Minwax Dark Walnut stain.  I used a rag to wipe it on with the grain then wiped the excess off.  This thing is old and thirsty and sucked every ounce of stain I put on it!


I gave it a couple of coats of stain then tried to figure out what was better...wax or poly finish?  So I did some research and went with the wax.   Let me explain why I waxed and didn't poly....This is my dresser, not a kid's dresser so I'm going to be gentle with it.  I'm not going to put drinks on the top, etc.  If this was a side table then I would probably poly the top or have a piece of glass cut to protect the top.  There are 3 coats of clear paste wax and 2 coats of dark paste wax on there, but not in this picture :-)


I decided to go with my favorite paint,  Annie Sloan chalk paint for the rest of the dresser.  The reason being...NO PREP!  If I'd have sanded the entire dresser it would have taken me a lot longer than 2 hours.


Here you can see some of the damage on one of the drawer fronts.   One thing that made me really happy about this dresser was all the hardware is original and none of it was missing!  Bonus!  This was as far as I got the first day.  Paint had to wait another couple of days...which is hard for this instant gratification girl :-)


After a week of sitting around and 'resting' I decided to go out and give the dresser some attention.  Not the smartest idea, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!  This is how the drawers looked after two coats of Old White paint.


At this point I was in love!  I love the contrast between the dark stained top with the painted body!  It was worth all the pain....well yeah maybe not the pain part :-)


After 2 coats of paint, a coat of clear paste wax, a good sanding with a sanding block, a coat of dark wax and lastly a coat of clear wax (I'm getting tired just typing this!).   She was done!!!   I have to mention here that I had to do this all sitting down on a chair without twisting my body...not an easy task!  One thing I forgot to mention was the hardware wasn't in the best condition so I painted it with Antique Bronze by Rustoleum.  They looked fantastic when they were done!




Then the dresser sat in the garage covered in a blankie.  Every time I walked by it I was bummed!  I just wanted my back to get better so Hubby and I could move that thing back upstairs!  Well, today my Hubby had a great idea on how to get it up by himself.  He wrapped the dresser up in cardboard and blankets and moved it on his own!  While I stood there saying over and over, "Please don't hurt yourself!"  I don't think I have to tell you how happy I was or how lucky I am to have such an incredible man in my life :-)

I quickly gathered some things together to stage the dresser for the pictures.  I still have a mirror that I want to hang over the dresser, but it's still in a box somewhere and needs some paint and love.  That's another post.  

Here it is....my back breaker!

You might recognize the lamp and the candlesticks from another post.  They were waiting for a home!


This is a narrow space between the master bedroom, the walk-in closet and the master bath.  It's more like a hallway actually so it was hard to get a perfect straight-on picture.



I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how the hardware looks, not to mention the stained top!  I also like how all the little details like the X's and the florets show up now.  



I truly adore this little back breaker.  I'm not going to lie, it's been a VERY tough 10 days for me.  I don't like sitting around and being a sad lump.  I miss being able to do all the things I love like going to the gym with my girls, transforming furniture and doing projects.  I know in time (they say 4-6 weeks) I'll be able to go back to all the things I love.  In the meantime, I'm on the lookout for more projects.  I couldn't be happier with how the dresser turned out and I know I'll be able to enjoy it for years to come.

LINKING this to www.thriftydecorchick.com....have a look at her site!
Description: The Big Back Breaker Project!
Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by: mangan jagung
On: 6:02 AM
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