This all started when I got a call from a client of mine and good friend Leni, thank you Leni. She called me on Monday to tell me she had seen a piece of furniture on the side of the road and thought that I might be interested in it.
As I spoke to her I was thinking "oh no" not another project. But since I told myself to ease up on buying new pieces I decided "why not take a chance on it".
Luckily Leni lives in Casro Valley and the piece was also in Castro Valley. Close to my shop even better so I took the short drive. Once I pulled up to look at the piece my first impressions were not good.
One of the legs was missing as were some of the drawer pulls, three pulls to be exact. I have taken on many projects in the past and it seems now that I try and pick and chose my battles. I try and leave the real difficult ones behind.
This one was on the fence but I was intriged and since I was already there I proceeded to front door of the owner of the dresser. I knocked on the door and of course my appearance seemed to startle the owner. My attire was alarming I'll admit, holes in my jeans and paint stains on my t shirt. I asked her if the piece was available and she told me it was and that she had called in a bulky waste to have it removed.
I then asked I could take a closer look and also asked if I could take it away if I could use it. She finally opened the door and asked me a number of questions like why would I want it and what I would do with it.
I was happy to oblige her many questions. I told her that I try to rescue pieces from the landfill and transform them into useful functional pieces again. I think she was puzzled at first but she understood.
I told her it's what I do for a living along with repurposing neglected pieces for the home and garden. As I took a look at the dresser and it's structure along with a closer internal inspection I decided to take the piece and loaded it in my SUV.
I thanked her and I drove back to the shop and started the transformation. My first step was to fix the leg and glue the facade back to the bottom. Thank goodness the structural part of the leg was completely intact and only needed glueing and clamping. Once the leg was dry I began to sand the entire piece.
By the way it is best to do on a piece of furniture that is made of 100% wood. After the sanding process was complete I removed the drawers and the pulls and placed them aside. I began to paint the piece using a paint and primer in one, saves on time.
I chose a Paris Grey for the base coat. After the grey was dry I used an old white to trim the areas I thought would make the piece stand out. Once the white was dry I then waxed the piece using Annie Sloan's wax. First the clear wax and then the dark.
The secret to using the wax is to clear wax it first and if you use too much dark you can rub it out with the clear again. I seem to avoid big mess ups this way. Once the wax was dry I added the drawer pulls.
By way I found the drawer pulls at Ruffles & Rust Vintage in Castro Valley. Karen the owner was gracious enough to do a trade with me to finish my piece. I normally have pulls but the design was one I didn't have. Thank you Karen.
After looking at the photos and if you like it this piece will be available for purchase at Restore & Rework Friday Night Vintage Pop Up on July 20th from 4-8PM. If you would like to take a closer look at the piece and or purchase it for your own home or guest room come by and see it. I don't expect it will last long since I must admit it came out very nice. By the way next time you see a piece that needs some work try and look outside the box you might be pleasantly surprised. Well anyways that's what I do. Happy hunting. Cisco