Antique Dresser Makeover with Wallpaper!

First, the bad news... I didn't snap a before pic. But, you aren't missing much. The finish on this one had definitely seen better days. The top was covered in water rings, both sides had lots of scratches and the drawers had some problem areas. However, this dresser was made by Louis Marks & Bros in Covington, KY in August 1927 and had good bones! And I was about to give it the makeover of all makeovers.

Back of the mirror stamped with the date.

A while back another furniture painter I follow on FB had added some texture with plaster and stencils on one of her pieces and I loved the look. However, I'm not a fan of plaster on furniture- I'm always worried it will chip or peel on down the road. So, I decided to get my texture I would go with a paintable, textured wallpaper! It was so easy to apply. I measured my end panels and cut the paper accordingly with a utility knife (be sure your blade is sharp in order to keep the cuts clean). Now I'm ready to apply- I simply sprayed the back & the dresser with this Loctite spray adhesive & waited 2-3 minutes. Be sure to start at the top and smooth your way down. VOILA! Instant texture & charm without the mess of plaster. Side note: the wallpaper was prepasted but I decided not to go that route. I had used this glue before on a decoupage piece and knew it would adhere and last forever!

My plan all along for this beauty was white but the grain on the dresser top was so pretty (minus the water rings) I decided to strip & refinish. Stripping furniture is one of my least favorite things to do but this piece was worth the headache. Anyway, I apply stripper with a chip brush (I used a 2 inch) & let it set for 15 minutes or so and then scrape it off. For the corners and the detailed area around the edge I used a hard bristle grout brush. After scraping and wiping off all the visible residue, wipe it down with denatured alcohol. This will remove any leftover stripper and dries quickly so you can sand right away. A quick sanding with my DeWalt orbital sander with a 120 grit sanding pad and this beauty is ready for stain. My favorite stain is Minwax Special Walnut- it's a true brown (no orange undertones) but not too dark. I apply stain with a tshirt rag and allow to dry overnight before top coating. I sealed this one with 4 coats of Polycrylic in satin finish. It's very durable and dries so quick! I love it :)

Back to the wallpaper... I decided I would prime this one since it was mahogany and it has a tendency to bleed. I used Bullseye 123 Primer by Zinsser in a spray can and once it dried I lightly sanded with a 320 grit sanding block just to smooth the surface. Now it's ready for paint. I used Dixie Belle's Fluff and distressed once it was dry. I used the orbital sander again and just lightly moved it along the edges, the drawers, and anywhere that a gouge, or chip had occurred. This kept the piece looking like a 1920's dresser that had aged in a sweet old farmhouse. I then sealed with both clear & white wax- this little trick provided definition to the piece, especially over the wallpaper.

And the end result... What do you think?

Thanks so much for visiting!

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