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Dresser redo: Virginia Chestnut Meets Georgia Clay

Being the indecisive and color challenged gal I am, I picked some of CeCe Caldwells paints in earthy tones and ordered sample pots from A Little bit o' Shizzle.

I also ordered a quart of my most used color, Virginia Chestnut formally known as Hershey Brown, (of which I will continue to call it).  In addition I ordered a gray color that is soon to go on my pine buffet.  That's if I ever get the urge to paint again.

Ordering paint was about where the fun stopped, if there ever was fun in painting for me!  I have tried to block out the process of taking this $20 garage sale dresser from a golden oak color to a CeCe Caldwell Chestnut brown.  The journey was painful.  Everything that could go wrong did and I won't relive it here.  Painting and me do not agree.  A simple process that took me three times as long as it should to complete, with more layers than I care to remember being painted on.  I think I ended at 6 before I decided to quit.  The dresser is done, not matching my vision but I like it anyway.  Had to quit, I ran out of paint.

I have not picked up a paint brush since.  A month now.  I need color therapy.  I am challenged.

I was looking to replace a very nice Amish armoire that matched nothing in our bedroom but has housed my underwear for 25 years.  I wanted the right size dresser to replace it but I didn't want to spend much (= cheap).  This heavy Basset one with the cheap price tag worked, and with all the seats down it fit in the back of my vehicle.

It was however just a bit too short for my vision. 

I brought it home and asked Brawn to make an apron around the bottom to raise it up about six inches.  Of which he did, no problem.

In the meantime I also found these old shades that I ripped the fabric from their frames.  Doing this is now on my list of things I hope to never do again.  They use Cheerios glue to keep the fabric on.  You know what Cheerios glue is don't you?

The shades were a buck each, and I was putting them on my $1.50 chocolate ginger jar lamps.  They are still naked, waiting for shade inspiration to hit.  And waiting......

All was going well.  Georgia clay sounded like the right color.  Not too orange.  Layered with the Hershey.  And some white.  It's amazing how far one of those little sample pots can go.

And it's also amazing how far a quart can go when it mysteriously spills in the driveway.  Yes I dipped my brush right in the puddle to paint.  I now had limited sample pot paint and limited quart paint.  The only ones home when the spill occurred were chickens and ducks.  You think?.......nawww.  Had to be a squirrel.

Pay no attention to the orange dripping from that other can.  Brawns attempt to help me involved giving me some bright jail house jumpsuit orange.  Not.  Helping.  Leave me alone.

I tried some creative ways to stretch the paint.  They didn't work so I'm not going to bother to explain how stupid I can be.

I waxed it in the house wishing to leave the driveway and the bad memories behind.  Somewhere in there I realized I needed a coat of white for when I sanded it to get the look I wanted.  Again, don't ask how I did this.  Trust me I am not on to any new technique.

 Below you can see what a difference waxing makes.  A before and after of dark wax -   the drawer on the right has no wax.  Wax I have plenty of, thankfully.

Distressing brought out the areas of white and the Georgia clay.

I reused the original hardware.  Did those twice too, yup, umhumm.  First I Rub n Buff'd them and they looked too shiny and new, so I sprayed some other hammered look paint on them and sanded it back to age them more.  Didn't think they were ever going to dry.

The mirror was from a garage sale as well, and it's one of those really heavy ones you don't want landing on your toe.  $10.00 - already the right color I just had to distress and wax it.

 A metal bin of Autumn splendor.  (No I do not talk like that in person).

So whooooo says you can't find anything good at garage sales?  I got the owl at the same sale as the dresser.  $3.00.  I know owls are all the rage, but I don't really like most owls.  This one I do.  For Fall.  After Thanksgiving he's going in the closet.

The dresser is much darker in person, which was good, it needed to match our dark bed.  So in that regard, mission accomplished.

Everything is thrifted.  Would of been a cheap makeover if that paint didn't mysteriously land on the driveway.  And being truthful, if I would have listened to advice from two different places (one of which being my husband) the parts I did not recap for you would of gone much more smoothly. 

***Comments on this post have been turned off due to spam.  I would still love to hear from you, so drop me a note via email.
Linking the dresser redo, redo, redo at:
Live Laugh Link @live.Laugh.Rowe 
POWW @ Primitive&Proper 
Wow Us Wednesdays @SavvySouthernStyle 
All Star Block Party @FullCircleCreations 
Creative Inspirations @EmbracingChange 

Treasure Hunt Thursday @ FromMyFrontPorchToYours
Under $100 Link Party @BeyondThePicketFence
Transformation Thursday @TheShabbyCreekCottage 
 Open House Party Thursday @NoMinimalistHere 

Catch as Catch Can @MyRepurposedLife 

The Dresser Beast was Featured with Cassie at POWW at Primitive&Proper


  1. Ahh, painting mishaps, I can relate! I have that exact same owl, also upcycled in silver! Your dresser came out wonderful, I need to get some of that Hershey Brown from Shelly to try out.

  2. Love your new stuff...but when you have time, give us a shot of your driveway with season changes....your dresser was worth all your effort,and I hear you on how many layers and efforts....since most of what I do it to sell. Pay my health benefit costs. I find hard to recoup my hours to make something pretty...I guess it just has to be something we like take Yucky and make pretty. I love the finished dresser and the lamp shades are fun naked...

  3. We would hate it if you never painted again Bliss, because yours are some of the best makeovers in blogland.
    Like I said before though - I feel your pain !
    Just have a little break from painting, because this dresser looks great, and I quite like the lamp shades naked !!

  4. WOW!!! bliss this is awesome! i LOVE this finish.... superb! and love all the accessories.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I love how it turned out. The idea of adding an apron for height is very smart. Never would have thought of that. Six coats? No wonder you don't want to paint again for awhile.

  6. Bliss I'm Sorry to hear that that beauty caused you so much pain! It looks fabulous!! I love your naked shades too!!! They're so cute.

  7. Bliss that turned out FABULOUS, love the added height! Your pieces turn out too good not to paint again:)

  8. Yes maam!! I love it! I have to admit...I like the lamp shades best :). Not that your dresser isn't is. But, you know me. Your shades are just strange. LOVE IT!

  9. Awesome!!! I am just like you - painting and I aren't really happy together. I like to have a painted finished product, but it almost always has lumps and bumps along the way. Some people have perfected the art (Cassie). I, certainly, have not.

  10. Nice re-do? I especially like how you raised the dresser 6 inches. Great idea. I love the lamp shades too.

  11. Oh my...I've been there. I know your pain. I think, in the end, it was worth it...that is, until you decide to paint it again :). Glad to see that Mo is not a suspect in the paint spill. I too would have used the spilled paint. And, I am totally feeling those naked lamp shades..they look so cool.

  12. I love the way your dresser turned out...despite all the drama. And I love how different it looks with the apron. The lamps without the shades looks cool to me. But that owl is a bit creepy looking...I don't think I could sleep with that in the room. But then I lived in an apartment once...surrounded by trees with an owl that lived outside my bedroom window and it freaked me out ALL the time! Great job!


  13. You got me, what is Cheerios glue? I like the new look and the way you buffed and distressed ti.

  14. Wow that turned out amazing! Wonders what a little sample pot of paint can do. Thanx for partying at THT!

  15. Bliss - I LOVE the way your dresser turned out!! I had a similar thing happen this week with an oversized frame. I have layers and layers on it...and it still isn't right. ugh. It was brilliant to put the apron on the bottom. I might have to give that a try with a dresser that I have that is a little on the short side. Looks like you have been busy! Your talent amazes me! :)

    Blessings - Sara

  16. I have your same sentiments about painting. Thats why you don't see me ever posting a 'redo' project on my blog. I have two items (a VERY old and delapadated farm table) and a tea cart in the garage waiting and waiting for me to do something with them. With your post I now remember why I haven't gotten to them. But even with all your frustrations you have inspired me to get off my duff and do something with them...sooner than later. Nann

    PS I miss your old header. This is nice but the other one...well I felt like I lived in your neighborhood and could visit any time.... Meaning I loved it!! N.

  17. I never do well at garage sales. I feel too guilty if I don't buy anything so I usually don't go. Thrifting is my thing! The dress is so gorgeous! Hershey (yum and that's near my house so I can go on the tour if I want to anytime) brown or whatever color you want to call it. The waxing kicks it up about 10 notches. Pow! Your projects rock my world, I wish we lived closer so I could leave some things in your garage and get them redone and returned to me.

  18. Fabulous job! I love the hoop lampshades!!!

  19. As always.... you have A GIFT..... and THIS IS AMAZING!

    Awesomeness at its finest = BLISS {mysteriously spilled paint cans and all}

    <3 Joanne

  20. I so understand! I have a night stand that I painted once (2 coats), 3/4 through the 2nd color and it looks like *&^%&. I have a sample pot of ASCP ~ do you think I can find it? Nooooooo ~ :/ I love to paint but this one is a challenge for sure!

    Your dresser looks awesome I think! I love that Georgia Clay color and I think having it reflected via the distressing is great. I would never think of adding that apron to the bottom either. Good thing you have Brawn to do these things. :) Honestly, great job!!


  21. Well too bad you had sooo much trouble making it because it sure turned out awesome! You are really a pro (so stop telling us the problems you're having... we will never know!) You should just present your fabulous work and say "Here it is, it was a breeze".... Anyway have a "splendorific" day... and no I don't talk like that either!

  22. You've got to watch those chickens... especially when they're in a gang like that. Fabulous job, love the apron for height (no one wants their unmentionables in a low perch) and the autumn splendor. Take a rest from the brush. Maybe even have it bronzed, and frame it in a thrifted frame. Waxed, of course.

  23. Gotta love those garage sales! (Why am I not driving around looking for those neon signs right now?!) So is there anything you and Brawn can't do?! This turned out fabulous! I love the color and distressing. But you never said if your underwear fit nicely in it...

  24. Sounds like quite the journey! :) I love how it turned out though!

  25. I am sooo glad I'm not the only one with DIY mishaps. I's part and parcel of it, isn't it? You did a great job and didn't give up, so double kudos to ya!

  26. Bliss!! Bless your heart! I think that calls for a cocktail, my friend. Dresser looks great AND it's done! ... Next!!
    xo Heidi
    PS ~ TGIF

  27. Well it sounded like a long road to travel to get to where the dresser is today, but it was certainly worth it. It looks great! I love the extra height that was given by adding that box on the bottom. I never would've known you did that if I hadn't have seen the "before" pic. Don't feel too bad about spilling your paint on the driveway. I've been known to paint while bare foot and step on the paint lid into wet paint while walking around the piece being painted. I've also had paint spatter all over me and my kitchen while trying to hammer the lid back on the can before putting it away. You don't want to know the words that came out of my mouth at those moments. You really don't! Ha!

  28. A lot of work...but it's done now, and did it ever turn out great! I love the idea of adding the apron and the hardware color is wonderful, too!

  29. Good job on the redo. I was amazed at the transformation. I would have not thought of raising it 6 inches. I will remember that for the future.

  30. With all the headaches and spilled paint. (And you are not the only one who has spilled paint on their driveway and dipped their brush in, I know for a fact, Shelly did this same thing last summer), it turned out gorgeous! I would have never even thought about building an apron around an existing piece of furniture to make it taller. I am so doing this. Genius!

    Just one question, since the old dresser was housing all your underwear, are you planning on putting more things in this new one, or do you really have that much underwear? Not just one for every day of the week, but for all 365 days of the year! (sorry, I am so not funny tonight, just tired)

  31. Bliss,

    I have been known to paint from the driveway....or the floor. Whatever works :) Your dresser looks amazing and I LOVE those lampshades :)

    Have a great day rock star!

  32. You did a beautiful job on the dresser! Love the apron around the bottom...just perfect! Thank you for sharing. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House which goes live at 8am CST on Monday. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  33. I promise you that my stories of how stupid I can be can go toe to toe with yours...

    Brawn sure comes in handy sometimes, doesn't he. I let Morgan help me dismantle the Truss today and he enjoyed banging out the bolts. He said that he could do cuz he had loads of practice with his Fisher Price set and Wack-a-Mole.

    Love it, friend. You done did good. Splendiferously, in fact.

  34. I love the color combinations. Beautiful!

  35. Whew! After all that drama, the end result is gorgeous. I love the idea of adding an apron to raise it up a little. Andy thanks you for giving him more jobs to do.

  36. Anonymous11/03/2012

    I think the ducks set you up because they know how much you love to paint. Perhaps they were just doing a little fall nesting of their own?? Did anything in their coop look suspiciously like Georgia Clay?

    The color and distressing turned out great! Did you use the Georgia Clay all over it then put the brown on top? Love the dimension!

  37. Your blog looks great! Your dresser looks terrific. I have yet to paint one piece of furniture and obviously you know why! (I'm not a painter, but I still look at your bar you made and think I'm going to try something bold and daring with my old buffet one of these days.....when my last painful painting memory has faded away.) I kind of want to try the whole waxing thing when I do paint a piece because I love that look. Thanks for that before and after shot on the drawer there! Yay for you for dipping into the driveway paint! I sure would have. Now what are you doing with those lamps?? (Is Cheerio glue like the what makes Cheerios stick like cement to the bowls I used to find in my kids bedrooms and needed a jackhammer to remove??) Awesome project girl! You may not love painting...but you do a great job.

  38. Bliss - you are absolutely amazing!!! And I don't believe you for a minute that you don't like painting - no one could turn something out like this unless they have a passion for it!!!
    And Danni's comments is hilarious - and true about the cheerio glue lol

  39. Hey I love that autumn splendor ;) Please DoNOT put the owl in the closet, send him to.
    Where he will live free on mantel! Love the apron, paint technique and those nekkid shades!

  40. What a gorgeous piece! I have been into painting furniture lately. Done two pieces in a month. Now I think I am finished for a while.

  41. I've used my share of spilled paint in my day. It's the smart thing to do. The dresser looks great. Back away from the paint - for a few months maybe.

  42. What a great idea to lift the dresser like that! It's stunning, you never cease to amaze.

  43. Hey look at your new header! Looks great!

    As does the dresser, of course. I'm a very neutral kind of gal, and this color is right up my alley. Beautimous!

  44. Geez! I had to scroll down a million comment to leave a comment...!!
    How could you say that you and painting don't agree??
    I disagree!
    This rocks!
    LOve it are just one awesome gal!
    And now you have a new panty dresser to boot!
    Thanks for linking up this week -
    hope to see you this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  45. Well, all that work was worth it! Love it, Bliss! Whenever I look at your re-do's, it makes me want to go rustic in a serious way! Way to rock, girlfriend!

    On a side note... ONE. MORE. DAY. (I know you know what I'm talking about!)

  46. Beautiful, Bliss! Even if it was a pain in the patootie. :)

  47. Your comment box is overflowing! You need to get a bigger one. And paint it with CeCe Caldwell's Hershey Bar.

    Oh, we've all had disasters like that! I usually just hide mine for a couple of years, but you perservered and ended up with a perfect piece for your bedroom!

  48. You do the prettiest makeover.. all your personality just flows right through your brush :)

  49. You poor thing. What an experience. I must say, I think it was all worth it. Love the way the dresser turned out! Oh, and call me crazy, but I kind of like those naked shades.

  50. Oh my gosh! I love your new header!!! When did you do that??? The dresser makeover was great ... I love that you raised it. I would not have thought out of the box on that one. Paint as a driveway seal coat ... you will have to let me know after our Minnesota winter, if it works :)

  51. I love it Bliss! The added height is such a fantastic idea. The dresser looks beautiful.

  52. How beautiful! You gave it quite the transformation!

  53. how in the HECK did I miss this one? Holy Crap that turned out awesome (pardon my French) :)
    I can not believe that is the same piece of furniture!
    Now it my turn to pin you!
    You go girl!
    Love reading about your doggy too.