How can you make a 1950’s blonde dresser fit into today’s home? How can you work with its design elements, but give it a completely different look? Here’s how…
It all started with this 1950’s blonde dresser. My parents actually had a hope chest in this exact same finish. The blonde surface was so shiny I was sure it was a laminate over wood. I actually thought this post would be a tutorial for you on how to paint over laminate. But I was wrong.
One day I decided to test it out and took my DeWalt rotary sander to the top and realized the finish was actually just a few thin layers of paint over real wood. Based on how easily they all sanded off, my best guess is primer, white paint, and water-based clear coat all sprayed on in thin coats.
Once sanded, I was then able to make the decision of paint, stain, or a combination of the two. In this case the deep grooves at the top front were just too tedius to sand out and the bright white spots on the wood at the two top corners would not stain the same color as the rest of the wood. At that point, I knew at least those areas had to be painted.
I proceeded to prime with two coats of BIN primer then paint with Valspar Cabinet Enamel. I always use BIN primer when the top coat is white or any sort of light color. BIN is a shellac primer that prevents bleed-through. I’ve had too much of that happen in the past and it’s not worth skipping this step or using a regular stain-blocking primer. Trust me on this one!
The cabinet enamel covers great, smooths out evenly, and hardens very quickly – unlike hybrids like Benjamin Moore Advance. Advance is a great paint and application is so easy. I absolutely love the way it levels out. But its main downfall is that it doesn’t harden. Even after waiting the 60-day cure time, I’ve had the paint lift off when I place something on top of it. Enamel paint is much more durable.
The one center drawer and the base were stained a dark expresso to give a little contrast and interest. Plus staining the base dark, gave the apprearance of the dresser being up off the floor on a pedestal.
My client was planning to add new hardware so that’s why the photos are missing them. But a champagne or muted gold tone would be really nice against both the white and the dark stain.
You can see all of the furniture for sale in Entri Ways’ online Shop.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I love and use myself.