Hello friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Before & After furniture makeover so thought it was time to share this tall chest refinished in a black glaze over gray.
Repurposing Inherited Furniture
This chest came to me from my friend Annmarie who inherited it from her grandfather. Furniture that’s handed down from one generation to the next always holds special memories and is often well worth saving for that reason alone. Add to that the solid construction of a solid wood piece like this and you can see how furniture like this is a gem.
Annmarie had plans to use this tall chest in her dining room as a bar. The two large doors on the top open wide making it perfect to hold glasses, wine, and liquor bottles that can be neatly hidden away when the party is over.
She knew she wanted to change the color to black and after seeing the antique dresser I refinished in a black glaze over dark gray, she was sure. You can see that dresser HERE.
The layered look of the paint and glaze preserves the old world feel of this vintage dresser yet gives it modern update with the new color. Let me show you how we achieved the look.
Pitch Black Glaze Over Gray
Here’s how the tall chest / dresser looked when I received it. Basic brown stain and in excellent condition. I sanded it down with my DeWalt rotary sander.
You can find the same rotary sander HERE and the 8-hole, 60-grit sandpaper HERE on Amazon. I’ve been using this same sander for over 3 years. I do a ton of sanding and have to change out the sander pad about once a year. The sandpaper is held on by hook & loop (aka Velcro) that wears out over time and needs replacing; but it’s an inexpensive and easy fix. The pad is held on by three screws.
Notice how these drawers are inset. Drawers that are inset like this are more likely to scrape against the dresser and the other drawers. Before painting, I stained the edges of the drawers and the inside edges of the dresser itself with a black stain. Once the stain was dry, I protected it with a layer of clear Shellac.
It’s important to shellac the stained areas before you begin painting for two reasons. First, if you happen to get any paint on the stained area, it will easily wipe off the shiny shellacked surface. Second, it’s to seal the oils from the stains so they don’t bleed through your painted areas.
My apologies for not capturing a picture of this step, but trust me it’s worth the added extra work. Paint would have scratched easily. The stain is much more durable if the drawers rub together.
The dresser was then painted with two coats of dark gray chalk paint. The first coat was Annie Sloan’s Graphite (a dark gray with a blue undertones) and the second was Velvet Finishes Timeless (more of a muddy dark gray). If you cannot find Velvet Finishes, then General Finishes Driftwood Gray is a good match.
I actually followed the same stain/shellac process on the inside of the dresser box itself. Do you see the 2-3 inch area inside the dresser? In the end I opted to paint over the shellac with the dark gray paint so that when the drawers are pushed fully closed the edges will blend in exactly with the painted/glaze finish. But even if the paint scrapes away a bit from the drawers sliding in and out, the dark stain is still underneath making any scratches nearly invisible.
It’s now time to add the glaze. Here’s where the magic happens. I brushed on General Finishes Pitch Black glaze with a brush, then wiped it off with a clean cotton rag. I like to use cotton socks. They’re super absorbent and easy to handle.
This dresser has two coats of the black glaze. If you prefer to have more of the dark gray paint coming through, then only apply one coat of the glaze.
Finally, I applied two coats of Minwax Wipe-on Polyurethane – again with a clean cotton rag (aka: old t-shirt).
Between each of these steps, it’s very important to allow 24 hours dry time between each coat.
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I love and use myself.