To refresh, here's a picture of the dresser before (with a tiny coat of the paint on top). This will give you a good idea of the color of the original wood and the condition of the dresser.
This was handed down to us from Nathan's parents and it's going to work great as a dresser/changing table because of the height, drawer depth and size. Since it was free, I knew I had some wiggle room in order to invest in paint and new hardware.
My original plan was to do Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP), but the closest distributor to us was 45 minutes away. That's when I discovered a little local antique shop that sold something similar called Blackberry House Paint (BHP). The way the lady that I spoke with described it sounded exactly like the look I was going for. She explained that ASCP was great if you were going for an "old world" look, but that BHP resembled the look of Pottery Barn furniture. Since we're going for a shabby chic feel for baby girl's room, I thought the latter sounded just right.
The first step before you start is to clean the furniture. The distributor I talked with said things like Goo-Gone, or any other type of "degreaser" are the best. Once it was all cleaned up, the hardware and drawers removed, we were ready to begin!
The great thing about both ASCP and BHP is that there is no sanding or priming required. You just jump right in and start painting!
The BHP is really thick and covers so well, so you really just need a tiny bit. I invested in a nice quality Wooster brush to get the job done. I started with 1 thin coat to begin with, let it completely dry and then added the 2nd coat.
The distributor I spoke with said that most of the time you'll only need 1 or 2 coats because the paint covers so well, but she did say that "Fresh Eggs" (the color I used for the dresser) was the closest thing to white they had and that it would take some extra coats. I found 3 coats to be just perfect. Since the paint is such high quality, it dried very quickly which meant I was done with all 3 coats in about 2 hours.
After my 3rd coat was completely dry, then came the fun part - distressing and waxing. You'll want to invest in a nice, quality fine or medium grit sanding block for the distressing. I used the "wet sanding" method, which is basically just getting your sanding block damp with cold water and then sanding your piece. Instead of going in a backwards-forwards motion like you would if you were sanding a wall, you'll want to sand at an angle for the best results. Unlike ASCP, when you're sanding down your furniture with BHP you won't get a crazy chalk cloud of dust - it's actually very mess free!
Depending on how distressed you want it, you'll want to bear down harder/softer on the block. A piece of furniture with curvy lines and details really shows the distressing best, but we also got some really good distressing on the top and the drawers as well.
After sanding, you'll want to take a soft damp microfiber cloth and wipe down the entire piece of furniture. Let this dry completely, and then it's time to wax!
The wax is also sold by BHP and I used the "clear finishing wax" for this project. I found it was easier to just scoop some out with my fingers, slap it on the dresser and then use a microfiber cloth to "buff" it in. Since the BHP is water-based, this waxing step is vital to securing your finished piece.
After you wax, you'll want to let your piece sit for about 48-72 hours before you put stuff in it.
And here's the finished project!
Total, I spent about $45 to upgrade the dresser. My paint and wax totaled about $30, Nathan got the paintbrush from Lowe's, the sanding block we had already and we actually even had the hardware on hand - Nathan swiped it at a yard sale last summer and it just looked so perfect and girly for the dresser.
I'm so pleased with the final look and think this is going to be a great piece for her to keep for many years to come!