Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Miss Mustard Seed Inspired Dresser

     I've been dying to do a dresser like Miss Mustard Seed.  Marian does such a wonderful job turning tired dated pieces into something with real character.
     I had successfully re-did a previous dresser using one of her dressers as inspiration but I didn't duplicate the natural top like she had.  The contrast between that and the more shabby base was beautiful! 
    When I received this photo-finish dresser, I knew it was the prefect experimental piece.  
     Because I was working in the shop area when this came in, I had to get my trusty block sander out.    Fortunately, the photo-finish on the top was pretty thin and already flaky so it was relatively fast work.  Since I have very little experience working with stain on this level, I didn't really know how perfectly sanded it needed to be.  I was told that I might have to spend hours getting the top flaw-free, however, I didn't want it perfect or the scuffed paint job I was planning for it would look out of place.  So I emailed Marian quick and she said, "I am totally not a perfectionist.  It just has to look great, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.  The thing with stain is that you have to have all existing varnish and stain removed, or it won’t take evenly and that can look really bad.  It’s honestly easier to strip and stain then it is to sand."  I didn't have the luxury of using stripper because I didn't want my customers being fumigated, so I applied more muscle.  Yes, I generally tend to work harder, not smarter.
     I worked through three grades of sand paper and scuffed the sides enough to ready it for paint.
     I had found this Icicle Blue paint at a garage sale for 50 cents last year and applied two coats.
     Have you noticed how Marian scuffs her 'worn' pieces from all directions?  For some reason this goes against my more anal notions of what's right although I understand the concept that authentically worn pieces aren't going to go with the grain.  I had to close my eyes the first few strokes but I got the hang of it quickly.
     I finished the top with a walnut stain and decided to lightly stain the base over the paint as well.
     A piece Miss Mustard Seed would be proud of!

Perfectly marred top!
     I actually received two photo-finish dressers the same day so I kept one as is on the sales floor to show people what it had looked like before, hoping the sell the natural version to some brave individual.  Guess which sold first.  Not too surprising and now I have another to have fun with!


  1. It looks great Bethanie, I think Marian would be proud, it looks like the coffee table I'm working on now. Hey try the orange stripper, your customers won't mind it at all, and it works great, so great it actually attracts bees, let me go see what it's called...Citristrip, it's cheapest at Wal-Mart. O.K, gotta go subscribe, I'm getting all distracted.

  2. Bethanie,

    It's gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by my blog a while back. You have some great stuff on here.

    I'm your newest follower.



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