Bella Rustica dresser

This poor dresser came to me in the roughest state of any piece I've ever made over.  
Stored in an old garage, used and abused, the finish was all bubbled and warped when I got her.

Her crowning glory was the harp that still was in tact - gorgeous floral carvings!
By the time we got home, even that was shattered.

We were helping friends move, and I got a call to see if I wanted her.  We loaded her up with all of the other stuff being moved, and set off for home.

Halfway home, I saw lots of shards of wood hitting the road- my assumption was extra stuff coming off of a workbench we were moving.

The dresser had fallen over, and the harp was gone.  I even tried to retrace our path to find any remaining pieces.... gone.
I wanted to cry.

My plan was to use the bubbled finish in my favor.
I chiseled away the warped top.

Sanded down the exterior.

And used 2 coats of sunny yellow milk paint.

Sanding down over the parts that still had some texture really made for great distressing on this piece.

A friend of mine from Aunt Bee's gave me a harp that she wasn't going to use, and I installed that to the dresser.

I left the two original pulls on the top drawers.

...and added some beautiful new Anthropologie knobs to the others.

My original plan was to completely redo the top, but instead, I sanded it down, glued and clamped the warping, and stained it in a walnut stain.
I love the rustic charm!

The drawers are all lined with vintage dictionary pages.

One of the drawers was so completely warped, I had to rebuild it.

I hope someone will see the charm and rustic beauty in this piece and enjoy her in a new home!

She will be coming with me to Aunt Bee's parking lot sale this Sunday.
9am-5pm- and early birds are always there! (hint hint- get there early for best selection...)

 I will try and post some preview pics of what I will be bringing with me on FB before the weekend....
...if time allows.

Have a great day!

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  1. She turned out just gorgeous - beautiful job!!!

  2. Well done! She is a beauty again.
    Ciao Rita

  3. A harp? Is that what their called? My hubby brought an old wash table home that has one of those on it, but I had no idea there was a name for it. (shows how much i know :).

    You made it look so beautiful! I love the colors you chose!!!

    Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

  4. Wow - it is beautiful! Doesn't it make you feel good to rescue something sad and unlovely and give it a new life?

  5. It turned out great, so glad you saw the beauty it could be!


  6. What a great save Denise! She's lovely now! I have such a soft spot for really beat up dressers and this one certainly had a rough life. Hopefully you've helped her find her way to a happy new home!

  7. love the redo, its so pretty i would love to feature it , if that would be ok with you please let me know,

  8. What a rough life this dresser has had! So happy that she finally found her way to you. :) She is once again smiling. Great job!

    Hugs, Angie

  9. Another beautiful rescue from one talented gal! Love your blog.Now I have to just get moving on my own projects.

  10. That is a really beautiful makeover! The lines of that dresser are so gorgeous - I'm so glad you fixed her up! She is going to really make someone a great piece!

  11. Poor thing, she has had a tough life! But you have turned her into a thing of beauty! She must feel like Cinderella!

  12. Wow, you did such an amazing job!! I love it. You have a fabulous talent! Hope it finds a lovely, appreciative new owner :)
    Laurie @ Gallamore West

  13. Wow this is truly beautiful, you did a great job! And I love Anthro handles... great touch.

    Cute blog, checkout mine if you get a chance and follow if you like!


  14. What a gorgeous makeover- Just wonderful. She was REALLY rough- xo Diana

  15. I love her!! I need to try milk paint, she's beautiful!

  16. great job with your dresser. she is such a beauty now.

  17. So pretty!! I look forward to seeing you at MDC. I would like to invite ou to enter my 50 dollar giftcard giveaway to the store HomeGoods. The card can also be used at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

  18. Wow Denise, what a transformation! You had a vision and really turned that ugly duckling into a real treasure; good choice to keep the top natural. I hope someone fell in love and brought it home with them.

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  20. so beautiful! i love the finish and color, and those sweet crystal knobs!

  21. this is a great save, Denise. she turned out beautifully! love the milk paint finish!

  22. Great rescue! Don't you love "saving" furniture like this?

  23. This is fantastic! I looked through some of your posts, and I really like your blog. I added you to my list of favorite blogs on my website,
    Can't wait to see what else you do!


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