Chelsea vintage dresser

It has been a long time since I've done a painted piece, and a dresser!
At least it feels that way!

Normally when I find furniture, it's through estate sales, thrift shops, or people will give me pieces they are done with.  

Craigslist? Not so much.
Never had much luck there.  

Until this one.

Lucky find for me!

I didn't get any true before shots, but here's the one I saw in the listing:

I really want to expand my creativity on future projects, and add more layered colors to my furniture pieces.  
This one was the perfect candidate!

My inspiration pic came from a recent Pinterest pin. 

I loved the distressing and the layered neutral look.

I started out the base coat with Annie Sloan's Graphite, diluted slightly with Country Gray and a couple tablespoons of water.

Immediately after painting, I took a wet rag, and rubbed off sections of the paint to reveal the wood.

I let it dry for a couple hours, and then went over it with Annie Sloan's Country Gray.
Which is really more of a khaki color than any tone of gray.

I dry brushed this second coat on  (dipping just the bristle tips in the paint, and scraping off half of it on the side of the can) and again, used a wet rag to wipe off sections of paint immediately after the paint went on.  
If you try this technique, don't rub too hard with the wet rag, or you will remove the first base coat color too!  
I did want some of the wood to peek through both layers, but not remove everything.
I wanted bits of Graphite and wood to start to show through the Country Gray.

I let that sit for a few hours, and then did the third coat in Old White.

The third coat was the most labor intensive part.  I went back and forth using a wet sanding technique on the last layer.  
Wetting down a sanding sponge, I went through section by section on the dresser and rubbed away at the surface.  It gets the paint reactivated, and removes some of the paint too. Once the paint was wet, I went back over it and wiped off the "sanded" part with a damp kitchen sponge.  It's hard to see if there's any distressing going on, but using the sponge really removes and reveals what the wet sanding did.

I love the little freckles it left on the surface too.
That was from the original stained surface.  
If you want to have this kind of character in a piece, don't do a lot of prep prior to painting.  
I only used a cleaning wipe to get rid of dust and initial grime before I painted.  If you sand the surface first, you remove all the cool stuff that will come up with this technique!

I finished this up by adding a bit of Country Gray into some of the grooves and on the little knotted embellishment on the sides.  Just to add a subtle bit of warmth.  
Clear wax finished off Miss Chelsea.

This was a really fun piece to do, and I'm looking forward to trying a few more layered looks!
I dropped off the dresser last night at Aunt Bee's House, so hopefully she'll go home with someone who falls in love with her!

xo Denise

Let's Connect!


  1. Hi Denise!!!

    I LOVE Craigslist!!!! I've been able to find what I'm looking for on it for a couple of years now.
    The one thing that gets me though, is, that when I say this people think I'm crazy. Until I
    looked up Craigslist where they live, there's nothing really going on, so, no wonder my friends
    and family think I'm crazy, but, here in the lower mainland, Vancouver, BC, there's a lot of things
    on Craigslist.

    I guess it depends where you live.

    This piece is gorgeous!!!! I love the way you redid it!!!!

    Love your great find!!!!


  2. What a great find. Looks amazing now that you've worked your magic on it.

  3. This is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I love love love how you refinished it!

  4. Great job with the painting! Love your distressing.

  5. What a beautiful finish you achieved Denise! The imperfections make it perfect!


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