Vintage Dresser Make Over

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Once upon a time, almost a half a century ago, in a far away state, were two little boys …

Brothers ... Simply Fresh Vintage

the first born in 1956 and the second in 1959.

They were the best of friends, playing together and always helping their parents as much as they could.  They were the apple of their parents’ eyes …

Family ... SImply Fresh Vintage

A family of simple means in simpler times.  Back then you used what you were able to acquire through hand-me-downs and friends and only had the necessities.  Furniture was functional, not necessarily purchased for its curb-appeal or because it matched another piece of furniture.  That would have been a luxury.

Such was the case with this dresser …

Vintage Dresser Before

This was the dresser that the brothers shared when they were small.  As the boys grew older, got married, and moved on, the dresser remained at their parent’s home.  When mom and dad passed on, we acquired most of their belongings.  At first glance you might think that this dresser would be high on the list of Goodwill donations.  There’s nothing fancy about it.  It’s mostly made of thin pine wood.  As you can see, it’s quite well used and definitely wearing the battle scars of two lively boys and many years of use.  No, it wasn’t going anywhere.  There was a bit too much sentimental value attached.

Vintage Dresser Before          Vintage Dresser Before

Now it had a new home, and this little vintage dresser needed a make over, an EXTREME make over.

I armed myself with all the necessary tools …

  • Sand paper
  • Sander
  • Tack Cloth
  • Paint Brushes
  • Paint
  • Finishing Wax
  • New Hardware

… and went to work.

The destination for this new dresser was going to be our guest room.  The overall theme for this room is bright and cheery, and since it’s downstairs and right off our main living space, it would probably get a few seasonal updates here and there as well.  There’s also that underlying theme of “vintage” going on.  So the color nominated to adorn this classic beauty was RED, Classic Red.  And since I’m having fun with this, the inside of the drawers I painted orange, Valencia Orange to be exact.  I used Valspar Signature for the Red and Valspar Ultra Paint & Primer for the Orange, both from Lowe’s.

Everything was going smoothly until it came time to paint the drawers.  You see, there was a little problem.

 Dresser Drawer

Apparently, over the years, our boys collected lots and lots of colorful ink pens and markers.  Can’t quite imagine what exactly they were doing with them, but they definitely left their mark.  I sanded it down as much as I could, then applied a couple coats of primer before the orange.  I thought all was well, but when I went out the next morning this is what awaited me.

Dresser Drawer

Hmmmm …. it looks like some of that ink was NOT going to cooperate!  After much googling for a remedy to this dilemma, and a quick trip to the local big-box-all-purpose-it-sells-everything-under-the-sun store, I came back armed with a few bottles of this:

White Out ... Simply Fresh Vintage

A little dab here …

Dresser Drawer

A lot of dabs there, thanks to my sweet son, always willing to help …

Dresser Drawer

and, voila … we have a pretty orange drawer minus all the ink stains!

Dresser Drawer

Our precious treasure went from old and blah, to sleek, smooth, and fun!  It’s amazing what a little bit of paint, some wax and new hardware will do.

Vintage Dresser Before/After

Amazingly enough, the exterior only needed one coat of paint.  I love how some of the undertones of the natural wood came through.  I didn’t even need to distress it, which was my original plan.

Vintage Dresser

I’ve dressed her up with a vintage table runner that my mother-in-law gave me.  I don’t think she embroidered it, but I know she had it for a very long time.  It’s been well taken care of, but does have a few signs of wear.

Vintage Table Runner     Vintage Table Runner

Vintage Table Runner

Vintage Dresser

So now, the younger brother gets to enjoy the dresser all the time.

And the older brother?  Well, when he comes to visit, I might let him use it, as long as he doesn’t fill the drawers with any more ink pens!

middlebro-copy           oldestbro-copy

Covering Up Old Ink Stains

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Lani Padilla

Lani Padilla

Welcome to Simply Fresh Vintage! I'm Lani and I love simple farmhouse living with fresh, vintage touches. I am looking forward to sharing with you my love of quilting, decorating, remodeling, painting, crafting, cooking, baking and so much more.
Lani Padilla


    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you so much. Your post on tithing touched me deeply.

      Blessings & Hugs …

  1. Chantal Paquette says

    Love the makeover ! I think that the black hardware makes the red pop out. It has alot of style.

  2. says

    I have a dresser from my grandma that looks almost exactly like yours! Can’t wait to give it a coat of paint.
    Thanks so much for linking up over at Finding the Pretty & Delicious Linky Party. Hope you’ll come back again on Saturday! Leigh Anne

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you so much Leigh Anne! I’ll definitely be back on Saturday!

      Hugs & Blessings …

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you so much Ruthie! I’ll be back again next week to party :)
      Hugs & Blessings … Lani

  3. says

    Love what you did with the dresser! Red is my favorite color so of course I love the outside but especially love that you chose to do a pop of color inside! I use wallpaper on the inside of a lot of my drawers for a pop of color and pattern.

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you Manuela! I’ve seen several pictures of drawers decoupaged with scrapbook paper and such. I really like the idea. I may try it another piece.

      Have a blessed weekend!


  4. says

    Following from Strut Your Stuff Saturdays at Six Sisters’ Stuff!

    Wow. Great transformation and you get bonus points for your l’il helper! I refinished an old dresser for my mother once that had been painted and splattered in the 50’s: took off the paint, stained it, added brass drawer fixtures and uncovered the slab of marble that was in the top of it!
    LuAnn Braley recently posted…25 Questions to Ask Your GrandparentsMy Profile

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Wow! What a find with the marble slab. My mom had an old antique buffet and every year she had a fresh coat of stain applied. By the time I inherited the piece, it had so much stain on it, it looked like a big chocolate blob. I sent it to a friend who loved to refinish furniture and when he returned it I was shocked to find all the different wood grains underneath those layers of stain. Now it’s beautiful!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

      Blessings …

  5. says

    What a fab makeover! I love furniture makeovers – so much more personal than just buying something. I love the story that goes with the item and that’s what’s fascinating! Hope you enjoy it for many years to come! J9 x
    J9 recently posted…Weston super Mare Fun RunMy Profile

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you Janine! I know exactly what you mean. I have a few other oldies around here, some that I’d love to get my hands on … others happy to leave just as they are.

      Have a blessed day!

      Hugs …

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you so much! It was the first time I’d ever tried that and I really like it :)

      Have a blessed day :)

      Hugs …

  6. says

    Nice job, Lani. Loved the intro. Makes you realize that is not just a dresser. It’s a part of the family. Your make-over is impressive. I wondered at the beginning what you would do about the missing drawer pull. Those black knobs look great against the red! You are a multi-talented lady!
    Lorna McMahon recently posted…Spring Update…My Profile

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you so much Lorna! It really is a special piece, and when I open the drawers, it still has that old, vintage smell. Love it!

      Hugs …

    • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage says

      Thank you so much Kari!

      I’ll definitely pop over and see your dresser / TV Stand.

      Have a blessed day!

      Hugs …

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