Wake Up Little Dresser!

Someone left this at my house after a Man Who Came to Dinner  kind of situation. Long story. Let’s stick to the little dresser or side table or whatever it is.


This was a sturdy little piece that seamed hand-hewn. I didn’t need it and didn’t want it… an absolutely ideal situation to experiment with chalk paint, and a great excuse to buy a quart of Annie Sloan Cream. None of my three rules (Use what I have, Keep what I need, and Have Fun) would be broken because I had someone in mind who would love it. Onward!

shabby but not chic

The knobs were weird, similar to paper fasteners.

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Off came the weird knobs and on went the paint, followed by clear wax. Fairly easy stuff.


I sanded the edges for more of the shabby chic look. I sanded the inside edges of the drawers to help them slide more easily.


Headed in the direction of shabby chic, I had the bright idea to apply waterslide decals and bought some pretty ones on Ebay.


You cut them out, soak them in water until the image slides off the backing and then smooth them on the surface you’re decorating.

First problem: waterslide decals don’t stick to a waxed surface. I removed the wax on the top with mineral spirits and applied a new decal. It stuck! I waxed the top.

Second problem: you can’t wax over a waterslide decal. It will slide right off. I gave myself a day to breath, used the back as a test space, and found the solution. Apply the waterslide decal to a bare chalk-painted surface. Let dry. Apply rub-on varnish. Let dry. Done.

Then I found the cutest knobs on Ebay. It’s difficult for me to stay away from Ebay.


I had the hardest time pushing the new screws into the holes for the knobs. I gave myself an imaginary smack in the head. The holes were smaller because they were made for those weird paper fastener pulls. Duh! I drilled holes big enough for the new knobs.

I already had the contact paper to line the drawers.


Isn’t she bright and pretty?


What I learned:

  • You can apply waterslide decals to chalk paint, but not over or under waxed surfaces.
  • If the knob holes aren’t big enough, use a drill to make them bigger.
  • Beware of house guests who show up with furniture.

One thought on “Wake Up Little Dresser!

  1. Pingback: An Old Soul | Chapter 2: From Pen to Paint

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