Recently, I had the pleasure of updating a small dresser to a driftwood finish. My client’s daughter was to be moving into a new apartment and her mom had some furniture that she could use. For sure, a bittersweet moment for Mom, especially since the daughter will be moving out of state. Having grown children of my own, I knew this was a special moment for them both. The daughter, excitedly venturing out on her own with all her new found independence and nary a care in the world, looking straight ahead to what the future holds and Mom putting on a brave face and holding back the tears as she helps to outfit her daughter’s new apartment.
My client’s daughter, Allison is lucky to have a mother that had a plan for the furniture she would inherit. This is where I come in and why Allison’s mom contacted me. The plan was to paint a piece of furniture they already owned instead of buying something new. One of the biggest suggestions I give to parents with young adults who are looking to furnish their first apartments is to save money and NOT buy new furniture! Instead, clean up and refurbish some older pieces you might have hanging out in the garage or basement! Even the child’s own bedroom furniture such as a dresser or desk in good condition can be cleaned up and given new life with a fresh coat of paint!
Allison and her mother had already gone on a small shopping spree and acquired a few pieces for her bedroom such as two bedside tables and a lamp from HomeGoods. She already had a bed with white bed linens so we were pretty open to using any color on the small dresser Allison would inherit. The round bedside tables were cream with a very light gray wash over them. I had come equipped with my box of paint sample boards and we played around with several colors until we settled on Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® in French Linen with a Pure White wash. The gray of the French Linen complimented the gray wash in the table making it a great choice for the dresser.
If your not familiar with French Linen, it is a lovely khaki gray and one of Annie’s great neutral colors. A great choice for any piece of furniture!
The small dresser was a laminate piece with some slight damage on the sides.
After a thorough cleaning and a light sanding to prepare the laminate for painting and smooth out the damage, I applied the French Linen. Right away, the paint transformed the dresser into a more modern looking piece of furniture. Gone was the fake 1980’s wood grain!
In no time at all I had applied two coats of paint! Next step was to white wash over the French Linen. I used a 50/50 mixture of Pure White paint and water. As I brushed on the thinned paint, I immediately wiped it off with a white paper shop towel, leaving a hint of color over the gray. The result looked like the color of drift wood. A very light sun washed soft gray.
I continued with the white wash until I had finished the dresser and let it dry. Normally, I would have applied clear wax, a necessary step to protect the paint, but this time I decided to use a topcoat of Polyvine Wax Finish Varnish in Dead Flat.
Polyvine is a water based acrylic topcoat that can be used over Chalk Paint®. It gives the feeling of a wax finish but with the protective hardness of an acrylic.
… a highly durable heat and water resistant finish with a silky wax feel.
I painted two coats of the Polyvine varnish and left the dresser to dry. Polyvine recommends a five day curing time after application for best results.
I was very pleased with the final results of the Polyvine! It does indeed feel as smooth as a wax finish and has the same soft luster. A perfect compliment to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®!
My client was very pleased with it too! Her final update to this dresser is to add black iron ring pulls to the drawer fronts! I think it will look fantastic and certainly take this little dresser from boring to beautiful!
Allison is lucky to have a thrifty creative mom that has gifted her with a great updated and functional piece of furniture for her new home!
Next time you are looking for furniture for your child’s first apartment, look no further than your own home! Imagine what that piece of furniture that is stored in your basement or garage could look like in a different color and … Repaint, Recreate, Reimagine!