This antique serpentine dresser is one of my favorite auction finds. There’s just something inherently sexy about curves. I love any furniture that has them. Now, don’t get me wrong, this particular serpentine dresser was a hot mess when I bought it. There was veneer damage, scratches, and an overall roughness that had to be addressed, but what a transformation!
Don’t be afraid of furniture that needs repairs!
If you have any old pieces of furniture that you want to refinish, but you’re afraid they are too rough to try, try anyway. This particular dresser had lots of veneer damage. All of the corners of the drawers had veneer pieces missing. The top also had a couple of corners that had lost the veneer. If you need to repair veneer, just take your trusty Dixie Belle Mud and fill and smooth all of those areas. Then sand them smooth after the mud thoroughly dries. Go over the sanded area with some kind of sealer like B.O.S.S.
I love using DB Mud for these kinds of repairs. It goes on smoothly and, for me, gives a much better result than traditional wood filler.
Get it clean before painting!
After repairs were made, thoroughly clean the piece with DB White Lightning or other TSP type cleaner. Be sure all grease, grime, and dirt are gone before you paint! Prep is everything when you’re trying to get a smooth, professional appearance.
If you’re painting with a light color over a dark wood, use a primer like Dixie Belle B.O.S.S. to keep the tannins from the wood from seeping through. This is a step you can skip, but you’ll be super sad if you do all the work and find there are places where the wood tannins seep through (been there!). Dixie Belle Sawmill Gravy was the perfect color for this dresser. It’s a pretty cream color with a slight taupe undertone. I don’t normally sand distress my pieces, but this beauty just begged me to do it. It was the perfect style.
Make it special
This dresser had a beautiful wide face that was the perfect spot for a re*design rub on transfer I’d been dying to use. Rose Celebration has gorgeous peaches, reds, blues and yellows that I knew would turn this dresser into a work of art. Again, don’t be intimidated by transfers. They usually come in three pieces to make applying simpler.
Here’s a video showing how easier a transfer is to apply:
Top it off!
While Dixie Belle Paint doesn’t actually need a top coat as it is self- sealing, I like a satin top coat because I just want that extra bit of protection. Your transfer definitely must have a top coat. You want to protect it from any kind of lifting or the damage that can happen by scraping something against it.
This dresser turned out to be one of my favorites. There is nothing more satisfying than taking a piece of furniture that has seen it’s better days and transforming it into something beautiful. Rough furniture can often times be bout for bought for very little. It’s worth the work it takes to turn trash into treasure.