Quatrefoil Dresser: Pretty Fantastic in Pink

As a kid, I always loved Legos. My dad insisted on short hair and brown leather lace-up shoes for my sister and me. I never wore a single dress in high school. I don’t particularly like sappy movies or chick flicks–give me a good spy thriller any day. I didn’t have any daughters; I have three sons. So, why is my favorite color pink? I have pink sweaters, pink shoes (yay), pink shirts, and even a pink skirt that I actually wear.

Now, I have a pink dresser. But it’s not for me, ironically. It was kind of pink when I found it. That deep, glossy burgundy that sometimes looks brown:

quatrefoil before

Boring, scuffed, peeling. But hit it with my favorite color, pink, and it takes on a whole different persona.

Quatrefoil dresser

Add a quatrefoil, hand-painted white swirls shadowed with grey, a spot for a monogram, and it’s almost irresistible. What lady, young or old, wouldn’t want this delicious berry colored piece in her bedroom? Well, pink haters, I guess, but forget about them. This one is too cute.

Quatrefoil Dresser Top Detail

Quatrefoil Dresser Side

UPDATE July, 2013: This gorgeous pink piece went to a young lady in Texas, who asked that I paint her initial on the quatrefoil. I was happy to make this her own!

DSC_0588 (2)

This piece is featured on the popular Project Nursery blog!
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Milk Paint Charmer: Sunny Success!

This is the story of a very old, sad, dresser that has, I think, a very happy ending. This poor thing had endured abuse during its 170 or so years of life. Once upon a time, a very talented woodworker took some wide pine boards and constructed, with his own hands, a very useful dresser. He dovetailed the drawers by hand, hand-beveled the drawer bottoms, doweled in the knobs, affixed bun feet (probably), and put a wash of off-white milk paint on it.

Then, at some point during the very long life of this workhorse dresser with the three handkerchief drawers on top, someone subbed out its original feet (perhaps some had broken off at the dowel) with machine-turned ones from maple, replaced the apparently sawed-off knobs with large, out-of-proportion British-style knobs, and sanded all the milk paint off, except for what was visible in the cracked side boards. Then, the offender committed the ultimate sin: slapped on thick, drippy polyurethane, which aged and ambered and turned it into the orange eyesore I found:

Old Pine Dresser before
So sad. It endured even more abuse in the ensuing years, in the form of dents, dings, and many scratches in that horrible poly finish. At some point, inappropriate molding was nailed around the bottom and then broken off. The poor thing definitely needed cheering up. So, I chose a bright yellow milk paint for the body and juxtaposed a modern, not-too shiny charcoal chalk paint for the top. New, better proportioned knobs got the charcoal treatment for contrast, as well. So now it looks like this:

sunflower dresser
sunflower dresser 4
hanky drawers

My dear mother-in-law, who only really understands mid-century modern design, unwittingly gave me the ultimate compliment: “It looks like it came out of a barn.” Ah, yes. Success!

This great piece went to live in California. Like City Girl Arts on facebook!
Original painting by me, called “City Girl”.

Diamond Dresser Redo Part II: Striking Strikes Again

Remember this guy? Remember he has a brother?

Midnight Diamond Tall Dresser Front

Well, a customer fell in love with him and requested that I paint his brother to match so she could take them both home! I was delighted to oblige because I was having trouble thinking about how to paint the low one. This gorgeous mineral color just really seemed to suit the solid cast brass hardware, but I couldn’t decide–just like any other mother of twins–should I dress my babies alike, or differently? I put off the decision until this special order came in, and I’m so glad because he is just as much of a jewel now as his tall brother. Take a look:

Midnight Diamond Low Dresser

Midnight Diamond Low Dresser Tambour

Midnight Diamond Low Dresser drawers

And now the twins can live happily ever after, dressed identically, together! Striking, isn’t he?

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Bar, Bookcase, or Buffet: Bland to Bronze!

That’s a lot of b’s, but this project turned out really well. The poor, unloved thing started out as someone else’s mistake (boo-boo, if you need another b or two).

MCM bar before

It was a mid-century bookcase made from thick, solid wood, with an ugly yellow oak veneer that was flaking off in places. Someone had plastered the inside with black vinyl contact paper. Maybe it was that same design genius that used black spray paint in spots where the horrible vinyl was coming off. Looking through all that yuk, I could see a mid-century styled bar or buffet, and a very nicely-sized one at that.

So I sanded and filled the bad veneer, pulled off the vinyl, plugged and filled the gigantic hole in the back, and painted it, front and back, inside and out, in bronze and black. I lined the drawer with black felt, polished up the brass and oak knobs, put a glass shelf in, and finished it with a light for sparkle.

MCM bookcase front

MCM bookcase knob

MCM bookcase drawer

Wouldn’t it be perfect in a smaller dining room for a buffet, the corner of a living room or study as a bar with martini glasses in it, or as a very elegant lighted bookcase, as it is shown here? Check my offerings section for this and other pieces.