Furnishing our home with lots of items I’ve found in shops is something I have always enjoyed however when we decided we needed a dresser for our kitchen I called on my parents who still had the Welsh dresser that had once belonged to my Grandparents. The only problem was that this dresser was jet black and needed some love and attention before we had it in the house.
This is how the dresser looked when it came to us. I loved that this was how my granparents had it in their home, and that my mother had grown up with the dresser like this, however to have it in our house the black would have been too much so I found the colour I liked, Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan from Dovetails Vintage in Sevenoaks and set to work.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the perfect paint for a job like this as it will cover even the darkest of colours with enough coats however the painted varnish on the dresser was very tatty and I really felt that to get the best finish I would strip the dresser back. The worktop on the dresser I wanted to have as exposed oak so this really needed to be stripped. I used a heavy duty varnish stripper for this and wore the protective clothing as masks as it had nasty fumes.
The stripper worked a treat and soon I could really see the oak worktop coming through.
Once stripped back, I applied another coat of the varnish stripper one last time and left until the following day to then work at again.
By now the dresser was already looking much brighter so I decided to stop applying the solvent varnish stripper and sand the dresser by hand.
You can see here, the results of the sanding on the drawers; it became brighter still.
I then set to work with my pot of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The first coat really took to the dresser, however I was looking for a brighter finish so I knew that a few more coats would be required.
Once I had finished the bottom half of the dresser, it was time to reassemble the top piece by piece as it had been disassembled for storage. This took a while but eventually it was altogether and I pressed on with painting.
Here the top is painted, it took one more coat to get the coverage I wanted. On the bench, the finished doors had their last coat of paint applied.
I wanted to use all the original fixings, door knobs and drawer pulls so I got some polish out and cleaned up all the hinges, screws and brass drawer pulls. I couldn’t have been happier with the results.
As you can see, the dresser really benefit from a few coats of Chalk Paint.
The dresser in place and for it’s first evening inside, I placed a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day on it in their memory. It’s may not be the most beautiful dresser however, for me, it is probably one of my most treasured pieces in our house. My mother grew up with it and now my daughter is growing up with it… perhaps my grandchildren will be painting it jet black again in the future!!