The Suitcase Dresser
Posted by Laura Fiedler on
When a client requested this custom piece and showed me a picture of her vision, I was beyond excited to get started. It’s always tempting to dive right into painting, however a few minutes of prep work is time you won’t regret.
So first things first. After a quick wipe down with a wet rag, I lightly sanded all surfaces then wiped everything down again to remove the sanding dust. It’s a messy job, but an important step to make sure any grime is removed before painting. Next, three light coats of Vanilla Frosting were applied to the body of the dresser. It works best to paint multiple thin coats allowing for sufficient drying time between layers. This process helps to ensure the paint adheres correctly. A little Antiquing Wax was used to highlight the beautiful details and then Natural Wax was applied all over to seal and protect.
Now onto the fun part: the drawers. First, the existing hardware was removed and screw holes were puttied over since just one handle would be added to the center of each drawer; okay, let’s be honest, this part wasn’t super fun. Next the drawers received two coats of Fireside, Rustic Charm, Elegance and Hurricane. Once the paint was dry, the real creative fun began. To create a tweed effect, a little Icicle was dry brushed over Elegance and sealed with White Wax. A heavy coat of Antiquing Wax was applied over Fireside, Rustic Charm and Hurricane to produce an aged appearance. I basically just played around until I was happy with the results. Paint pens in black and white were used to make the illusion of a horizontal line separating the bottom and top of the suitcase. It looks pretty realistic, if I do say so myself.
I could have stopped there and called it good, but decided to use the original stripes on two of the drawers to add even more dimension and interest. These were painted to look like leather straps using Dark Roast, Liquorice, Smoky Quartz Glaze and Antiquing Wax.
Finally, vintage inspired latches and handles were added to replicate the suitcase look. As with most furniture makeovers, the hardware is the icing on the cake and really completes the finished piece. This mismatched collection added a ton of eclectic character and charm. Three of the handles were leftovers from other projects. My obsessive urge to not throw stuff away comes in handy once in a while. Though not as often as my husband would like (he’s a thrower). The handle on the green drawer came off the original dresser which I felt gave a sentimental nod to the history of the piece which has been in the clients family for generations. Thankfully I’m not the only person who likes to hold onto cool old things.
I do have to give credit to my darling husband who graciously attached all the hardware for me. Trust me, there’s a lot of tiny little screws in those adorable latches. Fortunately, he’s much more efficient and precise than me with the ruler and power tools. I’ll stick to a paint brush. Thanks honey!
The client and I are both thrilled with the way this dresser turned out. It is so unique and charming, I just may have to paint another for myself.