Sometimes I just have to do the unexpected or the crazy to make a statement. That's why I replaced the original metal knobs on this vintage dresser/chest with great big wood knobs. I painted the dresser white and accented all the lovely details by distressing the paint. I need your opinion on the wood knobs. I like the big wood knobs but I might be the only one.
There were so many pretty details on the dresser and they were just begging to be distressed. Don't you love that bottom board with all the curves?
I shared this photo in an earlier post. The dresser is one of my auction buys and it’s one I paid a premium to get. I think it was around $70 and my limit is usually $60 for dressers and chests. A plus was having all of the original knobs but then of course I decided to replace them.
The paint is a mix of paint sheens and various white latex paint colors. I have a lot of small samples of paint or I should say I had a lot of small samples. I combined all of my white paint samples into a bit of left over semi gloss white paint. Most of the samples were from when we painted our two guest bedrooms. I bought a bunch of different white samples trying to decide on the perfect white for the walls and finally settled on Swiss Coffee Behr paint sample.
The dresser was in great shape and all I really needed to do was clean it up with Simple Green and the shop vac. Next I removed all of the drawer pulls and placed Frogtape over the screw holes on the inside of the drawers to keep paint from leaking inside.
This is how the dresser looked after one coat of paint. I could see the white paint taking on a brownish tinge.
I applied a second light coat of paint and the stain from the original finish was leeching into the white paint. Not good.
To take care of or cover this problem I pulled out my jar of Beyond Paint in off-white hoping it would cover the bleed through or at least blend in with it. The bleed through was definitely noticeable against the white white paint.
The photo above sows where I've brushed the Beyond Paint on the left side of the drawer. You can see how white the other paint is compared to the off-white Beyond Paint. I brushed on one coat of the Beyond Paint then distressed the paint using a power sander. I have a short video that shows how I used the sander to distress the white drawers below....
How To Distress Painted Furniture
These are the big fat knobs. I bought them at the junk shop. There was a whole bucket full and I only bought 20. Wish I had more. I don't remember how much I paid for them but not much I'm sure. I get a good price on everything at the junk shop.
I painted the knobs with the Beyond Paint and then dry brushed some dark brown paint on the outer edges and the center dot of the knobs. The reason I dry brushed the knobs instead of distressing them is because they were unfinished wood. When distressed the plain raw wood would show through and not match the dark stain of the dresser where the paint is distressed.
You can see the original stained finish in most of the distressed areas in the photo above. In some places the sander went down to raw wood and I used Howard's wax to darken the wood a bit.
When I distress paint there is often some variations in color where the paint is not distressed all the way through to the original finish. You will notice in the video that I used a large mouse sander and I ran the sander over the whole surface of the drawer although I did not sand through the paint on most of the drawer surface, just the edges and bits and pieces on the drawer front.
There will be variations in the white paint color where I used the sander. I apply a coat of Howard's Wax in Neutral (buy here) for 2 reasons. The wax will darken the raw distressed areas of the wood and the wax will make the variations in paint color look purposeful. Now when I saw there are variations in the white paint where it is distressed I'm talking very minor variations.
I realized it might be hard for you to visualize what I just explained in not a very good way (probably about as clear as mud) so I did a screen capture from the video. Not a great picture but you can see where the distressed areas on the drawer front have a halo of white around them where I was really pushing with the sander. I have to use the tip or edge of the sander to push into the paint on the flat surface of the drawer in order to sand through the paint to the original finish.
I only did a bit of distressing on the drawer fronts them selves. Most of the distressing is on the edges and corners of the drawers where paint would distress by normal wear.
You notice I distressed those pretty rounded legs too. You can't mess up when you distress paint so give it a try. The distressed paint should not be perfect and the distressing on one side of the drawer should not equally match the distressed edges on the other side. In fact I make sure that the distressing is different and not matchy matchy. The distressing on the legs or the body of the dresser should not be identical. Perfectly imperfect is what you want.
I call those pieces drawer number 2 "teardrops". Don't know what the proper name is. They look good distressed too.
Time for you to tell me what you think of the makeover and the drawer pull change from the original metal knobs to the big wood knobs. If you don't like them that's okay. Just be nice in your critique please. What about the white distressed paint?
I don't mind constructive criticism presented in a respectful manner. In fact I welcome ideas and suggestions. I've learned a lot from listening to you guys.
That's it for me. Have a great day, Kathy