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HARDWARE MATTERS-Distressed Dresser with Red Knobs

Distressed Furniture

Distressed furniture is the best. Furniture you don’t even have to paint, just distress, is even better. And when you pair it with the perfect hardware, well, it’s a win-win.distressed furniture with red knobs Petticoat Junktion

Distressed Furniture

Most of you guys know me pretty well. I get a little crazy sometimes. One thing I’m passionate about when doing a furniture makeover is the hardware. You may have read my earlier post on creative hardware ideas.

If you did then you know I have a very large selection of drawer pulls, handles, garden faucets, or anything unique that can be repurposed as furniture hardware. The drawer pulls, handles, hinges, etc. on the furniture piece is at least as important as the paint finish. Sometimes more important. If the paint technique or color is a little ho-hum then the furniture needs something that grabs you.

dresser project before

Take this vintage dresser for example. I purchased it at My Favorite Junk Store for $30. I liked the blue color but the paint was chipping off, scratched off, or dinged, in several places. So something would need to be done about that. The knobs were definitely ho-hum. So something would have to be done about that too.

I’ve always talked about “work with what is there” like the Red, White, and Blue Chest I picked up at the Nashville Flea Market. Since the blue paint on the dresser was a nice color I decided to work with that.

distressed dresser

First order of business was to take care of the paint. The blue paint was pretty but not really “stand out” pretty. I distressed the heck out of the drawers using an electric sander and 80 grit sandpaper. The dresser casing got just a bit of distressing.

spray paint

I selected a few drawer pulls I thought might work and went to my spray paint shelf to pick out several colors.

spray painted hardware

 I used gray spray paint primer, then a red spray paint I had on hand. I went with the bright red color instead of the maroon spray paint. Bright is always better.red drawer pulls distressed dresser

Because the distressed wood had a raw look to it I used a Howard’s Wax in Golden Oak (dark wax for aging furniture) over the entire dresser. It made the blue paint a little more turquoisy (new word I invented according to spell check) and it gave the raw wood an aged look. Dark wax can work miracles.

blue paint red hardware furniture makeover

“I like it”. Definitely has more going for it than when I bought it. At least that’s my opinion.

no painting required Petticoat Junktion

The distressing may be too over the top like my really distressed dresser with turquoise knobs. Wow, did I get a response on that makeover. Some of my readers loved it and some hated it. If you don’t like one of my makeovers and you communicate that in a tactful manner, that’s ok. It would be a boring world if everyone liked the same thing!

Want to know how to antique furniture the easy way? I have a video I made just for you…

How To Antique Furniture

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day, Kathy

Find the dark wax and my favorite diy products on the Petticoat Junktion Amazon Page. (affiliate link, read disclosure here).

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. hi, i absolutely love what you’ve done with this piece of furniture. I was just wondering if you used a clear wax on it before you used the wax glaze. I heard that the dark wax will stain the paint if you don’t use clear first.

  2. Incredible transformation you have made with this dresser. Congrats and some brilliant work.

  3. WOW!!! I love your bold look. I would never have thought of putting red knobs on that dresser, and I am so glad you did! It looks incredible. You have given me courage to try some new things on my designs. Thanks

  4. I too love to “over distress” some of my pieces! I love the look even though it can be controversial. The most recent distressed piece I did, I put onto this week’s Miss Mustard Seed’s FFF party as well. Check it out and tell me what you think. It is number 33~distressed chest & etched dandelion. You did a wonderful job, love it!

  5. This is BEAUTIFUL!! The red and the distressed look! LOVE! I’m pinning this one to our board!! Thanks for sharing on DIY Sunday Showcase!

    Shelly from MinettesMaze

  6. I love the distressed drawers on this and the new color(and new word) that the dark wax created is perfect. But the red knobs are killer! What a great statement they make! 🙂

  7. Ok, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! What an awesome job, I would be in a TON of trouble if I lived close to a place where I could things like this up. SO Awesome!! Thanks for sharing at the diy Sunday showcase!

  8. love this piece! it turned out gorgeous, would love to feature, let me know if that’s ok

  9. I just found your blog and will follow you from now on! I agree that the hardware on a piece can really make it stand out. And I do like the red with the distressed blue. Super job!

  10. Love Love Love it and I love your motto, similiar to mine “Come big or stay home” Great Piece Congrats!

  11. Just because this is bold, beautiful, and in-your-face distressed I have become a Bloglovin’ follower of yours. Turq-wah-zy is definitely my kind of style. Plus I live just ten miles from Petticoat Junction, SC!

  12. Chris, thanks for the great comment and I’m glad you found how to follow other bloggers. There is so much inspiration out there. My problem is I like so many blogs and bloggers I can’t keep up with all of them everyday!

  13. You always do such great work Kathy! I love this and the red knobs really do make it!

  14. Those red drawer pulls make it pop! And I love it! It’s easy to see why you were one of our features on Throwback Thursday last week!

  15. Kathy, I absolutely love it. I love the fact that you did a makeover without picking up a paintbrush. As much as we all love to paint sometimes it’s just not needed. This piece is a great example. The pulls do make the piece. The old ones never would have worked. I’m so glad you linked up on Throwback Thursday again! Kim

  16. This piece is one of my all=time favorite of yours. I love the distressed drawers and the bright red knobs. The finished picture gives a much better view than the first which was the original. I can see the long legs and rollers on the bottom. I love it!

  17. LOVE!!! The red knobs are not as gaudy as I thought they would be…but this is CLASSIC KATHY MAKEOVER!! Pure GENIUS!
    I have a wrought iron bench that was my husband’s grandma’s from the 1920’s…i have re leatherish fabric to cover the padded seat with. I wish you would do a makeover on something wrought iron! Give me a good idea….You Go Girl!

  18. Wow! I really Love how you gave that little piece such a substantial sexy new look. You had me at the red hardware, Kathy! But all the distressing just made it perfection. Very nice!
    Cheers to you and yours,

  19. I like it!! The only thing I would change is to use the smaller knobs (far left, bottom row in know photo) on the top drawers. The plain knobs still look kitchen to me, even with the red paint, a tad too big and too much the same size the knobs on the bottom drawers.

  20. Hi Kathy~~~ I love this piece!! It’s gorgeous~~~love the red knobs:0)

    Linda, Chino Valley, AZ.

  21. I personally really like the distressing. For me personally, I would have chosen colored glass knobs if it was going in my home. It would flow better in my home but for someone else’s home I can really see this working. I am just not a red knob person but that would never steer me in another direction when it came to buying this piece, for sure. You do such a great job!


  22. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Probably my favorite piece to date. And thank for the constant inspiration to my pieces. Every week you give me inspiration to go crazy and out of the box…and I am loving every minute of it. 🙂

  23. For a girl that doesn’t like overly distressed furniture your pieces are charming! I love the look and the red knobs are perfect! The size is correct and color is a great contrast. I also love how you sorted through and you stash and sprayed them! A girl after my own heart! I’ve been looking for a desk to fix up for my sewing room like this perhaps a little bigger, but where I live they seem to not exist!

  24. Ooops …. forgot to mention …. what a fantabulous bargin for 30 smackers! Really amazing. Recycling fun (!!) furniture is the best thing ever.

    Whomever (wish it could be moi) purchases …. ENJOY!

  25. Makes a huge difference!!

    Actually, I love red, white and blue. Our front porch has those shades. Usually t-blue doesn’t seem to work though. The stronger shades of r, w & b are my faves. On the other hand, this dresser works. Very attractive!

  26. kathy…one of the reasons i learned how to follow peoples blogs was so i could follow yours from hometalk..and while it is true i maybe wouldn’t have a piece or two you have done in my home i can see them being in other peoples home you have a great eye and a no holds barred ‘tude and that i love i happen to love this one and think the red knobs set it off xx

  27. Kathy! I absolutely love it!!! And you were right, the turquoisy touch was needed (spell check just needs to add this word!) Great job!