Coastal Blue & Antique Walnut Gel Stain Dresser

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Letting this little Goodwill dresser shine with a full General Finishes makeover using Coastal Blue Milk Paint and Antique Walnut Gel Stain.

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I’m so excited to be sharing this sweet little dresser today with my Trash to Treasure Transformation girls.
They’ll be sharing their makeovers all the way down at the bottom, so be sure to scroll down and then hop over and see their treasures, too! :)

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Here’s what this poor, sad little dresser looked like when I found it….

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Not terrible but a little beat up and definitely dated.

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I paid $21 dollars for it….in 2015!! Yep!
It still had the “sold” tag on it from when I bought it with my name, number and date to be picked up by. ;)

I told y’all I have a storage unit (or 2)  full of furniture to make over. I wasn’t kidding one bit.

This is one of them.

I did really wait on this one for awhile because I had considered making this one a “card catalog” look-alike.
But that never worked out so I decided to finally give it a proper makeover.

So I put on the thinking cap and got busy…sitting in front of it staring at it until something came to me. ;)

And this is what I saw….

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Painted base, stained drawers and top.

So I got busy with my favorite poly/finish remover, Citristrip.

And this is what I was left with after using that…..

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The wood was lighter where the handles were. :(
I had originally thought I might use Java Gel Stain so didn’t need really need to make the drawers too light. (so no sanding)
BUT…this was not going to work because I was not planning on using the same hardware. Boo.

So I started sanding.

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And those suckers were being stubborn. Ugh!
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my stories this weekend. lol

Want to see some of these projects in “live” time? Hop on over and follow along with me on INSTAGRAM. I’m always sharing in my stories as I’m doing projects, finding new furniture, fun finds….just all the day to day behind the scenes. 

I posted all about this over there….and how my sweet hubby came to the rescue and saved the day…and my sanity!! haha

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He sanded all the rest for me and mostly removed those pesky handle marks. And I know that was a job.
Thank you honey!! xoxo

And the top, too.

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He’s a keeper!

Now, here’s my thoughts on this dresser, style-wise.
To me, it’s always sort of looked “boyish”….and so…. I gave it a “boyish” styled makeover.

Coastal Blue is the perfect “boy” blue. I used it on this dresser a couple years back.
And since that blue is nice and dark, I decided to use Antique Walnut Gel Stain instead of the Java.
I didn’t want to go too dark on the wood because I wanted a little contrast with the blue.

I prepped the wood with some pre-stain wood conditioner and then applied a coat of the stain.

Want to know about 26 other chalk style paints?
I’ve got the low down for you right here! >>> 26 Types of Chalk Style Paint For Furniture

Here is the Antique Walnut Gel Stain applied to the wood…..

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Whomp, whomp…whomppp. Nice, huh?
I had a feeling that middle drawer was going to be a bugger.  (scroll back up and take another look at it sanded) The wood and wood grain just looked a little different than all the rest.
And it was. 

Well, that just was not going to do, so I fixed it….with Java Gel Stain.

Magic!!

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I applied a very light coat onto the middle drawer only. Perfect. Yay!!

Isn’t that crazy, though? And I’m SO glad the Java worked…I wasn’t sure I was not going to end up with one really dark drawer. But since I had already used the Antique Walnut Gel Stain, it acted as a primer and only a little of the Java soaked in. Now, I could have gone darker had I wanted to, but obviously here, I didn’t.

Here’s the first coat of Coastal Blue….

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I did 2 coats and then sealed with 2 coats of High Performance Top Coat.

I didn’t add paper or fabric to the insides of the drawers because they were in such great shape.
So much so, that it hardly looked like it had ever been used.

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And did I mention this was an Ethan Allen piece?

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Solid and very well made.

I painted the indentations in the wood drawers to make it look like they were all separate drawers.

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The Antique Walnut Gel Stain also got sealed with 2 coats of the HP Top Coat. (I very lightly sanded in between to get it nice and smooth)
Even though it’s water based, you can use it over the Gel Stain, just be sure to wait a few days in between.

And all new hardware….

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You can find the knobs, here.
And the pulls were in a “value” pack, here. (they don’t have the color I used on the website but these are the same style…and the only handle I could find that was a 2-1/2 inch width, everything these days is 3 inches or more)

 

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OH!! And I added some pretty feet. :)
I also shared them on Instagram stories.  Sadly the stories only last 24 hours and then they disappear. I do save some of them in my little icons there, though.
(I post in the stories more than I do in the regular feed so follow along for the day to day! :) )
I also shared the pretty feet on the stories I’m adding to the new “coffee bar” I’m making. Soon, soon!
So much “house” stuff going on around here it’s on the back burner. I need to do an update of the house stuff soon, too. (it’s a disaster zone right now though…a definite work in progress)

But back to these feet…..

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You guys….this dresser needed feet! Don’t you agree?
It was just like a slab sitting on the floor. It seemed just off to me.
The feet….well, when they went on it was like, “oh yes!….the perfect finishing touch!”.
I added them last so it really was like the icing on the cake.

The feet came from The Home Depot. I couldn’t find them on the website to link to, however.
But I did see some other pretty ones they have that are not available in the store.

And since I sort of gave this a makeover with a boy (probably a little boy since it’s a little dresser) in mind, I thought I’d style it up that way to photograph.

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I went into our spare bedroom which happens to be my son’s old bedroom. (he moved over to the big room after his sister moved out)
So many of his toys and things are still in bins and such in there. (yessss, I know he’s 19 and we need to go through it all and purge, but hey, real life! lol)

And…..oh my, memories! And maybe even a slight tear or two as I pulled this stuff out.

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Cars (the movie) (and just cars in general, lol). He has so many bins full of these little things ( and Legos and transformers and, I know, time to let it go…nah )

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And yes, I’m getting off on a tangent. Aw, look at that little Mario car…I mean, that pretty new stained top.. hee hee

He was a pretty big fan of SpongeBob as a kid, too.

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And the sock…..

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I have no idea why there was a rogue, lone sock in the mix but oh my, tears!!!!
This was a 3/4 toddler sock. Awww. Time goes SO fast. :(

Okay, enough of memory lane, let’s see it styled not “boyish”. 

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You really could go either way with this. I guess it just depends on your style and colors.
I still see it as a boy dresser though.
Isn’t that Antique Walnut Gel Stain a beauty? I really love the Java but that Antique Walnut is a close second.

And there’s my boy AND my girl…. 

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Cuties. :)

Those of you with kids that are grown know how fast it goes.
The days really are long, but the years, oh my how they fly by.

I’m feeling all emotional now!! hee hee….doesn’t take much anyway.

Okay, PIN this if you want to save it (or the products I used) for later…..

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Now hop on over and check out all these beauties!

Click the links below to see them all!

Prodigal Pieces  /   Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer  /  Girl in the Garage  /  Bless’er House

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Want to see even more Trash To Treasure makeovers?? Click, here to see more!

Don’t forget to check back to see my latest furniture makeover! 

UPDATE:!! See it now >>> here!!

I hope you enjoyed the makeovers!  Have a wonderful week!

xo

 

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52 Comments

    1. Agree! Beautifully done. That said; If I were to ‘make this little ditty mine’, I would paint those pretty little feet the ame Blue as the ‘body’. Have to make it ‘mine’, right? ;)

      1. Thanks Donald! And of course!! :) That is exactly why the feet went on last. Well, 1, I wanted to make sure I was going to like them and 2, to make sure I was going to like them stained and not painted. I was unsure which way to go but ended up liking how they looked stained so kept them that way. :) But painted would have been nice too!

  1. Oh Nancy, Larissa is so right, this is a gorgeous makeover. Love the colors.
    How touching to walk down memory lane while styling your photos. :)
    Thank you for sharing all the details in your process. Sweet of your hubs to sand for you. ;)

    1. Thank you Christina! :) Those photos and toys (and that sock!! haha), it’s certainly bittersweet! And yes, he’s a keeper for sure. I was so frustrated with the drawers and where those handles were (and wasn’t making much progress, lol) So he stepped in and rescued me. :) xoxo

  2. Didn’t this one have the plastic like trim around the top? I’ve had three of these while my kids were growing up.

    1. No, it didn’t have any plastic on it Darcy. Maybe before I got it? However, I don’t see any evidence of any ever being on there. Maybe just a similar dresser style? :)

  3. Don’t get rid of your son’s toys. Buys some sturdy bins and store them. My son now has four sons and they love when Dad pulls out some of his toys. His old metal Tonka trucks, Breyer horses, Transformers, and oh, the Legos! I didn’t think he was going to let them play with his Legos but he is sharing. lol. My grandsons think these are the best toys.

    1. Oh, I love this idea Sandra! We have given a few of his bigger Tonka style trucks, etc, away to my nephew years ago, but I think I may do this! So funny about the Legos! ;) Thanks again for the tip…I will definitely do this. :) xo

  4. Nancy I love the new life you gave to this piece. The paint and stain colors go together beautifully, and with the new feet and hardware it has a chic MCM vibe to it now. I definitely agree, it has a boyish look to it. Great rescue!

  5. I had that dresser growing up and kept it into adulthood. I might not have gotten rid of it if I had thought to put feet on it. It looks so much more contemporary!

    1. Oh that is so neat Joann! :) And yes, it’s amazing how much adding the legs changed the look and feel of the dresser! xoxo

  6. You really surprised me with this one… I absolutely love everything about it! Great choice to keep the drawers stained, even if they were a super big pain in the you know what, and the feet just make this piece! Love it! And I know all those little toys made you sad, but just think… In a few years…grandkids! Ha ha! XOXO

    1. Yay!! I’m so glad I was able to surprise you!! hee hee I stepped out of my normal with this one. ;) And bahahaha…grandkids…you know your oldest is not too much younger than my 19 year old, right? ;) I’m actually ready for them….but my kids definitely are not!! lol xoxo

  7. So this mid-century dresser now looks even more mid-century! Those feet really are perfect for it, along with the modern hardware and fresh color. What a great combination of old and new, Nancy.

  8. Love the new look! Adding the feet is like putting a lovely cake on a cake stand rather than a plate. You touched my heart with the boy toys; yesterday I was looking around at the chaos of strewn toys, I was thinking “How could I ever get rid of the matchbox cars and legos?” I agree with Sandra’s comment above! These are such fun hand-me-down items (as are other toys too). My boys’ first legos were ones that my mom saved from my brother’s and my stash. (She had a hard time giving those up; made me wonder if she had secret building sessions with them, lol). I loved matchbox cars as a little girl, but I only kept one, a little horse trailer (it used to have two tiny white horses). I let the boys play with it now and then, but find myself scooping it up and tucking back away. Back when I was getting rid of my toys, I wish that I could have foreseen that toys in the future would be cheaply made, I probably wouldn’t have gotten rid of any of them. I can’t imagine what they will be like when (and if) I have grandkids. Thanks for the fun post!

    1. Thanks Paula! And I so agree!! Love that analogy. :) And aw, yes, maybe that’s why they are still there! We also have a bin or two of our daughter’s old toys/things in the attic. Wish I had kept more. And yes, I always loved the match box cars too! I’m with you, I wish I had kept more of my things growing up. However, there is an old trunk/box buried in a room in my parent’s basement. And from what I remember, it’s filled with some of my toys. I haven’t seen it in YEARS. So when the times comes, it will be so fun (surreal) to go through it. :) xo

  9. This dresser went from blah to wow! It’s very nice now. I like the feet stained because the drawers create a horizontal plane and the feet draw your eyes vertically. Contrast is good! Yes, this is a very good sample to copy. Thanks a bunch.

  10. Nancy,
    The dresser is stunning! I love it. You and your husband did a fantastic job in cleaning and getting the dresser ready for the new paint and stain. I love the blue with the walnut stain and YES, the feet are fabulous! Love the drawer pulls also. It is just a beautiful new dresser!!!

  11. OMgoodness! I adore your makeover for this dresser! I have an old dresser that my grandson used that I had painted red that I’d like to redo for my new great-grandson. I think I’ll do something similar to yours. Thanks for posting. It’s just wonderful.

  12. New to chalk paint. Have several pieces that I want to paint for use in a new home. Do you ever show pieces done in your red tones? I’d love to see what the colors look like on a full piece to help me choose the tone. How about yellows? All I ever see are pieces of blue. Lovely but not my color choice. Thanks

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Hmm, I haven’t done too many red or yellow pieces but I should! I’m trying to venture out a little with my colors. ;) You are right, I do a lot of blues, some black, some greens and even varying shades of pink and coral. I might have to get in a few in yellow, red and more green soon! xo

  13. Hi there, I have never used a Gel Stain or Java Gel Stain. Is the Gel Stain similar to using a regular type liquid stain? Also, does the Java Gel stain used to darken a stain? Very nicely done. I am getting ready to start on a piece of furniture similar to this and just need the final pieces to the puzzle. Thanks!

    1. Hello! No, the gel stain is a little different in that it doesn’t penetrate as deeply. You also don’t have to prep in the same way. (fully sanded, unfinished wood) Yes, if you have something that has been finished in a lighter stain, you can use the Java to darken it up. (depending on the finish (shiny, in tact or worn away), you may need to lightly sand to allow the gel stain to penetrate somewhat)
      Hope this is helpful to you! And good luck with your piece! :)

  14. WOW!!!!! What a transformation!!!! LOVE~LOVE~LOVE IT!!!!! You always have such vision!!!!
    Have a great weekend!!!! xoxo

  15. OK, you know I love everything you make, but your best work is the smiles that came with those tow kids of yours. I am serious, I sawthe pictures and immediately smiled back at them.

    1. Awww, that is so sweet of you to say! They make me smile too. :) (your comment made my day, thank you) xoxo

  16. I loved seeing you redo this dresser from my past! My parents bought this dresser for my room, as well as a couple of other pieces from the same Ethan Allen line in 1961. Years (and many lives) later, I revamped it for our Jackson, Wyoming. cabin in much the same way you did yours. Instead of blue I used barn red but the rest of the piece turned out almost identical to yours. We sold our Jackson cabin last year fully furnished and sadly the cute little dresser went with it. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Hi

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