Dresser restoration with gold plating

This chest of drawers, purchased in a second-hand furniture store some 30 years ago, stood in a boys bedroom several years before being demoted to serve in the garage (the chest, not the boy) as a catch-all for lawn supplies, tools, and miscellaneous items.

Someday, I vowed, I would get it repaired and refinished.

2014 Dresser front before

It had good bones and was made of solid oak.

2014 Dresser top before

Someday finally came.

My friend, George, made the necessary repairs on the chest and I began planning for its cosmetic makeover.

I love the effect of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but unfortunately, the nearest stockist was more than a hundred miles away. I had seen several recipes for homemade chalk paint on Pinterest and decided to give one a try.

The recipe I chose used only the addition of Plaster of Paris and water to my choice of paint. This has the advantage over ASCP because of the limitless range of paint colors from which to choose, as well as ingredients being available in the nearest local paint store. And since Plaster of Paris is very inexpensive, the homemade version is much more affordable.

The recipe calls for 5 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris mixed with 2 tablespoons of water added to 2 cups of paint. I had enough white paint leftover from another project for the job. Mine was semi-gloss latex, but flat or eggshell will work just as well.

I found the Plaster of Paris at our local lumber company, costing about $3.00 for a 4.4-pound carton. So after using 5 tablespoons of it, one could use the extra 4.39 pounds to patch walls or make a fresco on the ceiling, a la Michelangelo.

This mixture was to be strained to make certain it was free of any lumps. I mentioned to the clerk that I would need to find a cheap strainer, and lo and behold, they sell disposable paint strainers. Who knew! So I bought a package of four.

2014 dresser plaster of paris

I used an empty milk jug, cut down, leaving a handy handle, for mixing and holding the paint. Starting with the Plaster of Paris, I gradually added the water to mix a paste in much the same way I would mix flour and liquid to make gravy.

Then I added the paint and mixed well.

Chalk paint eliminates the need for sanding and priming, but since I was painting very old furniture where the stain has a tendency to seep through, I chose to prime it with Kilz 2, which I had leftover from another project. (You ?ll notice I don ?t throw away leftover paint at least until it has solidified in the can.)

2014 Dresser with KilzTurns out it was a good thing I primed it, as it took three coats of Kilz to kill the stain. After that dried, one coat of homemade chalk paint was sufficient to topcoat it.

Pinterest also influenced my decorating choice. I saw several gold-dipped pieces, where the lower few inches of table legs were painted gold.

And, since I love the popular bird silhouette motif, I opted to paint a design similar to one found on this blog

Yes, I copied it, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so they say. I ordered Rustoleum Painter ?s Touch gold metallic paint from Home Depot. This is oil-based and must be cleaned up with mineral spirits.

I painted the legs and the trim between the drawers.

2014 Dresser gold trim
For the design, I used blue paint I had (ahem) leftover from painting the bedroom walls a few years ago and then added my own touch of gold to the design.

2014 dresser detail, after

Now, this chest of drawers is all dressed up and ready for a new life out of the garage and back inside the house. (And I have enough leftover gold paint to gild that fresco on the ceiling.)

Gold-dipped dresser with homemade chalk paint

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