Dresser DIY makeover with faux bone inlay

I’m just working away and trying to fit in some creative time where I can. I recently finished this faux bone inlay dresser which turned out so great I needed to share. Please excuse the pics being a little fuzzy as I just used the phone. Now I wish I had taken the time to use the camera and take some proper pictures.

My inspiration was something similar to this Anthropologie beauty:

And what I had was this huge dresser our neighbors had put out on the curb. You can’t beat free 🙂

I first considered painting it but the finish was a little cracked and scuffed here and there, and as the profile of the dresser was straight enough to stencil I decided to go ahead and buy Kim Myles’ stencil from Cutting edge stencils and go all out.

First some stripping of the old finish.

The wood was all kinds of colors but I kept my cool, thinking the stain and the patterns would cover a multitude of imperfections. I also added wooden knobs from Lowe’s.

Next I decided to use a vinegar/steel wool/instant coffee stain to mimic that aged, darker wood in Indian furniture. I filled up a mason jar with distilled white vinegar, dropped in a pad of fine steel wool, then let it sit for several days until the wool was mostly dissolved. I then put in a generous tablespoon of instant coffee and let it sit another day or so.

This is after one coat of stain and here is where I started to get seriously worried this might not look all that great in the end since the finish was so splotchy. I went over the lightest areas with as thin of a coat as I could, immediately wiping of the excess with some paper towels. It still looked pretty bad so I just decided to go ahead and finish it and see what would happen. Maybe the patterns would distract the eye enough to make it work anyway?

And it did! Here are the afters.

I used an ivory colored craft paint and I finished the dresser with two coats of wipe-on poly to protect the finish. The polyurethane deepened the stain and made it look warmer and the white all over pattern totally distracts from the stain being all splotchy. I achieved the variations in the stencil patterns by creatively taping off and re-using various parts of the stencil. I estimate the whole thing cost me about $150 in supplies (free dresser, stencil, stain components, wood filler, stencil brushes, poly, etc) and took me about 40 hours spread out over about 2 weeks. It was a lot of hard work but since it came out so great it was all worth it.

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