Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dorothy from Kansas

I saw this listing on Craigslist and raced over to pick it up. Fortunately, my son was home for spring break and he went with me because this dresser was so heavy!  The lady I bought it from said her uncle from Kansas made it by hand. It was in her back yard, the casters didn't work and we slowly inched it out and into my car.  The mirror was equally heavy, beveled glass, and looked really dirty, and I thought it just needed a really good cleaning.

I was amazed at when I was prepping it what a beautiful piece of craftmanship it was. It had never been refinished - which made my life so much easier. But it was dirty - I spent a full day prepping it - sanding, filling gauges and nicks, and spot priming.

The mirror, on the other hand, was a different story. It wasn't cleaning up with your standard household window cleaners. I took to the internet - as I usually do when faced with a furniture dilemma - and tried several different methods that didn't work. And I discovered that the mirror was "clouding" which can be typical with an older piece of furniture and was beyond help. So I primed the frame, took it to my local glass dealer and had them put a new mirror in it. I kept it simple - for frugality and practicality - because the original beveled glass was so heavy that I was afraid it would be too heavy structurally.

My son's friends were all home from college for spring break and were in and out of my house that week causing havoc and eating my food. I asked one of my son's friends to name this new piece for me. I asked him what his grandmother's name was, he said "Dorothy". So I thought Dorothy and the fact that it was from Kansas was especially fittting!

This was a true labor of love for me. It took many, many hours with the intricate contrasting colors on the appliques. I guess in hindsight, I could have pried them off and then reattached them, but I was too afraid I would break something. I painted the body of the dresser in a custom mix of ASCP Old Violet and Old White. It made the most beautiful blue color - reminded me of Wedgwood china! I painted the drawers in Pure White.

Once it was done we brought it in the house to cure - but forgot to take pictures! No one looked too excited to carry this outside again - so we took pictures inside. The pictures don't do this piece justice - it was in front of my baby grand piano and it was impossible to get a good shot -  the lighting was bad - and the blue is "off" in this picture.

But here is a close up that shows the level of detail, labor, and swearing that went into this piece!

The funniest thing about this story is that my son and the same friend delivered it to the lovely lady who bought it. He told her how he named it after his grandmother and she promised to keep calling her "Dorothy"!

Have a great week - it's getting really hot here - why does it always get so miserably hot in September in SoCal?

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I'm sharing at:

DIY Sunday Showcase
That DIY Party/DIY Showoff
Metamorphosis Monday
Inspire Me Monday
Amaze Me Monday
Twirl and Take a Bow
Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life: Inspire Me Tuesday
Wow us Wednesdays
The Handmade Hangout
Funky Junk Interiors
Elizabeth & Co. - Be Inspired
Furniture Feature Friday
Anything Blue Friday


  1. Beth,
    You gave this beautifully crafted piece of furniture a gorgeous new life!
    A true labor of love, but you seamlessly breathed new life into this dresser.
    Thank you for sharing this amazing transformation.

    1. Thank you, Pat! Is it weird to miss a piece of furniture?!?

  2. Beth...this is stunning! I love the contrast of the blue and cream. Beautiful project...thanks so much for sharing with Twirl and Take a Bow!