Furniture

Revamped antique dresser

I grew up with this antique dresser always somewhere in my house. Ever have an affinity for something just because you grew up with it? Well, that’s how I feel about this dresser. It’s not quite my style, but I love it nonetheless. With four drawers, each with their own keyhole, and a beautiful curve — this piece is exactly what comes to my mind when I think of an antique dresser. My dresser comes with an added bonus — a small teal bead that me and my sisters stuck in one of the keyholes. We could easily remove the bead, but it has become sort of sentimental through the year — like, oh, is that the dresser with the bead stuck in it?

Antique Dresser_Before

Anyway, long story short, my mom and step dad had the dresser at their hose for years. Over the years, it somehow made its way into the garage and became a storage chest for nails, screws and the like. Needless to say, it got a little bit beat up.

Antique Dresser_Before_Top

The top really needed some love. With a crack 1/3 the way through it and all sorts of nastiness to the finish, it was crying for some help.

But let’s rewind….

Before I could tackle any of this, I had to clean this puppy up.

Dresser SPiders

Talk about some serious spider webs.

OK, back to the restoration.

Restor-A-Finish

I pulled out my walnut restor-a-finish and a new bottle of mahogany finish and mixed the two together. The dresser was an in-between color, so I figured a mix would be the best option.

Before I started the application of the restor-a-finish, I first wiped down the whole dresser, removed the drawers and took off the hardware.

You can really see the color variation in the finish in this next picture, especially underneath where the hardware goes. You might also notice some doggy paws keeping me company.

Drawers_no hardware

I also filled the crack in the top of the dresser using Elmer’s wood filler.

Filling crack

Once that dried, I sanded it smooth.

Then, I got to restoring. Using gloves and a ventilator mask for safety, I started applying the restor-a-finish to the whole dresser. All you have to do is put it on with a paper towel and let it soak in. In 20 minutes, wipe the finish back off. I did this twice, although that probably isn’t necessary. When that was dry, I simply added some feed-n-wax to the piece. You use the same method for the wax — wipe it on with a paper towel, then in 20 minutes remove it again.

And that’s it! I reattached the hardware and put the drawers back in.

Antique Dresser_Top_After

Check out that top! All sorts of fancy and nice.

Top

Here’s another shot. You can see there are still scratches in the top, but they don’t stand out anymore because of the treatment done. If you wanted the scratches out completely, you’d have to sand down the stop, which would remove the original finish of the piece. It’s a toss-up. The scratches don’t bother me, so I opted to let them stay with the original finish of the piece.

Ready for the whole thing?

BEFORE:

Antique Dresser_Before

AFTER:

Dresser After 2

It has such a nice color to it again!

This dresser is a perfect example of not needing to paint old furniture. Don’t get me wrong — I love a painted piece of furniture, but I hate to see beautiful antiques covered with paint because people aren’t aware of their other options!

Dresser After

My mom and stepdad will be sad they let it go. Now I need to figure out where it will live in my house. I am thinking it will go in our guest room and that we could use it as a future changing table for future babies. That seems to be a popular trend these days, anyway. Wouldn’t this be adorable in a little girl’s room? Of course it would, that’s why my mom got it for her three daughters 🙂

BONUS:

I don’t usually share outtakes from my projects and photo shoots, but Remmy was all over me for this project. I guess when his momma is outside, he’s gonna be glued to her side.

Remmy in project
Here he is in his cone of shame. Don’t worry, he’s OK. He just irritated his paw and wouldn’t leave it alone.
Rem2
Don’t worry, Rem. I wanted to take your picture, not one of the dresser.
Rem1
Staring contest. I won, he got bored.
Rem3
Oh, were you trying to take a picture? My bad…
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Craft Projects

Key and Crystal Wind Chime

As promised — new craft project!!!

Remember how I altered my aunt’s beautiful wind chime to match her preexisting one? That project inspired me to think out of the box to create her a final wind chime to complete her set. Both of her chimes are copper with key and crystal accents, and I happened to have a ton of old keys and chandelier crystals in my craft room. What luck!

{A Smith of All Trades} Old wind chime

{A Smith of All Trades} New wind chime

I set out to make my own wind chime using  keys, crystals, wire, chain and an embroidery hoop.

{A Smith of All Trades} Hoop unpainted

First, I separated my hoop into two pieces. I went outside and hit each side with some copper spray paint to match my aunt’s existing chimes.

{A Smith of All Trades} Hoops painted

Once the hoop was dry, I brought it inside and drilled six holes around the inner of the two hoops. This is where I attached the actual chimes, using the outer ring as a safety measure against the wire getting too much wear and tear.

{A Smith of All Trades} Hoop

When the holes were drilled, I started making each strand of the chime. I didn’t want my strands to be even, so I didn’t bother measuring out the chain. For this step, I laid out my supplies: pliers, wire, chain, keys, crystals.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tools

I had two sizes of crystals from a leftover chandelier: Large drops and small faceted octagons. I used the large drops at the end of each chain to give them weight. For keys, I had a nice mixture to choose from. I opted to not be matchy-matchy. I spray painted a few copper, but left others natural.

To get the crystals onto the chain, I took a copper wire and looped it through the pre-drilled hole.

{A Smith of All Trades} Wire

Once the wire was in and trimmed to a good length, I started to twist it around itself, creating a loop at the other end and hooking in the chain. Once the chain was hooked onto the wire, I came back down the wire, wrapping it around itself until the wire ran out.

{A Smith of All Trades}Wire Wrap

After the anchor crystals were on, I continued this process up the chain. Crystal, key, crystal, key. I added more keys to some chains, and fewer to others.

{A Smith of All Trades} Crystal bead

Once the chains were created, I attached them to the embroidery hoop using the same method of twisting the wire. When all six chains were added, I added two chains at the top (using the existing holes) to hang the chime from.

{A Smith of All Trades} Crystals

Aren’t the crystals beautiful?!

{A Smith of All Trades} Key

And I just love the different keys that I added to the chime. They are all so unique.

{A Smith of All Trades}Wind Chime cg

The chime is so pretty, I almost don’t want to send it off to my aunt. But it will match so nicely.

{A Smith of All Trades} Wine Chime1

{A Smith of All Trades} Wind Chime

{A Smith of All Trades} Wind Chime 2

What do you think? Will you be grabbing your space embroidery hoops and old chain to make a chime? You could make on using beads instead of crystals! Anything would go 🙂