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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Life

Amazing photos, amazing coworkers

It pays to know a professional photographer.

I’ve talked about my coworker and friend Tony Richards before on the blog. He’s our department’s kick ass photographer.

It’s not often that I am the subject of Tony’s photo shoot. If I’m involved at all, I play the role of photographer’s assistant (i.e. the person Tony gets to boss around). Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in a shoot as the subject! The result was too fun not to share.

Enter the most BAD ASS picture you’ll ever see of me (or possibly another human being) in your life:

JessBadassBAM!

OK, how cool is that!?! My whole team — we’re the creative department — recently just did a quirky photo shoot so we could have fun photos for our website. Of course, my prop was a hammer 🙂 That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

And if my badass picture wasn’t cool enough, I had to share these photos, too.

JessAndChrisBattleShot

Chris (the guy I’m knocking out) and I were helping Tony set up for a boxing-themed shoot. I often step in as the “model” to help Tony get his lighting just right. Since we were both around, we put on the gloves and put on a pretty good show.

JoyceVsVictor-28Mar14-5 (1)

I won 🙂

Like I said, it pays to have an awesome photographer as your work buddy. Mad props (I know no one says that anymore) to Tony and his awesome photography skills. You are crazy not to peek at his website: http://tonyrichardsphoto.com/

Speaking of work, the magazine that Tony and I work on together came out earlier in the week 🙂 We took the lead on this issue, which was a crazy, stressful and awesome experience all at the same time. I am so happy that it is out and looking pretty!

SmithBizPic

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekends. I plan to finally get outside and work on a few furniture projects. Woohoo!

Life

Chicago!

We had a great trip in Chicago for my sister’s wedding. The hubby and I were TOTAL tourists (which he hates and I love) as we wandered around the city. I’d been to Chicago years and years ago with my dad and barely remembered it. Brian had never been. What a fabulous city!

We wandered to all of the tourist hubs and I snapped away at all of the cool things to see.

We visited Cloudgate in Millenium Park, Navy Pier, Lake Michigan and the Shedd Aquarium! Chicago has so many cool sculptures, too. We had a blast and I cannot wait to go back.

Ever been to Chicago? What is your favorite spot that you visited? I need tips for next time 🙂