Friday, May 11, 2012

Antique Dresser Re-do :: How to Glaze Furniture

Most of the pieces I refinish have a story, a history of sorts, regardless of whether I purchase a piece, find it on the side of the road or inherit it.

This french provincial antique dresser was my mother in law's. (Sadly, I don't have a BEFORE photo. My camera got lost in the move, so I borrowed my mom's fancy camera to take these shots.)

She and her late husband Ken (Kyle's dad) shopped for and purchased this together while they were engaged, almost 50 years ago. And like most everything in Phyllis' house, it was so well taken care of.

The drawer tracks and dovetail joints were in pristine condition and other than a few surface scratches it looked like new.

Perfect drawer joints.
When she told me a couple years ago that she was getting rid of it, I snagged it right up and it's been sitting in storage ever since.

I knew I wanted to go bright with this piece and steer clear from the safe, neutral colors I normally gravitate towards.

I followed my normal process for prepping a piece for color:
  • Lightly sand to remove debris, cobwebs and dirt. 
  • Apply wood filler to scratches and dents to smooth out surface. 
  • Sand again. 
  • Roll "high traffic" areas with oil based primer and spray oil based primer in places with lots of detail and grooves.
  • Sand entire piece again. Wipe with damp cloth.
80% of the work happens BEFORE the color goes on. Take the time to do these things and your piece will not only look great, but will be much more durable.

I use a Husky conventional HVLP paint sprayer to apply my paint, but you can certainly use a good ole' sponge brush and sponge roller (I rarely use a bristle brush, if I do I ONLY use a Purdy brush).

I chose the color "Swim" by Valspar. A creamy, rich turquoise.

iPhone pics here. Camera was MIA.

I loved the color, even before the glaze.

Now onto ANTIQUING. Once the paint has set for a minimum of 24 hours, it's time to apply the antique glaze. There are LOTS of ways out there to achieve that old, antique look and I've tried a few. But let me tell you about this fabulous product I discovered, Rustoleum's Decorative Glaze in "Java Brown". This stuff rocks!

My beloved Rustoleum does it again! I searched for this product online with no success; I think it's still too new on the market. It's pre-mixed clear glaze and wood stain. Pre-mixed is a good thing, people: one product instead of two and pretty much fool proof.

Using a foam or bristle brush, apply the glaze in long strokes covering entire surfaces. Go to TOWN! Get the glaze in every nook and cranny.

Don't panic. 95% of it wipes off!

Wait 15-30 seconds and then using a lint-free rag, apply moderate pressure and just wipe off the glaze until you are happy with the look and richness of the color.

You'll do 1-3 coats depending on the richness of "antiquing" you prefer, until you get something like this...

Pretty, huh?

Once I got the piece glazed, I needed to tackle that hardware. It was pretty tarnished after 50 years.

I rubbed A LOT of Brasso onto the hardware, and removed years and years of tarnish. Worked like a charm.

Before Brasso.

After Brasso.

I sealed the piece in Polycrylic's "Satin" and reattached the hardware.

She's now listed in the Shop

Aw...those legs! They are gorgeous!

Will be linking ...

Primitive and Proper

life rearrangedThe DIY Show Off

The Shabby Nest


  1. This is one of my favorite pieces yet. You are so talented {and patient}!

  2. It's beautiful Amber! The color is perfect.

  3. Very nice job, Amber! Thanks for pointing me to the glaze. I'm going to have to try that out! Where did you find it if it's not online? I found you from Be Different Act Normal. I'm your newest follower!

    1. Hi Cyndi! Thanks for stopping by! I found the antique glaze at Home Depot. I presume they'd carry it at all Home Depots. It was the only shade they offered, as I think it's still a new product. I had never seen it before. You might just give a call to your local Home Depot to see if they carry it. :)

  4. Wow - it looks great Amber! You should also link to Cassie @ Primitive & Proper - she does a weekly furniture only link party and I'm sure she would LOVE to see this!

  5. You did an outstanding job! Seriously. The color suits her perfectly. I have a vintage dresser like that just sitting waiting for me to make up my mind what I want to do. I think I will try the spray gun like you did. So much easier I'm sure, than chalk paint. Thanks.

  6. beautiful! that color with the brass is one of my all time favorite combos- just gorgeous!

  7. I love the color and the fact you just cleaned off and reused the hardware with its original finish! Beautiful job! - Susan

  8. What type of paint was used? Satin? Eggshell?

  9. Holy Cow; that is GORGEOUS!! I just stumbled upon you while refinishing my bathroom vanity and molding. I didn't like the way the main color came out, and today purchased the same glaze! I am hoping that it will achieve the look I was going for. I also purchased it at Home Depot, and it was also the only color offered. I have now refinished a couple of furniture pieces,and I think I'm hooked! You are very gifted and have quite the eye!

  10. Hi, I bought an old heavy dresser via Craigslist (for a measly $4) just a few weeks ago with the idea of either making into a craft station or into a TV console. I decided to go the TV route and came looking for ideas and found your site. How did you sand the edges and rounded areas? There are quite a few grooves and small spaces on the dresser I bought and want to make sure I get them as good as possible. Will it matter if I miss spots? Thanks.

  11. Okay, don't know if my last comment will post or not...basically, I was wondering how you sanded the small areas or if it is a 'your best is good enough' type thing. I have a dresser I am in the process of turning into a TV console and want to make sure to get it the best I can. Thanks. Your work is beautiful by the way.

  12. Okay, not sure if my last comments will post. I'm basically wanting to know how detailed you got in the sanding. I have a dresser that I've started working on but can't seem to find a way to get the little tight corners and all the grooves. Is it a 'your best is good enough' for those spots or do you have any ideas? Thanks.

  13. Hi there! great stuff, glad to drop by your page and found these very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing, keep it up!
    Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or an early automobile. They are most often bought at antique shops, or passed down as an estate. For those seeking antique furniture and decorative arts in the San Francisco, CA area, you’ll find that Kaminski Auctions is the destination for museum quality American furniture attaining excellent prices for both buyer and seller.

    antique furniture san francisco

  14. HI, this one is great stuff. Perfectly combined two colour, you changed the whole look of this furniture.

  15. My first post on your blog and really it is just to say thanks for your Nice Post And Shairing
    You always pick such interesting i visit your blog regularly for updates!
    Loved your description of it.
    Thank you for picking this one.

  16. i must admire it. you are really an artist . i love the way you hae mixed the different colors and gave them a new look.
    Quality Beds and Mattresses


Leave me a lovely comment!

Hi, I'm Amber!

Hi, I'm Amber!
I feel most "at home" sipping a cup of coffee, a paint brush in my hand, a kid on my hip, barefoot in the kitchen, knee deep in dirt on a farm, my toes in the sand, or buried in treasures at a thrift store. Thanks for stopping by my blog - I hope you leave inspired.

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