Circa 1890 Dresser Make-over

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 -

Several months back, while out yard sale-ing, I came upon my oldest score ever!

No, my photo isn't crooked. This antique dresser only had 1 of the original wood casters left.

I spoke with the owner and he informed me that he had it appraised years ago, and was told it was built around 1890! You don't ever find anything that old in Arizona!

It came with a matching mirror (still buried in the garage). It needed some major work, but the old girl was in surprisingly good shape for being 123! Sadly, the original marble top was missing a corner, but that helped me talk to price down.

 Luckily, the drawers all worked perfectly! I just had to install some stops, so they wouldn't push in too far.

I spent several hours making repairs before I could get to the fun part.

I finally got around to trying milk paint (LOVE it!). I chose Salem Red by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. 


I always though milk paint wouldn't have great coverage, but I was wrong! It covered beautifully with 2 coats. I bought 2 pints and didn't even use 1. When they say a "pint", it means one pint of powder, not of mixed paint. One package goes a long way, SO much cheaper than chalk based paint!

Any experience with milk paint? Your thoughts?

Anyways, here's the final result!

Once again, the "before and after"

I'm really happy with the way the top turned out. Nice and "antique" looking. Don't ask about the finish... its still too soon. I'm still trying to forget about that experience. Let's just say it was a multi-step process.

I got some of the great, rustic chippyness milk paint is known for!

I really liked the patina of the existing hardware (NOT original, but still old and cool), but the 70's style back plates had to go.

The new casters sure made it nice to move around!

I wish I had somewhere for this one in my house. I love the history! I've been thinking about everything this dresser has seen in it's life. I wonder where it started and who it belonged to.

Man, what I would give to have those keys! 

What do you think? If you love it, its available under the shop tab.

Linking at:

The Koenigs Create Centerpiece Wednesdays Button The Shabby Nest Furniture Feature Fridays Liz Marie Blog ThePinJunkie Craft Dictator Shine on Friday Link Party Fidlin' Fridays Link Party DIY Vintage Chic DIY blog Classy Clutter ..Twigg studios Funky_Junk's_Party_Junk_link_party Give Me the Goods Monday The DIY'ers The DIY Dreamer Centerpiece Wednesdays Button


  1. It's fantastic! I've never tried milk paint. But I suppose it will get me one of these days!


  2. It looks great! You did an amazing job building a new top for it.

  3. Love what you did with this piece. Gorgeous! Great color choice.

  4. OMG! Absolutely amazing! pant pant....LOVE IT!!!☺

  5. It looks so pretty! Great job, and not I haven't tried milk paint yet...someday! I am with you I love pieces with history! I am curious about the top now, don't take too long, lol! Pinned it!

  6. I love it! I can vouch for how little of this paint that you need. I bought $100 worth when they had a sale. I think I have more than a lifetime's worth in every color.

    If you want to do something different with the Salem Red on your next piece, try a wash of Pitch Black over top. Wash and wipe off. It will look great.

  7. This is beautiful! I've never even heard of milk paint before, but the flaking is really beautiful. I'll have to look into it!

  8. Please send this to live with me! This looks gorgeous! Found you on Inspire Me Please link up! If you like to like up come over to for Craft Frenzy Friday!! I hope to see you there!

  9. Wow! Looks great. I'd love to redo a piece like this but I'd be scared to ruin an antique. Thanks for sharing! Stop by my Friday's Five Features and link up this post (and others)!

  10. Beautiful re-do! You brought her back to life for another century!!
    I use Milk Paint (Real Milk Paint Co) all the time! I love it on antique pieces. Did you finish it with
    natural tung oil?? thats the best finish for milk paint. It just brings the color to life!! I did one in a
    ultra marine blue and a few in turquoise. I love those colors.
    you can see them and the others under "Gallery", scroll way down. Check em out if you get a chance!

  11. Amazing re vamp, it looks amazing, really impressive

  12. I love this and the color is awesome. Great redo. Thanks for linking to DIY Sunday Showcase

  13. This is awesome!! Love the new top you created - looks like it has always been a part of the dresser! Love the red as well! It looks great!

  14. OK totally in love with this!!!! I was just thinking of redoing a furniture piece in red! And this has convinced me! Thanks for sharing DIY Sunday Showcase!! I am gonna pin this to our board!


    1. Hey just to let ya know, this is my favorite pick of the week! The feature posts Saturday!

  15. Fabulous piece and I love the new color. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  16. This is the coolest makeover!! I can't believe you found something so old too, and it looks so nice and solid. You did a beautiful job restoring it. It definitely went to the right new home, until it goes to another home :) Featuring tomorrow! You are so talented!

  17. HOw Beautiful! Thank you for linking up! I am featuring you tonight at my Furniture and Paint Party! Hope to see you again at 8PM MST!!


  18. Absolutely gorgeous! I do hope you can reuse the marble top somewhere else, recut to size. It would be too sad to have that go to waste!

  19. Absolutely gorgeous! I only hope you can repurpose the marble top somwhere else! It would be sad to see that go to waste.

  20. You did a beautiful job. I will be featuring this tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks. http;//


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