Thursday, April 6, 2017

Distressed Dresser DeRATified

vintage dresser, dresser makeover, distressed painting
Walked into a thrift store.

There was a white, very distressed dresser needing rescue.

The very steep price stopped me in my tracks.

Wait!  It's 50% off day.

Wait! Still too expensive.

Dickered until the price was reasonable.

Quickly before he changed his mind, I whisked her out to the truck and loaded her up.

She sat forlornly in the driveway.

Her drawers stuck.

Her handles bent and torn.

But that's not the worst of it.


Yes, rats!

Her drawers were filled with rat poison pellets.

Her drawers were gnawed, gnawed, and gnawed.

Looks normal.

But, no, gnawed.

By rats.

She sprawled unseemly on her back.

Donning mask and gloves I removed all the poison pellets.

Disposed of them carefully.

Took a shower.

Someone had spilled paint in this drawer.

And let it dry there.

Still she had classic lines and was surprisingly sturdy.

Turned the hose nozzle to the highest pressure.

Washed her with bleach water.

Let her dry completely.

60 grit sandpaper all over to erase the uglies.

Uncovered layers of paint.

The back told her history.

So I left it.

Oak veneer, two different greens, a pink, and a cream.

Made facing plates for the backs of the drawers.

Painted them blue.

Left the rat-gnawed pieces so more of her history is revealed.

I guarantee the cleanliness of the dresser.

But I do have a soft spot for a bit of gnawing on a piece of furniture.

Able to salvage two handles.

Dug through my handle stash to discover two - not matching, but complementary.

(Or complimentary?)

A distressed dresser totally deRATified.


She's sweet.

She's for sale in Booth W-10.

See y'all!

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  1. That poor dresser needed a lot of work and it turned out beautiful. Ugly duckling into a swan?

  2. You are amazing! Saving this sad but in the end lovely piece of furniture! Well done!

  3. You did a fantastic job. Love the details you posted. Very cool that another poor old piece got a new outlook on life.

    Great job.

  4. I agree with you...thrift store prices are getting ridiculous. And that is a pretty little chest! Let us know when it sells!

  5. What a gorgeous piece of furniture!! I hate she endured such trauma...such a shame! I need this chest in my bedroom!! Beautiful, beautiful!!

  6. What rats won't gnaw on!!! It turned out lovely.

  7. Good thing the bodies of the rats were not there! She is probably happy to be restored.

  8. My goodness...I have never seen something chewed like that! They must have been some hungry rats. LOL! My niece has two pet rats that are the sweetest things. I am not scared of them like I am a hamster. They never try to bite and will crawl up under my hair and tickle my ears. I would never try that with a wild rat! The dresser is the blue and that you left some of the history alone. Have a great Friday and weekend!

  9. Only YOU. I love a girl who seees the beauty in the toothmarks of a rat. You're an original.
    And so is the pretty new girl in Booth W-10.

  10. Great style Donna ... so glad that you could give it a new life. I would likely have junked those gnawed boards. But would be hard to replace with the existing dovetailing. Turned out really pretty ... should sell quickly. Good job.
    Audrey Z.

  11. I love a good challenge. You certainly had one. I think there is an old saying that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear but you came mighty close.

  12. check out Mary Barber Art on facebook.

  13. Wow! What a lot of work but it turned out great!



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