Do you remember the Mr. Men & Little Miss books by Roger Hargreaves? I spent many happy afternoons reading about Mr. Messy and Little Miss Chatterbox in the Chester County Library as a child. My favorite part was looking at all the books on the back cover to track those I had already read and which still needed to be tackled.
My most recent project could easily join the ranks as “Mr. Handsome”.
This classy number started in a blah sort of state. He had great lines but was missing that WOW factor.
I started his makeover by sanding down the top. I had a vision of a vibrant yellow body and a super rich wood top. Annie Sloan’s “English Yellow” would do the trick. I imagined him looking something like this:
Once I was done sanding, I tried to separate the top from the body. This was going to make it easier to stain it without ruining my paint job. Unfortunately, due to the placement of the screws, I had to come up with another plan. Plan B led to using painters tape and wax paper to create a barrier between the body and the top.
The body work started with a coat of shellac. I didn’t want to risk any bleed through when it came time to paint. Because the original stain was so dark, I had a sneaky suspicion that it would be best to seal it first. (I was right by the way. I forgot to shellac a portion of one of the drawers and sure enough – it bled through!)
I had to chuckle to myself as I stood back a few times to look at the dresser and its drawers upside down and completely sprawled out in the shop. Maybe he was more of “Mr. Upside Down” at this point…
He was looking good though!
I put 4 coats of paint on because I wanted to ensure I had complete coverage. Each of my coats was pretty thin as well because the temperature has been warm here in PA. A thinner coat would ensure quicker drying time.
After the body was done, I started staining the top with General Finishes’ Java Gel Stain. Let me tell you, this product is AWESOME SAUCE! It creates a deep rich espresso color on your wood and it’s absolutely stunning on tops of dressers and larger pieces. Plus, it’s a gel so it’s easier to control as opposed to a Minwax stain. I always get mine at my local Woodcraft store, which is conveniently right around the corner.
This picture is after coat #1. I applied 3 total because I wanted a deep finish. I even let it sit for a few minutes before I wiped it off.
After the top was stained, I put on 4 coats of General Finishes’ Flat Out Flat water based sealer for the top, and Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax on the body (which we carry in the shop).
After distressing lightly, he was almost ready. Just missing some jewelry in the form of drawer knobs.
Hobby Lobby just opened a branch near me, and I was super excited to check out their inventory of hardware. I was a bit disappointed because while they had a wide selection, they only had 5 or less of each piece. I also didn’t find knobs that would compliment this color. English Yellow is vibrant and it pops. I wanted to knobs to do the same and give the dresser a masculine vibe. After striking out, I took a trip to Consign it Furniture in Kennett and found the perfect knobs.
The old world map had the same color yellow and the greens and blues were so complimentary up against the English Yellow. Score one for Mr. Handsome! (Well, more like score eight knobs total…)
After a bit of distressing, he was ready to step out onto the scene and take his place on the showroom floor! Mr. Handsome is officially for sale at Love Street Vintage for $395.
Well hello there, sir…
Going my way?