My daughter didn’t think I’d want it back. In her defense, it was a mess. One of the drawer fronts was fallen off, the back was in pieces, it was dark, dirty and scratched up.
It just had not fared well with a house of kids and cats.
So it took the four hour ride home with me and sat in the dining room for a couple of months before I got to it. And naturally, I didn’t take ‘before’ photos. Just cuz.
But here are some in progress shots. After I removed about a hundred nails. And filled in the scratches on the top with wood filler. And sanded the h+++ out of the whole thing. And replaced two of the drawer bottoms. And put the whole thing back together with new glue and nails.
We had a whole pile of old maps from National Geographic Magazines. I glued (mixture of wood glue and water) some inside the drawers to add some character. I guess I have been in a traveling state of mind lately.
I also had removed the brass hardware off the drawers and gave them a cleaning. I used an internet tip about using mayonnaise to clean the brass. It sounds weird, but it really worked. Put it on, let it set for a bit and scrub off. I left a little of the patina on because I didn’t want it too brassy, shiny.
Painted the sides of the drawers to match the top using my home made chalk paint recipe with a sample jar of Behr color called Harbor, although I didn’t want a nautical look, I liked that the color matched the maps. (click the link to find my recipe on that post)
I used a compass image from the net and enlarged it using Block Posters, a free site that allows you to enlarge a photo. The image must be in a format that they accept.
I used carbon/transfer paper to trace the design onto the dresser top and then painted in the design. After the paint was dry, I sanded it lightly to give it a faded look and then added stain because the paint was a little too bright for the look I was going for. I just put a little stain on a paper towel, rubbed a little on and buffed it in until I got the effect I was looking for.
Leaving the wood natural, I added a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic to the whole thing, and a couple extra coats to the top.
So with the compass, I decided to use the popular saying from Lord of the Rings, but when I looked up the poem for the proper wording, I found the actual first line, and thought it appropriate for the piece. “All that is gold does not glitter.” It seemed to fit.
I guess my advice is don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into something that looks like it might be worth the effort.
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Thanks for reading,