I saw this lovely old chest for sale in one of the local antique markets around here. And around here, “antique ” means good old wood stuff that some Etsy wannabe has ruined with chalk paint and then stenciled a sea shell on top. But this was different – it wasn’t chalk paint it was old fashioned oil based paint, lovingly worn away at the touch points instead of assaulted with 100 grit sand paper to look distressed*. The description in the local ad called this dresser “a lovely old gal” and she sure is. Even the modest floral design is hand-painted freehand and is exactly right.
But in person it was hideous. It’s hulking presence was enormous – the top was almost at my chin. The green and yellow hues which looked so appealing in the photo were soiled with decades of cigarette smoke. It was just wrong. And the price tag was an unacceptable $329.00.
But I was looking for a small dresser to put into the guestroom to hold bed linens and to be another surface for guests to lay out their stuff. At the same store, I found this sort of cottage-y thing at the right price ($50.00) and unfortunately wearing a coat of pale aqua chalk paint. It did have the original hardware which mercifully was unmolested. My intention was to paint it in the same color scheme as the lovely old gal and adorn it with a modest amount of tasteful floral decals.
It might appear to be another hulking specimen but it’s really quite petite – only 36″ tall and 18″ x 29″. It sat for a week or two in the guest room while I thought things over, and then I bought two sample paint pots from Lowes. Today I applied spots of paint in various combinations to determine if it was going to be green on yellow or yellow on green. And while I was up close and personal with it, I made a discovery about this little dresser.
This is the point in my story where I apologize to the chalk paint. Because the chalk paint is the only thing holding it together. The person who sold it must have found the chopped up pieces in a wood pile somewhere and reassembled it. It’s that much of a mess. So instead of a simple independent painting project this has turned into a wood glue wood filler extensive sanding that then painting project that now depends on Sami . Who probably will conclude that he has a say in the finished appearance. Correction: … will erroneously conclude …
I’ve lost heart for it. I’m going to go through with the rehab just to get it out of my system and then I’ll sell it. I made a mistake bringing this home with me and I don’t want to be reminded of that.
*Distressed is exactly the right term for this treatment. I am EXTREMELY distressed by how many salvageable wood pieces have been sacrificed to appease the chalk paint gods.