Refinished Embossed Dresser

 You may wonder how long it takes me to do a project. 
Sometimes, it takes me a really, Really long time. 
Case in point:
Maybe you missed me sharing with you how I acquired this dresser. You can read about it here. The dresser sat in my garage for most of the summer, all of the fall and even part of the winter. It needed some repair work, which I’ll show you in an upcoming post. I purchased this dresser back in August and I just NOW (December) finished it.
Why did it take me so long?
Here’s my list of excuses Reasons:
1. Long Project List
At the same time as I had this dresser, I was also working on my buffet and coat rack and mirror shelf and pretty much all the projects you see in my archives from August – December. 
2. Lack of Vision
 When I bought the dresser, I had no vision for it. I loved the lines and the potential but beyond that I wasn’t sure what to do with it. 
Did I want to paint it and, if so, what color(s)? 
What did I want in the center panel? 
Another hand-painted design, or something else? 
Was I going to keep the dresser for me, or try to fix it up and resell it? 
Okay, I only entertained that last question for about a nano-second. I’m definitely keeping the dresser, but I just wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.

3. Repairs Needed
While I was waiting for lightning to strike, I focused on the repairs. I worked on this in bits and pieces, but here’s the upshot of my preparation.
 In between repairing the dresser and all my other projects, disaster struck and the harp on the mirror broke because I had left it sitting precariously (Bad Suesan. Bad, bad Suesan) on top of the dresser. The uprights that hold the mirror on broke off and a few more weeks went into fixing those pieces.
I will spare you the details of the internal and external debates that ensued regarding the color of this dresser. By early October, I had narrowed my color choice to this color. 
(I originally saw this color on a beautiful dresser redo in blogland, but I can not seem to find the link. The gal who did the dresser had about 4 gallons of oops paint that someone didn’t want. If you know who I’m talking about, please let me know to give her proper credit).
I bought the color and had painted the dresser and was working on repairing the harp, when I made another choice that would set me back. 
I went to the Goodwill and found a Restoration Hardware duvet for $2.14 (I know, right?! Original price is in the upper $200 range) in a color I can only describe as Gree-Blu-Ray (not Green, not Blue, not Gray). I have since learned that Restoration Hardware calls this color “Sea Green” but GreeBluRay is a much better fit. The Gulf Winds blue has a lot of gray in it, but compared to GreeBluRay, the gray recedes and all you see is Baby Boy Blue.
As usual, I talk too much. I really just wanted this to be a Before/After post. I will show you those pictures in just a moment. Before I do, here are the colors that I used for my dresser, since they look a bit different in all of the following pictures.
Behr calls my duvet color “Cloud Burst” but only because they weren’t smart enough to come up with GreeBluRay.
Without further ado…here are the Before and After photos.

This is a VERY bold color choice for me.  
Even though I love color, I still tend to stick to neutrals. Originally, I was going to do the entire dresser the GreeBluRay. After I painted the dresser and held the silver hardware up , I was surprisingly indifferent to my direction. A conversation with the Daja about colors reminded me that I love red and aqua together. I figured I’d give the two colors a whirl and see how I liked it.
I may redo the mirror part to make the harp the GreeBluRay and the base Red, to match how it was in the original. I’m not sure I like all the red in the mirror area, but we’ll have to see how I feel about it in a few months. I may end up covering all the red.
The metal hardware was bronze-ish and blah. Silver spray paint and Valspar’s Antiquing Glaze in Asphaltum give it a beautiful tarnished silver look.

 Here’s a close-up of the damage to the dresser and after I fixed it.

I used Valspar’s Metal and Patina Glaze in Pewter for the dresser. This gives a little silver shimmer to the dresser, that is impossible for me to photgraph. But the dresser twinkles with the metallic finish on it. The dark gray of the glaze settled into the cracks in the finish and give the dresser a beautiful aged patina.
So, are you curious what I did to that center panel? 
I have a whole post coming about the technique I made up for it. Finding a motif I love was hard for me. I like so many things, it’s often difficult for me to settle on any one design. Ultimately, my love of nature won out
Take a look:
I embossed the design on the front of the dresser using a shrink-proof drywall spackle. I drew the birds and branches on the front panel and then embossed my design (edited: I painted the wall fix on with a brush to make the embossed design). The glaze settled into the dimensions of the embossing and gives it some beautiful definition, which I have yet to pick up on my camera.
Here’s a closer picture of the embossing:
As you can see, I wasn’t totally able to get rid of the crack in the panel. I suppose I could have worked on it more, but I like the imperfection on the dresser. It’s a naturally distressed piece of furniture. The light caught it just right in this picture, but in reality, you’d have to really look for it to find the crack.
This dresser was really an experiment on my part. I’m trying to ease into color. I did a new technique with the embossing and I’m defining a direction for my bedroom. Since this is a very organic process for me, I may change my mind in a few months. Even though it’s a stretch for me, I do love the dresser. It’s opposite my door when I walk into my bedroom. It makes me smile every time I go in there, so for now, it stays as it is.
Cost Breakdown:
Dresser – $25
Paint Samples – $11.88 (four @ $2.97)
Antiquing Glaze – $8.97 – this will last me forever, though.
Metal & Patina Glaze – $12.97 – also will last me for several projects
(edited to add): Smart No Shrink Wall Fix (Spackle stuff) –  $6.98
Furniture Wax – $8.97
Total Project Cost: $67.79 $74.77
Total Project Time – Gah! Let’s not go there. Between the repairs, my indecision and experimentation, I easily have 100 hours into this thing, but it’s probably more.
I’m linking this project up on:

Be Sure to Check out the Wonderful Parties on my Side Bar!