This fancy little piece started out a beige/yellow color with bronze colored accents and a shiny lacquer top coat. The paint was in need of some love and had its fair share of chips and scuffs. It also had, however, beautiful drawer pulls with a nice patina (or antique schmutz, as J jokingly called it) that were certainly going to stay as is.
After a bit of exploring, we discovered that it came from Sears in the 40's or 50's as part of their Harmony House collection. Given its age, we decided to prime and paint rather than sand and strip to avoid the chance of finding lead based paint. Thanks to the helpful employees at Lowe's for pointing that out!
The first obstacle was going to be getting paint to stick to the shiny lacquer top coat. We couldn't/didn't want to sand, so we went with Bulls Eye Water-based Primer and Sealer by Zissner. It was about $7 for a quart size can (which was plenty) and it worked great. It went on well, dried super fast, and after two coats, completely covered the color underneath. It says its guaranteed to stick to any surface and I believe it. This stuff could properly prime laminate if need be!
After two good coats of primer and lots of filling in the design grooves, I let it sit over night to dry. Plus, I was tired. Second trimester nesting energy can only go so far.
After that, we chose Olympic ONE paint in true white. A little pricier than the primer at about $12 a quart, it is paint and primer in one can, making for a smooth coat the first time. Its scrubbable, durable, and dries with an almost enamel finish - perfect for anything in a kid's room.
I painted all of the primer after C went to bed last night, so it was a quiet, uninterrupted project. I knew I wouldn't get all of the paint done tonight so I bit the bullet and started while he was awake. Thankfully, I found a tiny trim roller set in the closet and let him help me "paint." It kept him occupied the entire time it took me to paint the dresser body! I underestimated his interest in helping, apparently.
Once the body was done in white, I used a sample size can of Olympic ONE (in the same shade as the bedroom walls) to paint the drawers. How Pinteresty, right? The drawer fronts and sides were all done in pink, then I hand painted the detail grooves on the front in the True White. I forgot how relaxing painting was. Once everything was dry and I reattached the hardware, I knew I'd made the right decision in leaving pulls as is. Though the paint looks fresh, they are charming proof of its history.
I absolutely love how this piece turned out and I can't wait to see it as part of the overall room. I can't believe I considered getting rid of it when I found out we couldn't sand it. I will never doubt the potential of an antique again!