Today I’m sharing a furniture makeover after a few months hiatus from painting dressers! After Vintage Market Days I had other things to focus on in my home and blog, so while I was still painting things, building things and creating… I wasn’t painting a lot of vintage furniture like I have been for the past 3-4 years. And it felt so good. I needed that little break.
Thank goodness for a group I am a part of that does a Themed Furniture Makeover once a month. It forced me to find something to makeover. This month was animals, and while I could have gone the easier (for me) route and done birds, like I’ve done HERE and HERE…. I chose to paint something I’ve never seen on a dresser before: a blue whale!
For those that might be wondering, this is NOT a stencil. 🙂 I found some images of blue whales online, practiced in my sketchbook, then drew it with chalk on the drawer faces on top of the blue base color. Last I painted over the chalk with white paint.
The dresser is SUPER old and solid– I’m guessing mahogany– it is a pretty red wood. I discovered as I removed the drawers to paint them, the dovetails were unevenly spaced– which means it was hand built. All of the drawers slide in and out easily and smoothly though (just goes to show that wood glides last longer than metal ones), and after making some repairs to sturdy up the legs, this bebeh was ready to paint!
(Pictured in my friend’s house who I bought it from)
I wanted to choose a sophisticated color, so navy it was! But this time, instead of going with an all-over color, I chose a few colors to vary the tones, mimicking the way the ocean water changes depending on depth.
It is subtle but I love the ombre effect.
Because this piece was so so old, I immediately gravitating to the paint that I think lends the best to primitive pieces: Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. I used Artissimo for the bottom, then a 50/50 mix of Artissimo and Grain Sack for the middle (which is a perfect dusty, coastal blue btw), and French Enamel on top of a thin layer of that Artissimo/Grain Sack mix for the top part of the dresser. The knobs are vintage ceramic ones that I salvaged from a previous dresser makeover, months ago.
In my mind’s eye I wanted this dresser draped with chunky ropes, an anchor sitting against the side, and a large net hanging on the wall behind. Not that it was practical but that I would be visually interesting and tell a story. But I didn’t have any of those items– except the chunky rope. So this was my alternative.
The painting is one from my grandpa’s early years that I was given a print of several years ago.
I love the texture of this thick rope! Makes me want to find a way to incorporate it into my home somewhere!
I chose to go with a slightly more realistic-looking blue whale, vs a cartoon-y one so that this dresser would appeal to a wider age-range. Instead of being a nursery dresser– it is one that can grow with the child.
I’m selling this one, so let me know if you are interested by emailing me at shadesofblueinteriors (at) gmail.com! I have a shipper that goes to the east coast, so don’t rule yourself out if you aren’t local!
Check out the rest of the amazing Animal Theme Furniture Makeovers below!
cassie @ primitive & proper says
this is AMAZING! i am in love, rachel. and i want to redo my whole house. ugh.
Lindsay Eidahl says
What a beautiful piece! Great job! Pinning!
Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says
Oh wow! Love love love!! The ombre effect is stunning and your staging is picture perfect! XO
Karin Chudy (ART IS BEAUTY) says
I love how you thought of EVERYTHING when painting this dresser. From the oceans water to the ropes. I love everything about it. Just fabulous!
Kimm at Reinvented says
OH my gorgeous! Such a beautiful paint job, and your styling is on point! (my kids tell me that means “cool”) 😉 I love everything about it.
Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule says
Stunning! Beautiful job and gorgeous paint color. Love it!
Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces says
Perfect color of blue and love the coastal theme. Your whale is fantastic!
That is a whale of a dresser!! Lol! Love the idea of simply using chalk and then painting over it.
Wendi @ H2OBungalow says
You outdid yourself with this makeover! Stunning and I’m loving that you freehanded your whale!!
Lucy @ Patina Paradise says
Your piece is just stunning along with the styling of it! I think it is my favourite of the animal themed makeovers. I would love it if you would share it on our “furniture only” link party! Friday’s Furniture Fix… http://www.patinaparadise.com/2015/08/fridays-furniture-fix-4.html
Oh this is awesome! Love everything about it and your styling is perfection!
Jen @ Girl in the Garage says
Rachel, honestly I never would’ve expected a whale dresser to look like this – it looks so sophisticated and well done. Kudos to you for hand painting the whale, it doesn’t look cartoonish at all. And the layered paint is gorgeous! Fabulous job, friend!
Marie@The Interior Frugalista says
Rachel, I love the way you staged your dresser. What a fun beachy makeover – the ombre paint technique is fabulous and I’m impressed with your drawing/painting skills. You obviously inherited your grandfather’s talents.
mary anne says
Absolutely beautiful! I know that someone will buy this quickly and will treasure it. If I had a beach house, I know I would want it. Your grandfather’s artwork is amazing and like Marie said, you must have inherited the artsy gene from him.
love love love this! And the two bird dressers referenced… Be still my heart! Great idea with the chalk drawing! I must try that! Thanks for the inspiration ??✌️????? I have a coastal home and this piece would be marvelous in it, yet my husband keeps telling me….” Honey YOU can do that yourself… And I’m just starting to paint furniture… My new love!
Adrienne Imburgia says
I love the whale dresser!
Christy @ Our Southern Home says
This is perhaps my favorite makeover for this month’s theme! I absolutely adore the understate elegance of this piece!
Ana Maria says
I just discovered your blog and signed on as a new follower. I’m not a DIYer at all, but I can sure appreciate art and good taste when I see it! I am going through your past posts and looking forward to your future ones.
This dresser is just so amazing!! I love it so much!
Madalyn May says
Is this item still for sale? If so what is the cost and shipping. I am on the East coast right outside of Florida in a tiny town called Orange Beach, AL. I love this piece so much. Originally I wanted it for my sons room now I think I want it in our living room!
Ellen Masterson says
Very cute and you did a great job on the whale. Do you know where I could find oval pulls like the “before” version of the dresser. I have an old dresser with wood pulls and I think the brass would look better. Thanks!
Ellen, Try eBay. I have purchased lots of vintage pulls on eBay with great success. Etsy is also another great source! Good luck!
The chest drawers is 18th century. Its worth some money.
It’s actually not, although it may look like something like that. I spoke with the original owner and it was made around 100 years ago and it was it pretty sad shape.