Dressers and Vanities

“The Cheyenne” Painted Cowgirl Western Chic Antique

I’m more than excited for this painted furniture project that turned two orphaned pieces into a western chic antique.  Must have been divine intervention to come across a barn find Chevelle mirror and matching sized garage sale dresser within a few short weeks of each other. Both pieces were in terrible shape and possible bon fire bound.

Before Makeover

After soap and water wipe down to get the cobwebs and dirt off, I fixed the peeling veneer.  It didn’t take as long as I thought.  Yay!  Maybe because I worked outside with the radio on.  That’s the best.

I prime everything with oil base primer.  I’ve learned from experience to never trust tannin.  This is both an unpleasant and exciting step.  Oil base primer is goopy to work with but when finished, it looks more like a piece on-the-move towards a new life.

Crackled Paint

I wanted to keep the crackled patina produced by natural aging and abuse.  I left it in place and painted over it plus I added more using spots of crackling media.  Existing cracks came through just fine.  Adding cracks wasn’t easy to get the affect I wanted – small thin ones, but that which I got was acceptable.  The base color is taupe, something neutral and soft but dark enough for some contrast.  I ended up dry brushing over the top after crackling to soften the affect.

Fun With Embellishments

Wide drawers with lots of space between the handles is an open invitation for stenciling.  I used the same taupe as the pre-cracked base.  For a french chic style, wide drawers like this are perfect for some kind of french script but . . . going for a western style, I stole these graphic designs from the same stencil.  

My painting bff told me about using paper clay and molds (check out Iron Orchid Designs website to learn how) to make cool fake carvings.  The key hole is one then at the bottom of the dresser was a perfect spot for a medallion.  It’s not expensive but I learned to make them at least a half day ahead of time to let them half dry before glueing them in place.  I got great advice to not wait until they dry completely and become stiff. 

The top wood carving is glazed and distressed by wet cloth and sand paper.  

Hardware Makes Western Chic Style

Not until it was time to choose the hardware did this makeover turn cowgirl western.  In my knob and handle sample inventory, (the place I collect my favorites), I grabbed these rusty cast iron flower knobs to try on.  Yeah, just like in the bedroom piecing together clothes.  I put these knobs on and I looked no further.  Thank goodness there were matching handles I could buy.  

Now this makeover is called “The Cheyenne”: Cowgirl Western Chic.  I happened to have this 48 star vintage US Flag in the booth.  They look great together.  Is it 1865?

Cowgirl Western Chic dresser with Chevelle Mirror

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