Navy State of Mind FAT Paint Dresser… Before and After

A couple weeks before the Calgary Home + Garden show, Victoria of FAT Paint asked me if I could refinish a dresser that would be on the Main Stage with Amanda Forrest while she introduced her incredible new colours in the FAT Paint line to the Home + Garden Show attendees… UM YEAH I COULD… I’m not even kidding when I tell you that within minutes I had sourced four dressers options on kijiji… then I had two responses within the hour, and this dresser was in my possession within six hours of receiving the message!

FAT Dresser Before and After - 1

$80 and this bad boy was mine!… It was in really great shape, the drawers were all intact, and the hardware was darling!… The colour that Amanda chose for the piece to be reloved in was Navy State of Mind… the new incredible blue.

Now, painting with this great Canadian chalk paint is a breeze!… the prep required for this piece was less than minimal… I vacuumed out any dust from the inside, removed the hardware,  and gave the whole thing a wipe down with a damp cloth and then dried it off… aaaaaand then I was good to attack it with paint!…

FAT Dresser Before and After - 2

Like I always say… don’t get the first coat blues… the first coat always looks rough… see above… don’t fret my pets… once you get the second coat on there it’ll be looking like a beauty!  I worked my way around the dresser using a flat, thin, and very smooth brush… by the time I had worked around the dresser and painted the four drawers it was dry enough that I could work my way around again with my second coat!…

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See!… much better after the second coat!… One my second coat as dry I gave the piece a light sand and wipe down and proceed to apply a third coat… I like to give my pieces a nice light sand to create the heirloom look and feel to the piece and to keep the paint intact and to not burn through and I find the third coat gives me the amount of paint I need to not burn through… if you like the more vintage/shabby chic/farm house/roughed up look you can stop after two coats and go to town sanding away and distressing where the piece would naturally wear…

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Here he is… third coat drying… after the third coat dried I gave the whole piece and drawers a light sand to create a luxuriously smooth finish… then a wipe down to remove any dust and I moved right onto clear coating with FAT CLEAR… typically I like to wax furniture like dressers, and I recommend clear coat for higher traffic pieces of furniture, but as this was going to be travelling to the Home + Garden Show and loading in and out of a vehicle more than your typical dresser I wanted to make sure that it was well protected…

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Okay see this!?… DON’T FRET here at the clear stage either!… the CLEAR will look milky and streaky when you are applying it, but as it dries it dries beautifully clear with an incredible wax like sheen… I also like to lightly sand between my layers of clear… so I cleared… lightly sanded… put on a second coat of clear and then a very light sanding and fini!….

A tip for FAT CLEAR… when you open the can it will be separated… this is normal… resist the urge to shake the can, instead take a minute and a stir stick and give it a nice gentle stir until it is mixed… we don’t want to shake it and introduce air bubbles…

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Now the hardware… turns out on closer inspection the hardware was really very darling with little hearts all-around the face of the pull rings!… overall I found that the hardware was little too dark for what I had in mind to make this piece pop… and being that I’m not a fan of spray painted hardware I busted out the good stuff… the real deal… gold leaf!

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Coating the plates of the pulls first with the leafing adhesive size I waited for the size to get tacky and then gently applied pieces of leaf… coating the full surface in leaf and then brushed away excess leaf…

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…leafing can get a little tricky… if you have clammy hands try working with a thin pair of white cotton gloves to help keep the leaf from sticking to your hands…

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…after you brush away the excess leaf if there are areas that need to have leaf added just paint the area the needs leaf with the size, wait for the size to get tacky, and then place more of the leaf over the sized area… and gently press into place and brush away the excess leaf…

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… I also use my soft brush to press the leaf into any detail areas on the piece… work the leaf into the detailed areas…

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After the piece is leafed, and excess leaf brushed away, give the piece a gentle buff with a soft cloth to work out any wrinkles and to make sure the leaf is well adhered to the size… see  the itty bitty hearts around the ring!? *swoon*

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So that leaf didn’t get stuck all over the place I chose not to size the whole piece of hardware in one go… I left the ring until after the plate was gilded… trying to work leaf for the plate around a sized ring would have been tricky and just not worth the potential aggravation of the leaf sticking to the ring when I was trying to place it onto the plate… seriously patience is your friend when you are working with gold leaf… take your time and enjoy the process… you’ll be happier with the results if you don’t rush your work 🙂

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Here is a shot of brushing away and working the leaf into the little hearts around the ring… I also like to work on a towel or a piece of paper towel to catch any little pieces of leaf that are getting brushed away… it is very light and can blow around all over the place… working on a textured surface helps to contain the little bits making cleanup easier when you’re done!

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The top drawer had two pull knobs that I leafed as well… once all of the hardware was leafed it I found that it was TOO SHINY and TOO NEW looking… it needed a little age… so I took out the FAT Glaze in black and raw umber and I started to play…

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Here you can see the hardware before on the far left, the gold leafed hardware in the middle and then gold leafed and glazed hardware on the right… here is how I achieved the patina look on the finished hardware…

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The glaze looks milky as you apply it… it does dry darker!… to get started I slathered the piece with a layer of the black glaze… see it looks grey? it dries black… after slathering the surface with the glaze I used a paper towel to wipe the glaze away from all of the raised detail… leaving glaze down in the dips helps accentuate the details and brings an element of age/patina look to the hardware… think about how over time and continued use natural patina builds up in dips and grooves while raised areas tend to get shiny…

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After wiping away the black glaze I applied a coat of the raw umber… layering in some areas and mixing in others… the combination resulted in a very natural looking patina’ed piece of hardware!… {if I do say so myself}

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I let the layers of glaze dry and then assessed the situation… did some spots need more glaze built up? I thought so so I went ahead and added more glaze wiping away the excess from the high spots… really here you can play as much as you like… add layers and let them dry and stop when you’re happy with the results!

FAT Dresser Before and After - 19

Once you are happy with the finished look of the glaze, when it has fully dried, you are good to apply the sealer to protect your gold leafing and to make sure it has a nice long life… over time, without a sealer the oils in your skin will darken the leaf and you will find that the leaf will wear prematurely…

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Once all of my hardware was leafed, glazed, and sealed I popped it all back onto the dresser!… and I swear I didn’t set Oliver up next to the dresser… he’s just a little cat super model!…

I loved the look of the gilded and glazed hardware but the dresser needed just a little touch more gold leaf… see that groove around the face of the top drawer!?… YEP! I wanted gold leaf in there… I’d never leafed into a groove before but I wasn’t going to let that stop me…

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To keep the work as clean as possible I used painters tape to tape off the face of the drawer leaving only the groove exposed… I pained the groove with the adhesive size, making sure to wipe away any that got onto the tape… I didn’t want the leaf sticking to size on the top of the tape as that would make it difficult to get the leaf down into the groove…

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Once the groove was sized and the size had gotten tacky I used a dry paint brush to press small pieces of gold leaf down into the groove… tearing away little bits of leaf from the larger sheet I worked my way around the drawer face…

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I get a little messy and leaf happy when I’m leafing but in an attempt to not be wasteful with the leaf I tear away any leaf that isn’t stuck into place and use it to fill the next space that needs leaf…

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After I had made it around the groove with leaf I used a soft brush to brush away the excess leaf… then removed the tape to reveal the gilded groove… oooohhhh yes!… just how I imagined… slightly vintage… very luxurious… As I had glazed to age the knobs I worked around the groove with a couple layers of the black and raw umber FAT Glazes to bring a little patina to the gilding there as well.

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…and then one more spot called out to me just begging to be gilded… there was a ring around the front legs of the dresser that were just meant to be gold!… who am I to deny a ring its golden glory!?… so I obliged and sized, and then leafed and glazed…

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My favourite stage of leafing is when all of the gold leaf is just stuck to the piece before rubbing it into place and brushing away the excess… I can’t put a word on it but it just looks so great to me like this!…

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Here he is in all his Navy State of Mind and gilded glory!…

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…but you know I can’t just stop right there… I had seen Amanda on a morning show talking about great floral prints and how to bring them into your home through small touches such as accent pillows…

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Well I found this incredible modern floral print in a gift wrap at Chapters!… and well that was that!… drawer liners it was… I measured the drawers, cut the paper to size and secured them into place inside of the drawers using two way tape…

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…a little pop of fleurs every time a drawer is opened!… and how could I leave this right here without a shot of his 5 minutes of fame up on the Calgary Home + Garden Show Stage!?… Amanda even pulled out the drawer to show how taking that extra step to add something like a great pattern drawer liner can really kick your piece up a notch or ten! 😉

On Stage - 1

This beauty dresser has now left this nest to go on and feather another… to help someone else make their house their home!… this was my quickest in and out piece of furniture I’ve finished to date!… what do you think!? are you digging the navy? how about the gilded details!?

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!… and if you’d like to receive these blog posts via email, as soon as I hit publish, go to the right hand side at the top of this post, enter your email address into the little subscribe box and hit submit!



9 Responses to Navy State of Mind FAT Paint Dresser… Before and After

  1. Linda Moore says:

    It looks great!Thanks for sharing all the products you used & how!

  2. […] and you can even make the inside of the drawers pretty […]

  3. Misti says:

    GORGEOUS!!! love the gold details and the liners. Absolutely Perfect! What did you use to seal the hardware? Thanks!

  4. Jeanne Downing says:

    Love all the re-do.

  5. Diane says:

    Very patient indeed but such a quality job! Good tips about leafing — thank you! I love the inside of the drawers and thought you were going to decoupage them — but love the idea of two-way tape — much more practical!

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      Thank you Diane! Very kind of you to leave such a sweet comment! I figure as the seasons change two way tape would be a much easier option for changing out drawer liner if one was so inclined! 🙂

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