Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tricycle Red Vintage Bernhardt Campaign Dresser

BOOM! This piece makes a statement doesn't it? I knew as soon as I saw Miss Mustard Seed share her Tricycle Red Milk Paint last summer that this color would go perfectly on a dresser for my son's room. I had already painted his walls this amazing blue, but I had no dresser to paint.

My sad second child has been dresser deprived.  I tried to paint a dresser bright red before he was born, and that particle board disaster ended up in the trash because it broke while we were putting it together.  So, up until now, everything has hung in his dresser, and his underwear, pajamas, and socks have been stored in plastic drawers inside the closet.

Since I held out, waiting for the perfect deal, I found one on Craigslist- vintage Bernhardt.  In fact, I found an old newspaper ad via Google Images of this dresser.  It's from the 70s.  It is SOLID.  The best part about this dresser? I paid $30.  That's right.  When you live in the country, you sometimes score these deals because people don't think about driving out to the boonies to get it.

I really loved the campy blue that it was already painted, but someone spilled glitter nail polish on it, and it was damaged around the bottom.  Plus, this color would clash against the more grayish
blue walls.  It sat in my garage waiting for the day that I brought this home from Doozie's Corner...

If you haven't tried Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, it is amazing for painting all kinds of furniture without sanding or priming.  I don't recommend that a beginner start with a giant dresser.  I have mixed many milk paint batches before, and I found it to be difficult.  It has so much pigment in it that it's hard to get the consistency right.  If you want to buck my advice, then just stir up a small amount for a small project to get a feel for how to mix it.  I added bonding agent to the first coat to so that it would adhere to the dresser.

It took 3 coats to cover the dark blue paint, but I really love the change.  

As it goes on the color it will be glossy and dark as you are expecting.
Don't panic as it loses it's luster as it dries.

The top coating will bring it to the boldness you are expecting.

This is what the drawers looked like after they dried, so you can see what I mean about the desired depth being lacking without a top coat.  I chose to try Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Wax.  I wish I had realized that the Antiquing Wax can be used without a clear coat, which differs from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint instructions.  For this reason, if you are looking at price, Miss Mustard Seed wins.

I did several coats as this piece just soaked it up.  It really hardens well after a day (unless you use too much).  Like any type of soft wax, it hardens into the paint, taking a few weeks to cure to a hard finish.

The great thing about this paint and wax is that it is VOC free.  The wax smells like lotion to me.  It makes it easy to paint inside since the Texas heat pushes me indoors to paint.  I did however start the outside of the dresser in the garage when we had an unusual cool front back in June (Since it's August, I'm a little behind on posting).

Since it was so heavy and my husband wasn't home, I decided to use something that matched the dresser as a dolly.

And it worked perfectly.  Once inside, I finished the last two coats and waxed it.  The suspense of it being in the garage for months and working on it in my free time really built up the expectations, but I am thrilled with how it matches the picture I dreamed up.

After much mental debate, I decided I really loved the original pulls too much to update them.  The top drawer pulls were replaced by the previous owner, but once I got it in the room, I knew it was right.

I am working on some art to hang above it, and I will share after it's all finished.  Now, if I could just find a dream dresser for me & the mister, our whole house will have hand painted dressers.

Keep up, Honey!

Linking up to: Miss Mustard Seed, Redoux Interiors, Three Mango Seeds, Too Much Time On My Hands, Tatertots and Jello, Liz Marie Blog


  1. Oh it turned out gorgeous Beja!!!
    And very good to know that you can use the dark wax without first putting a coat of clear -
    LOVE then handles - really beautiful job!

    1. Thanks, Suzan! I'm so glad to have your esteem! You always know what looks good.

  2. Seriously! How do I not know you are posting and painting up a storm!?? I need to subscribe to your feed so I know what you are up to because obviously it's not showing up in my facebook feed!! Grr! Anyways.. love this! Super fun!! Love ya sister!! Hugs! Claire

    1. Thanks, Claire! I am painting a light sprinkle instead of storm, but when school starts, I'll hit the ground running! I have trouble with my feed, too. I found out that for me it was a user error. I have been unfollowing people on accident on Instagram because I scroll over the Follow button and deactivate it on accident ;D. HUGS!!!


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