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I’ve a soft spot for barley twist furniture, so didn’t need much persuading to buy a cute bow topped dresser with barley twist legs. It’s the one I wrote about last week, that came with the gift of the lovely rose china.

Here’s the base, which would be a little too plain were it not for the legs:

1930's oak dresser base, with barley twist legs

And here’s the top, which I think is very romantic:

Bow top with carved detail

It reminds me of a bow top caravan.

As you can see, the top and base were in need of sanding and a good clean prior to painting. We have spent several days peeping at the shelf to the dresser base, trying to work out if it’s veneer or solid oak. Yesterday I decided it was veneer and then today changed my mind when we brought the base out into the bright sunlight. Through the very dark stain, I could just see that the grain on the side, matched the grain on the top; an indication that the top was a solid slab of oak. As it was solid oak, hubby was able to sand away the dark stain without fear of ripping through veneer (which can be paper thin).

This is the dresser my husband is (supposed to be) painting. I decided to leave him to it, then after an hour, decided to meddle:-) It wasn’t long before I left off MY chairs to grab a cloth and start wiping down the dresser…  And well, it would have been rude to leave before helping some more. Needless to say, the atmosphere was rather chilly, despite the gorgeous warm weather we’re having! Every time he looked away, I straightened up his brush strokes by going over them with my paint brush. On several occasions I got THE LOOK, but we got there in the end. I await the divorce proceedings alleging ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

The inspiration for the dresser’s refurb colours comes from this beautiful photograph, which incorporates duck egg blue, cream and also some painted roses:

The dresser is being painted in Autentico Vintage ‘Polar Blue’ – a pale duck egg shade, with the carved details and handles in ‘Ivory’. The shades I’ve chosen are more subtle than those on the caravan, bearing in mind that the dresser will be in someone’s home and will have to compliment existing decor.

I may also do an antique glaze to the carved bits, but need to see how it looks when the basic painting is finished. The handles are a little bit plain. I contemplated changing them for something fancy, but they are in keeping with the style and age of the dresser, so I’m thinking of doing something ‘arty’ with them instead. Quite what ‘arty’ is remains to be decided.

I’m also considering painting some pink roses on the side of the dresser top plinth; they will only be visible from the side, so as not to fight for attention with the carvings on the scalloped plinth.

Will I pull it off, or make it all a bit too ‘busy’???

Saturday afternoon

Here’s the dresser top, drying after the second coat:

dresser top

All being well, the dresser will be finished by tomorrow afternoon.


And here it is:

Bow topped dresser, painted in Autentico Vintage chalk paint

I was persuaded, by hubby and dad,  to show a little restraint, so I haven’t added the painted roses and I left the handles plain and simple:

Bow topped antique oak dresser

I did dark wax the carved detail though:

Carved detail to plinth, enhance with dark wax