black and white and whimsical all over

earlier this year, when it was still what passed for winter in toronto, i picked up this “shabby green dresser” from upside dive. (their adjectives, not mine.) it was early february, and our living room had rotted out window trim, there was nowhere to store our suddenly needed winter boots and coats, and our bathroom door didn’t close, so of course i was surfing craigslist, thinking about a master bedroom closet rejig.

i saw this stately little 3-drawer dresser on upside dive’s website and knew it would be the perfect “built-in” size for our closet. and it had all the other features i look for in furniture these days: dovetailed joints, solid wood, made in ontario. the next day — a sunday — my friend erin and i went for a 10k run in leslieville and ate french onion soup out of a giant barrel at le papillon, and then pierre picked us both up and we went to upside dive to discuss a price for the dresser.



and then it sat in our basement because, well, our living room had rotted out window trim, there was nowhere to store all of our suddenly needed winter boots and coats, and our bathroom door didn’t close. but, all of these problems have since been solved, and so, this little dresser finally got its makeover.

the dresser was pretty cute to begin with — i actually quite liked the chipping mint green paint — and thought maybe a coat or two of black satin on the front of the drawers would be all i would do to finish it off. (it’s hard to tell in the before photos, but the drawers were a hunter green to start.) but pierre was not an advocate for the shabby green, and it’s rare that he takes a stand on colour, so i acquiesced to his request to sand and repaint the whole piece.

after a solid power sand, i covered the mint green with benjamin moore monterey white in a semi-gloss finish. i bought a quart last summer to re-do a mirror to match a side chair and had a tonne left over. and i figured the three pieces together — mirror, side chair, 3-drawer dresser — might make a nice little bedroom or bathroom set someday, if we ever have a bedroom or bathroom big enough to keep all three pieces together in the same room.

the drawers did get two coats of black satin, which i’ve now gone through nearly two quarts of painting our kitchen door, our foyer door, our lack shoe shelves, and a cabinet door on our modular shelving unit (another upside dive buy). i think these dresser drawers were the last thing i’ll paint black satin, but i love that there’s colour flow from our foyer right to the basement.

i also sanded and treated the butcher block top of the dresser with rubio monocoat oil. (i’m totally paranoid about unfinished wood after the plague of powder post beetles that came with my sewing table desk top.) after the paint dried, i put all the hardware (which i loved) back on and voila! black and white dresser ready to go into our closet, just as soon as the closet is ready for it.

and when that happens these “after” shots will look even better — you can’t blame me for not wanting to use up precious “carry this upstairs” favours from pierre just for a well-lit “after” shot, only to have to use up “carry this downstairs” favours, since it’s just going to be a couple more weeks until the bedroom is done.

what do you think of the do-over? would you have left the mint green? my heart is saying i should have left the mint green. but i don’t dislike the monterey white enough to want to undo two coats of it.