Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lagoon and Gold Leaf Dresser

I found this dresser on craigslist. I know I should have never bought it, because it was in very bad shape and wasn't worth a dollar. BUT I had a vision and wanted to give it a try. I'm so mad at my self that I didn't take a picture of it after I picked it up. It was falling apart and the varnish was chipping everywhere. As usual I was too eager to start my project and forgot about the pictures. Darn it! I really have to learn to take more pictures.

This is a photo of the dresser after my father-in-law helped me strip, take it apart and reglue the entire dresser. Lots and lots of elbow grease.

stripped dresser

I was lucky that all the original hardware was in good shape and we even found a key that worked for the locks.

I knew right away that I wanted to go with a navy blue and gold or a turquoise/blueish-green and gold. After browsing the spray can aisles at Lowes, Home Depot and ACE, I finally ended up with the Rustoleum Lagoon in satin. I love spray paint. It just gives it a much nicer finish than brushing or rolling the paint on.

Of course I (again) forgot to take pictures in between steps...So sorry!

I started with the staining of the top of the dresser. I used the red mahogany stain that I had leftover from my desk makeover. Before staining wipe the piece of furniture with a tack cloth to remove all the dust and dirt.
Let the stain dry. The last step for the dresser top was to apply two coats of polyurethane. I used Minwax Clear Semi-Gloss. In between coats you can lightly sand the surface with a very fine grid sandpaper. Don't forget the tack cloth wiping!

Well, after letting the poly dry for what seams an eternity, I taped of the top of the dresser, the wood appliques and the rollers on the bottom of the feet.  The appliques were a major pain in "the you know what" and I could have just spray painted over them too before putting on the gold leaf. But I figured the wood tone was better just in case there were areas where the gold didn't cover right. And in the end I was glad that I did it that way.
Now it was finally time to get to work on some color!

Before starting with the spraying I had to prime the dresser. I used grey tinted cover stain by Zinsser.
They tinted it for me at Home Depot. Again, use a tack cloth to wipe everything clean before priming.


After the primer dried, I lightly sanded the paint to get out the brush marks and any other raised areas. Before starting with the spraying I wiped the dresser down with the tack cloth again. So important, don't forget this step! I can't say that enough.
While spraying a piece of furniture, I always wear a respirator. You get so dizzy if you don't. I can't imagine what possesses people to huff that stuff. Seriously, this is toxic... But anyway, where was I...

I gave the dresser several coats of the lagoon spray paint and then removed all the taped areas....ta-daaaaa, here it is and looking good.

lagoon dresser before gold leafing

What's that? You see a glaze? Well yes, I guess I jump some steps and really wanted to see what the dresser would look like with an antique glaze before taking off the tape. Just in case I didn't like it. But I did! I ended up using the glaze after applying the gold too. You can mix your own glazes but I was lazy and used Lowes Valspar Antiquing Glaze. Just brush it on and lightly wipe it off, so the glaze stays in the indented areas.

Now comes the part where I used my entire vocabulary (German and English) of bad words while working. And I'm sorry if any of my neighbors took their kids for a walk passed my garage without ear muffs during this process. The gold leafing!!!! It wasn't quite sticking the way I wanted it too and I ended up using some liquid leaf too. For the gold leaf I used a Mona Lisa gold leaf kit. And as you can see on the Amazon reviews, the product isn't all that good. It worked but for my next leafing project I will try something else. I followed the instructions on the package on how to apply the glue before leafing.
After I was done with all the appliques. I applied another all over coat of antiquing glaze, putting special attention to the golden areas. The glaze really made a difference to make the appliques look old and match the dresser hardware.

lagoon dresser gold details

turquoise dresser and gold details

When Everything was dry and wiped, I applied two coats of polycrylic in semi-gloss to the painted areas. I didn't want to use polyurethane because it yellows over time.

minwax polycrylics

The last step was to put all the hardware back on the dresser.
And it is and I ♥ it very much.
The color shows up different in every picture and the photos don't due it justice at all.
I have to retake some pictures on a sunny day! But I just couldn't wait anymore for better weather. All the following pictures are in bad lighting. Such a bummer.
I'm planning on moving it into my bedroom soon and then I'll take some more pictures, ok?

rustoleum lagoon and gold leaf dresser

dresser with gold leaf, lagoon spray paint

I still can't make up my mind on what lamps to use on top of the dresser.
(the photos where taken at night and they look a little strange)

MOna Lisa golf leaf, rustoleum lagoon spray paint

Oh I forgot to mention that I lined the drawers with black and gold wrapping paper, which was worth a whole arsenal of bad words again. I decoupaged the paper onto the drawers and it is very difficult to not get any bubbles, tears and rips.

decoupage wrapping paper in drawer, lagoon spray paint, gold leaf

So, you like?

Guten Tag fellow webbers and thanks for stopping by!


  1. You would love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It is easy to work with and has colors that would go with your decor. Look it up online and send for some. A store in Saugarties NY has one of the cheapest prices for it. No more swear words needed. Ann

    1. Thank you. I will check it out. I have been wanting to check out some milk paint and chalk paint.
      The swearing was directed at the gold leafing, LOL! I have to work with some other leafing products to see if they work better for me.

  2. Beautiful job! Love the colors. I agree with the above post, only you can make your own chalk paint for a few bucks. I have been making my own for tons of projects. (I use the plaster of paris recipe,,,2:1 ratio) You can buy a sample pot of paint and do an entire dresser!

    1. I still haven't use any chalk paint. One day I will though :)

  3. I LOVE spray paint!! SOOOO much easier than painting it all by hand. Plus I tend to buy pieces that have some details that would be so hard to get a brush in nicely.
    I love that colour too! I think I may just do a dresser in my room that colour :)

    1. I just got a huge sprayer and compressor for Christmas and can't wait to start doing some serious spray painting when it gets warmer outside.

  4. Do you know anything about the dresser itself? year or style? I know its not an expensive piece but I happen to still have mine from childhood. Its the exact same dresser. Fortunately, ours is still together and working fine for my daughter.


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