Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mom's Cherished Chest of Drawers Gets a Makeover

 

-Before-

This chest of drawers is an Ethan Allen piece that was in the house where I grew up.  It has sentimental value because of my distinct memories.  My mother had it set up near a suspended stairway and displayed a gift that I gave her back in 1973, a "Mother" plate.  I would sit on the stairs memorizing the poem printed on the plate, Only One Mother to Cherish and Love.  Because of that, I still know every word of that poem.  Somehow the message got through to me at an early age.....to cherish my mom.  In the end, this plate and the mantra I memorized ended up being a gift for me.  She was taken from me before the birth of my first child 16 years ago.  Even though she is gone, we had the best years.  I enjoyed every moment with her.  Well....maybe not every moment......I was a teenager!

Cat scratches/Candle burn.
So, I have kept this chest for sentimental reasons.  I have long gotten past the dark wood finish and several times had considered selling it.  The "before" image above is kind.  This chest is showing the years, and not in a charming way either.  The top had several scratches left behind by my long lost, beloved Silver Point Siamese cat, Sushi.  There was also a pretty good burn mark in the finish from a jar candle that was left burning too long.  I have been putting table runners over these flaws to hide them.  When we came to the decision to completely change the colors in the master bedroom, I knew this would be the first piece that I tackled.  The color theme for this project is white/off white/beige/neutrals. 

I was super excited to freshen up this chest, and because of the sentimental value was wanting to go the extra mile. I chose to add a muted toned seashell fabric.  The Mother Poem talks about nature and the multitude of miracles in the skies, land and the oceans.  "Thousands and thousands of flowers and trees, Hundreds and hundreds of mountains and seas," says the unknown writer.  I grew up and still live near the ocean, as did my mother.  She would take us to the beach in the early morning hours when we were little kids with sand pales and Styrofoam 'surf boards' that we got from the dime store.  I have wonderful memories of my childhood with my mom.  Getting back into that hot car, after barely dusting the beach sand off my body, and sitting on my damp towel has we drove home....Salt clinging to my skin and tightening it as we drove....... 

I cannot believe that tan. Wow.

Her and I took a 'girls' trip when I was 15 years old to Naples on the west coast of Florida.  I was so excited because, unlike the east coast, the west coast waters were gentle and the sea shells were amazing.  She helped me pick up shells for hours. We floated in the gulf waters and she told me stories of her teenage years.  She helped me spell out my then boyfriend's name in the sand with the collected seashells.  That four days still remains four of the happiest days of my life.  (I can grow a tan like no other as you can see by this photo!)

Well, I am almost finished with the chest.  All it needs is a good poly wipe and wax.  After a heavy sanding, I put two coats of Sherwin Williams All Surface Acrylic Latex Primer.  I then painted the chest with two coats of  Sherwin Williams "Creamy." 


I detailed the edges with a few accents of Americana Deco Art craft paint in Turquoise Blue with Folk Art Metallic Pure Gold layered over the top of the blue. (I used the blue to bring out a little blue detail in the seashell fabric.)  



I then followed up with a wash all over the entire piece with MinWax Dark Walnut. 


I soaked the hardware in vinegar to clean them up a bit. 


I then precision cut the fabric to fit on the sides and drawer fronts of the chest.  I used a thin layer of Mod Podge to adhere the fabric and used a credit card the press and smooth it down, concentrating on making sure the edges are firmly tacked.  I did not cover the fabric with the Mod Podge because it is a heavy, outdoor fabric and I know it will take the wear and tear.  Plus, I like the texture that the raw fabric brings to the piece. 


Hope you like it.  I do.....and I am sure my mom would have thought it was awesome. 





Millions of stars in the heavens above,
Only one mother to cherish and love,
Thousands and thousands of flowers and trees,
Hundreds and hundreds of mountains and seas,
Everything multiplied over and over
Robins and butterflies, bees in the clover.
Many good friends to think the world of,
but only one mother to cherish and love.
~Unknown~
-The End-
I am linking this project to:




























40 comments:

Lisa said...

I played with my Barbies under this table...I WANT IT! lol

Full Circle Creations said...

Nice job! I like the fabric on the drawer fronts.
Holly

Toni said...

Thanks for linking up!!

Toni
A Bowl Full of Lemons

Judy said...

What an incredible project with such a deep and meaningful story behind it. Thanks so much for sharing at my Swing into Spring party.

Judy said...

BTW - Don't forget to stop back and become a follower. Thanks.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that turned out so nicely, lesley! i love how the drawers stand out now.

Meg and Mum's said...

Stunning! You've done an amazing job. I bet you're glad you kept it! :)

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

Wow! This is SO beautiful! What a beautiful piece that will continue to be a family treasure!

b8a2201c-6c15-11e0-98b4-000bcdcb5194 said...

I love this piece...I'm so glad you give the details of how you did it. It is absolutely gorgeous!

Sherrie said...

You did a beautiful job! Love it!

Curtains In My Tree said...

That chest is fabulous you should link up to every blog that has show and tell

What a great job

SoapyChica said...

This is brilliant!

My Little World said...

Wow that is original.

Traci said...

What an adorable redo. I did not know that you could cover drawers with fabric.

Susan in SC said...

Very pretty! I know you love it for many years! You did a great job.

Susan
mycottagelife.blogspot.com/

lauren@WESTFURNITUREREVIVAL said...

turned out very cute, love the use of the fabric

Janna Renee said...

You did such a great job! such a lovely statement piece!!

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative posts here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? The link is at http://www.homemakeronadime.com/2011/04/creative-bloggers-party-hop-042411.html.
Thank you so much :)

Susan said...

Beautiful job on the redo, and beautiful job telling the story!

Butterflies & Seashells said...

I love the paper ....great makeover!

Benita

Judy said...

I loved this makeover so much that I am featuring it tonight at my Swing into Spring party which opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by then to pick up your "I've Been Featured' button. Thanks.

Sommer said...

This piece is just priceless. The sentimental value alone makes it so much more beautiful. Well done.

Jessica @ Sunny Tuesday said...

Great job on the makeover!!

housedressingblog.blogspot.com said...

I think it's awesome too! Great job, it looks stunning.

very merry vintage style said...

Ok I have a few tears in my eyes after reading this post... love this story and your wonderful memories of your mom. It turned out beautiful--I love the fabric on the front and that gold really sets off the shape. Thanks so much for linking this great project to STL Wednesday!
Mary

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What a great transformation. I love it. Thanks for sharing it at WUW.

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Yay! You came! And yes, it looks awesome :) Really appreciate you sharing this great post with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

What a wonderful transformation. I am so glad you shared and joined my newbie party. Do come again soon!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Lesley~ a beautiful tribute to your mom!
I love everything about the chest- the poem is lovely, too.

I came over from Debbie's Newbie Party,
...I recently post about my farm table and a tale of my mom too. Nice to meet you, Pat

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

This chest looks amazing!! Love how you Mod Podged the shell print on! Martina

Christina {The Tattered Tag} said...

Hi Lesley~

Such a lovely piece of furniture, the transformation is wonderful!! Happy to be a new follower of your blog, found you via Debbiedoo's. :) I invite you drop by & link up to my fun & inspiring blog bash K.I.S.S.

Drop By The Tattered Tag

Dee said...

Amazing transformation! I love it!

Dee
Your new follower

gail said...

how special this piece is! You have done a fabulous job with this makeover!
gail
"catching you this week"

CraftyCanadian said...

You did an awesome job! I hope one day I get brave enough to try out fabric on something special like this. Way to go!!

Marianne@Songbird said...

Wonderful makeover! I am so glad you were able to bring this heirloom back to life.


I finally found a quiet morning to visit everybody again and actually leave a comment this time.
Thank you again for playing in my We Love White linky party!

Amy of The Salvage Collection said...

okay, now i'm gonna have to follow you.

amy

Karen said...

Just amazing! Such a precious way to remember your Mom. I almost cried reading it and thinking how much I had some of my Mothers furniture to redo. Karen

Julia @ 551Eastdesign said...

What a beautiful story. You translated so much of it and so much love into that piece, it couldn't be anything but gorgeous. :)

Suzanne Callahan said...

Your story, the poem, and your finished treasure of a chest are all beautiful.

Lisa Montsion said...

I love the poem.

lisa