I decided to pull all the edge pieces off to give the drawer fronts a cleaner look.
Then I removed the handles, filled the holes with wood filler and gave it all a light sand.
Then came the painting. I wanted to try using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint* as I've heard so much about it and was curious to see what it was like. My initial preference was for the more modern looking Pure White but according to my research (google and asking my Instagram friends, extensive stuff) the coverage is poor, so I used Original, which is a kind of milky white. Chalk paint is attractive because of it's "no need to sand or prime" claims, and it's true, you can just slap it on. But this piece of furniture just drank up the paint and the one litre tin felt like it wasn't gong to be enough. In the end I left the drawer insides patchy and made sure the visible parts (top, drawer fronts and side panels) had as many coats as possible. They had four and I think one more would've made the finish better as the knots still show slightly in places. I sanded lightly between coats as the finish of the paint is pretty...chalky. Then came two coats of wax which I applied with a brush and buffed with a cloth. That was a serious arm workout.
Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm won over. I think for the amount of time I spent on this, I could've sanded, primed and painted this with some oil based eggshell paint and the finish would've been much smoother. Perhaps if I'd painted it a darker colour that would have made my task easier. But if you like a more rustic, country look to your furniture you'll love this paint, plus the range of colours is gorgeous.
Anyway, now for the fun bits. I lined the drawers with that wallpaper I found at the tip. I love it SO much, and every time I open a drawer I catch a glimpse of it.
Then the handles. I spent hours looking at handles on pinterest and browsing online but I needed a lot, so they had to be cheap. In the end I bought a packet of ten plain wood handles from B&Q for about £10 and painted them.
I used two coats of the same colour that we have on the bedroom wall (Princeton Blue by Valspar) followed by a quick coat of clear matt varnish. I'm so pleased with the effect of the blue against the white. And what a difference two small handles makes compared to one in the middle.
Have you used chalk paint before? I'd be curious to know what you painted and what you thought of the finish.
Overall I am very happy with how this project turned out. The best thing is that I feel like I've rediscovered a piece of furniture I'd really lost interest in. I mean, I've had this dressing table since I was a teenager! It left home with me and it's seen a lot of use over the last twenty years; getting ready for work, for a night out, trying to do my make-up while jiggling a griizzling baby on my knee at the same time...we're old friends, that dressing table and I.
I'll leave you with a photo of our bedroom looking calm and tidy in the afternoon sun.
*This is not a sponsored post.