Two-Toned Color Washed Dresser

Happy Friday everyone! I'm sure you're all aware, and just as excited as I am (unless of course you have no interest in college basketball) that today isn't ANY Friday...It's MARCH MADNESS Friday! Today is hands down one of the Top 10 most fun days of the year. I just love the excitement of this tournament with the non-stop games, the buzzer-beater upsets, the Cinderella stories, the bracket breakers...all of it! Mix all of that with the hint of Spring in the air and it's enough to make anyone want to dance a jig in the middle of the street (oh wait...St. Patty's Day is over). Anyways, you get my drift. But, we're not here to talk about basketball today (I'm sure Joe Lunardi has his own blog for that)...so let's talk furniture.

I picked up this dresser last week and was excited to get started on it right away. It is a solid maple dresser from the 1960's. It was in pretty good shape when I bought it, so luckily the prep work was pretty painless. Here is a Before picture.

The most challenging part of this project was deciding how I was going to paint it. I still wasn't even sure as I started it and just hoped it would come to me as I progressed. For the record, I do not have a Type A personality and I've been known to try and 'wing it' without being fully prepared. Sometimes it works to my favor and sometimes it doesn't.

Since I was lacking a vision I decided to play it safe and go with a neutral color. I painted the base of the dresser ASCP Old Ochre. It was my first time using this color, however I found it very similar to Old White. I knew I wanted to stain the top, but even with that contrast of dark stain against the light colored base, the piece still seemed a bit boring to me.

After sitting and giving the piece a good stare-down while contemplating what to do, I finally decided to try a color washing technique on the drawers to give it some variation. Color washing helps you achieve a two-toned look. You can really use any two colors you'd like but you most often see it done with neutral colors. I went with French Linen for my second color. It's really a pretty easy technique, and you can control how much of each color you want reflected based on the thickness of the second color coat and the amount of water you use.

For this piece, I gave a rag a quick dip in water and then dipped it in the paint. The water helps to thin out the paint, producing a lighter application. I then wiped the rag across the drawers in the direction of the wood grain. Just continue to do this until you reach your desired look.

Here you can see the contrast between the base of the dresser and the drawers.

It's a subtle contrast, but enough to make the piece a bit more interesting.

I also lightly distressed the edges of the dresser to give it a bit of character.

To add even more contrast, I spray painted the hardware black with RustOleum Spray Paint.

Here is the overall finished product. 

I love the versatility of the piece. Not only would it make a great dresser, I think it'd also work well as an entryway table. It's also an ideal size for changing table for a nursery, and the neutral colors would work well for both a boy's or girl's room.

That's it from me. Now it's time to turn my attention back to the games. Go Hoosiers!