Mid Century Modern Chest – A Fresh Start

It’s that time again-FFFC time!  The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest is a monthly contest that is organized by a wonderful group of DIY bloggers.  This month’s theme is A Fresh Start!  I selected a chest of drawers as my project piece!


Every month, this wonderful group along with a wonderful sponsor provides a product for each member to use in the restoring/renewing/revamping aka “flippin'” of a piece of furniture.  Each month has a different theme and a different sponsor!  This month’s theme is A Fresh Start and is being sponsored by General Finishes.

GF logo

General Finishes has a wonderful line of water based stains, dyes, milk paints, chalk style paints as well as incredible top coats.  They also carry oil based products.  I have used GF products in the past and I am a HUGE fan!  Check out their full line here.

30 bloggers were challenged to renew an old piece of furniture for our homes.  General Finishes provided us each with one quart of their Chalk Style water based paint.  This is a sponsored post as I have received free product to utilize in this project.  All opinions, however, are my own!

I have used many different types of chalk style paints so I was excited to try GF’s new line.  The color selection was wonderful.  You can see the choices here.  I was torn between 3 colors but finally selected Apricot!  I is a perfectly light peachy color!


I had this old chest just sitting in the “to be worked” area of my store, The Blue Building.  Whenever I am out and find a great piece of furniture at a great price, I grab it!  Sometimes these pieces sit quite a while before I actually get an idea.  This chest was one of those pieces.


The Apricot Chalk Style paint was a little less orange than I thought it would be…much lighter so I immediately thought it would be the perfect color to go over this dark walnut stain to create a wonderful rustic finish!  Note:  the color chart on GF’s website was very accurate so I don’t know why I thought the color would be more orange!  Silly me!

Step one:  Prep

If you are familiar with any variety of chalk style paint, you know that it is not necessary to sand before using chalk style paint…that is the beauty of this product. However, I did sand the top of this chest because it was quite lumpy, bumpy and weathered.  I sanded to ensure the finished top was smooth.  Also, with weathered furniture, a good sanding helps remove any flaking wood or loose particles from  the previous finish.



Step 2:  Paint

After sanding, I simply started to paint.  I used a dry brush technique on the drawer fronts and on the trim on the sides of the chest.  After the paint dried, I sanded lightly to expose some of that beautiful walnut undertone.  I brushed one liberal coat on each side of the chest.

The bottom of the chest had some veneer chipping.  I find that it is easiest just to strip off the veneer, sand the wood surface, and paint.  In some cases, the veneer can be repaired but usually I just remove it because replacing veneer is labor intensive.  And in most cases I am painting the piece anyway so it is silly to make these repairs when the veneer will not be exposed.the-blue-building-shopatblu-antiques-home-decor-mid-century-modern-chest-a-fresh-start-restored-veneer

In this case, the veneer was very loose so most of it just peeled off.  There was one spot, however, that did not pull off easily.  I simply took a wet rag and wiped the area several times.  Then I took a small pen knife and pried the piece loose at the edges.  It came right off.

the-blue-building-shopatblu-antiques-home-decor-mid-century-modern-chest-a-fresh-start-restored-remove-veneerI sanded this section and dry brushed it with GF Java Gel Stain, which I had from a previous project, to give this section the dark walnut undertone.  Then I dry brushed some Apricot over this area to make it match the rest of the piece.  Technically, this would be part of the PREP stage, but I tend to bounce all over the place!

Step 3:  Hardware

These are the original handles which I absolutely love!


But I wanted more of an industrial look for this chest since it will probably go into one of my boys’ rooms.  So I found these more industrial pulls online for $10.89 for a set of 15!  Score!


I had to fill the original drawer pull holes, fill and sand.  I could not find my wood putty so I improvised and used DAP patching plaster.  I have used this before on drawer pull holes and because it is a very small area to be filled, it actually works well!


I installed the new drawer pulls and touched up the patched areas from the original drawer pull holes.  I do believe she turned out fine!  There is something about this rustic industrial look that I just love!


Here she is all purdied up.








A small chest is a nice addition to any room.  We can always use more storage in our home!

As I stated earlier, I love General Finishes.  Here are some past projects in which I used their gel stains and milk paints:


Grey gel stain


Milk Paint


Java Gel Stain

Our hosts for this month’s contest are Stacey from Anastasia Vintage and Evey from Evey’s Creations and Carry from Thirtyeighth Street.  Hop on over to their blogs to see all of this month’s entries.  While you are there, check out their own projects that they created in conjunction with this month’s contest:  Stacey’s French Provincial Dresser and Evey’s Upholstered Ottoman and Carrie’s Workspace Table.

I can’t even tell you how much fun it is to participate in this fabulous group!  If you are a blogger and are interested in participating in future contests, send an email to

And be sure to come back next month for another fun contest!

Below are some links for products used in this post!

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