I am so excited to have finished this dresser. I got it back in August? September? I don't even remember! (ha! I just made a rhyme) I purchased this campaign dresser along with a matching desk off of craigslist. (Click here to see how the desk turned out) I did not care that the brass corners has been painted over, I was just happy to get my hands on some campaign pieces. Here are the before pictures showing the bad paint job.
First, I took off all of the pulls, then it was time to take off the brass corner pieces so I could strip the paint off and shine them up! My dad helped be get the corner pieces off when I redid the desk, so I thought I would be able to tackle this myself. Wrong. For some reason, this dresser wanted to give me a hard time. It probably took an hour to get all of them off, in three separate sittings.
After I had taken all of the brass pieces off, I laid them out on a plastic lid we had. I then poured enough of the stripping goop on so that each piece had a thick layer. Almost right away the paint starts to crackle and come off.
I made sure to use this outside since it has a harsh chemical odor and I did not want to get it on anything. Also, I would recommend wearing gloves. It won't kill you if you get some one your skin (well I didn't die), but it does burn for a minute or so. I let it sit for about 5 minutes, then used an old toothbrush to brush off the extra goop with all the paint in it (I also did the same with the nails, but in a separate container). I rinsed it outside, then brought it in and used the faucet to make sure everything was off. Next it was time to start polishing! It's really not that fun.
I use Barkeeper's Friend to get off the tarnish and years of grime. Many people suggest using Brasso, but I tried that when I redid the campaign desk, and it did nothing. The scrubby side of sponge is all you need (along with the Barkeeper's Friend), and just start polishing. It make a big difference!
I used our orbital sander to sand the drawers and dresser frame. I started off with a 60 grit. Whatever type of white paint was on this dresser would just chip off, but some spots it would stay on. This left a patchy look, and there were ridges where there was white paint and where there was no white paint. I got most of the chippiness of with the 60 grit, then I moved up to a 150 grit to smooth everything out a little more.
I could not use the sander everywhere, so I did have to hand sand some areas. I did one coat of primer, then started painting the dresser a midnight blue color. I was going for something neutral, but dark enough to make the brass stand out. The color does not show up right in the picture of the drawers (is it better on the frame of the dresser, but still not great), but you get the point.
After 3 coats of paint I let everything cure, then used Johnson's Paste wax to protect it against wear and tear. After everything was protected, I put the gold hardware back on. I still have a few things to finish on the dresser, but it is almost completely don't... so I had to take pictures. And just note that it really is a navy color (color shows best in the close-ups). It is not as light/bright of a blue as it appears to be!
This piece turned out great, and I am excited to finish some of the other campaign things I have. I got a small knock-off campaign style chest of drawer, and want to paint it a bright color. I'm thinking kelly green. Are you a fan of green?
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