Santa Fe Dresser!

Santa Fe Inspired Dresser by

Effie’s Salvage Barn!

sf dresser before

I found this gem at a garage sale for $5.00.  The funny thing is, as ugly as it was, this size of dresser seems to sell, so I plunged in and took the risk.  It sat in the storage unit for the better part of the winter before I pulled her out to give her new life.

I was feeling funky and wanted to do something out of the ordinary.



I had been to Santa Fe, NM, in November to help my mom move out of her second home that she had sold.  She was generous and gave each of us kids and the grandkids some of the furniture and artifacts.  One of the things I brought home was this beautiful rug, that with it’s vibrant colors captures the spirit of Santa Fe so well.

 This inspired me to recreate this feeling on this little piece of furniture.

So I took a close up picture of the rug, opened it on my iPad and started pulling paint colors off my shelves.

rug inspired 1

Step 1:

I first cleaned the piece and then started applying a different color to each drawer front and section of the body.  I had the following colors laid out on my workbench:

  • Shoreline
  • Shag Carpet
  • Country Barn
  • Born on the Fourth
  • A-maize-ing
  • Purple Mountain Majesty
  • Coral Reef
  • Backyard Pond *
  • National Forest*

(The Backyard Pond and National Forest did not make the cut)

Step 2:

I applied the first coat of paint randomly, but always looking at my rug picture for inspiration. The brush strokes of the first coat followed the grain of the wood.

Let her dry for a couple of hours, the applied the second coat – a different color that the first for each piece.  I applied the second coat with the brush strokes in the opposite direction of the first coat. I didn’t try to make the second coat completely cover the first coat.

After looking at my piece, I decided it need one more coat of yet another completely different color to give it the depth I was looking for.  I had also painted the side edges of the body of the dresser all different colors and changed my mind as I wanted to frame the body of the piece, so I painted them all born on the fourth for the 3rd coat.

When applying the third coat of paint I used brush strokes in the same direction as the first.

Brush Strokes

rug inspired dresser2

rug inspired dresser3

Step 2:

After the final coat was dry I started the distressing.  I used 150 grit 3M sandblaster sandpaper (my favorite) on a sanding block.  With this I sand the chalkiness off and as much or as little of the top coat of paint to reveal what is underneath.  When I am satisfied with this, I take a 3M sandblaster sanding sponge 180 grit and finish her off.

Doesn’t take a lot but by doing this step, the piece comes out smooth as glass and really burnishes the colors.

Step 3:

I am a waxer so I finished my piece with clear wax.  I wanted the colors to stay vibrant so I chose clear.  I apply the wax with a waxing brush and buff it with my hubby’s old tee shirts.

Finished Dresser!

santa fe dresser finished

“I love American Paint Company because it is all natural, easy to use, distresses beautifully and has an incredible selection of colors.   And the wax is the best on the market.  I have tried two other brands and they don’t hold a candle to APC wax!”

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