a chalk paint dresser | meet Alison from The Modern Cottage

Happy Friday, lovely friends!  I’m so excited to introduce you to another contributor to perfectly imperfect.  Please join me in welcoming Alison…I know you’re gonna love this makeover!
Hello Perfectly Imperfect readers! My name is Alison Bryan and I am so delighted to be a contributor to my favorite blog. I am a vintage furniture painter and I just recently moved my home painting studio to a larger studio downtown in my city of Tacoma, WA. I like to think of myself as a “furniture stylist”, no two pieces I paint will ever look the same, and I have painted hundreds of pieces. When not at my painting studio, I am running around with my two little kids (usually with paint in my hair or on my hands). I am excited to share some with you some painting tips I have learned over the years.
On my blog, The Modern Cottage Company,  I share all my daily adventures. I was already busy redecorating my home and juggling life with kids. Now  I’m starting a furniture store.  But what I really love to share with my readers are my furniture makeovers.
Of all the makeovers I do, nothing beats a dresser. Especially pre World War Two dressers. Honestly, if I could make painting dressers my entire business I would be a happy painting lady.
I found this dresser at a local antique store and I scored a pretty good deal on it because of the condition of the knobs. It had also been sitting at the store for a few months so I negotiated the price down.
{If you look closely in this picture you can see my messy studio}

The bones were good and aside from the missing knobs, it was in fantastic condition. The drawers all worked great {this is the very first thing I look at when purchasing a piece for resale} and there were no problems with the veneer.
In my studio I had a mirror just waiting for the right project . Since the dresser has a boxy shape, I thought  painting the fancy mirror to match the dresser  would make an all around more interesting piece.

I needed a soft and neutral paint color . Lucky for me I have an Annie Sloan distributor just a few blocks from my home, so I popped over to the The Design Cottage and picked out some  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco.


I did a little sanding just to smooth the edges of the pieces and painted on only two coats of chalk paint. I then used steel wool and lightly distressed just  the edges of the pieces.

 For the knobs I wanted to do something unexpected. The color was so neutral I thought the dresser need some glam. I chose a craft door knob {I know it’s a weird idea but I love the unexpected chunkiness of this knob-Does this make sense?}

Unfortunately the knob screw that came with the knob was too shallow to use with my drawer front,  so I ran over to my local hardware store where a sweet gentleman helped me find just the right screw.  When it came time to drill a hole big enough for the new knob I made sure to use an extra large drill bit.
{Screw that came with the knob}
{longer screw}
{Aren’t the knobs fantastic?!}

I decided not to go the normal route to seal this piece. We all know by now that after you use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, you have to use Annie Sloan Clear Wax, right? Not this time. I decided to use a wipe on poly in satin {if I use a polyurethane, I like to use a wipe on poly instead of brushing it on}. The finished piece has just a little more of sheen to it because I used a poly instead of  the clear wax.

   This makeover turned out better than I ever thought  I almost didn’t want to part with it! I also love the way it looks in my shop and I just know it will go to the right home. They always do.

Thank you Shaunna for letting me share my latest adventure  with you and your Perfectly Imperfect readers!


Thank you, Alison, for sharing such a beautiful makeover and tips here for us furniture-painting-fanatics!  Be sure to visit Alison over at The Modern Cottage Company & say hello!

Hope you have a paint-the-town-beautiful kind of weekend!

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27 Responses to a chalk paint dresser | meet Alison from The Modern Cottage

  1. Bella February 24, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Gorgeous dresser. I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the cocoa but I think you just made me one. It’s stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  2. a suburban kitchen February 24, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Love it. Thanks for sharing. I am working on a piece now. You are inspiration.

  3. Stacey February 24, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    I love Alison’s blog as well as her work! She is amazing! I love this dresser! I will be pinning it as well as featuring it on my Facvebook page!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  4. Jan February 24, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Fabulous idea for knobs also! How do you gals come up with such cleaver ideas?

  5. Mrs.B February 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Oh! WOW! LOVE this…especially the knobs!

  6. Erin Spain February 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Love, love this! Beautiful.

    -Erin Spain

  7. Jodi February 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    I love that color and the knobs are just A+! I’m off to order some coco!

  8. Teresa @ Splendid Sass February 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Beautiful check. You did a wonderful job.

  9. Kacey February 25, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Love your style, Alison! The color + knobs combo is fantastic!

  10. Staci February 25, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    I love the way the chalk paint gives the piece a classy look and not just refinished. You have done a great job and I appreciate you sharing with the rest of the blogging world. So many times I’ve seen those ‘before’ pieces and passed them by … I need to be more active in my rescue attempts. (:

  11. Danielle February 25, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    What a wonderful makeover! I’m thinking I need to get my hands on some Coco now. It’s nice to know someone else has used poly on ASCP. I thought I might have been the only one! Love the handles, too!

    • Kristin March 13, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      What type of poly did you use? I had read somewhere that poly was not compatible with the chalk paint, but I prefer to use that instead of wax. Wax seems too messy and difficult to work with.

  12. Meg February 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    So, you used a polyurethane? Can a polycrylic be used too? Will the polyurethane yellow over time? I think I’m confused. :)

    • Meg February 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      I love Coco and I think your dresser is fabulous! Coco was one of the first colors I purchased.

  13. Lisa~ February 26, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Alison, how great to meet you here! The dresser is fabulous and I love the knob tip. I’ll be popping over to your blog now to see more of your great furniture! Lisa~

  14. Nancy Norris February 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Your piece turned out Fabulous! I just purchased some coco and am looking forward to trying it out :) can you share the brand of Poly you used, since yours is defiantly compatable. looks great!! I look forward to seeing your other projects ;)


  15. jessica@fourgenerationsoneroof February 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    I am a follower of the modern cottage and love her :) Transformation looks fabulous!

  16. Bettsi February 27, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    What a beautiful transformation. I just did a google search for “wipe on poly with annie sloan” and this was the first result! Can’t wait to try it- thank you for sharing your techniques.

  17. Peggy@ buy furniture February 27, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Nice Collection…Thanks for Sharing

  18. Kim February 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    I love the dresser she did in Co Co. Love that color and have used it a few times. Fantastic knobs. That is the jewelry of the piece.

  19. Anneke {RustiChic} February 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Alison’s furniture is amazing and she’s in my home state! I’m looking forward to making the trip down south to meet her and see the new shop! I’m so excited she’s contributing on here!!! :-)

  20. Kristin March 13, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    So glad to hear that poly can be used instead of wax…I am new to painting and the whole wax business with the sanding was scaring me a bit. Which brand of poly did you use because I had read on another site that poly wasn’t compatible with the chalk paint.

  21. Bertie March 18, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Love the dresser. Can you please tell me where I can purchase the knobs?

  22. Veronica Ortiz June 10, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Looking to find a polyurethane that plays well with chalk paint and doesn’t leave it looking yellow!!! Please advise!!! Thank you.

  23. Sarah August 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Love this dresser! Thank you also for letting me know it’s OK to use wipe on poly over chalk paint – I recently painted a chair and was debating how best to finish it. The first coat of wipe on poly is already drying! Sarah

  24. Lauren January 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi, I am painting my second ASCP piece and I don’t want to go through the waxing process. Can you tell my more about using the poly on it? Does it seal it so that the paint won’t rub/flake off? Also, what type of poly did you use?


  25. kathryn cain March 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    love the coco and brilliant on the knobs

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