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but Mom, we’re not British….

Get comfy…this is a long post.

My latest furniture project was inspired by the incredibly talented Miss Mustard Seed. She is a total trend setter in blogland. From the moment that she revealed her Union Jack dresser, I knew it was something I had to try to replicate.

So when she shared the paint colors that she used, Β it was GO time.

I looked out in my warehouse garage and chose a beautiful little antique oak chest. I bought it last summer at a garage sale. It’s been sitting untouched for months.

The reason I hadn’t done anything with it was because the drawers were wonky. They slid all the way to the back of the chest.

To paint the Union Jack design on the front of the chest, the drawers needed to be perfectly even. I had absolutely no idea how to do that. So I did what I do when I don’t know what to do. πŸ™‚ I improvised.

I pushed the drawer in as far as it would go. Then I took a scrap piece of 2×2 board and laid it from the front of the drawer to the front of the dresser. Then I marked the board where it met the edge of the chest.

It’s a little chewed up because my four-legged assistant Riley took off with it. πŸ™‚

Next, I sawed off the excess with my jigsaw. I can’t believe I didn’t lop off a digit!

Then I held the wood block at the back of the drawer and secured it with a wood screw.

I repeated this process for the bottom drawer as well and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with how my makeshift drawer stoppers worked!

Now that the drawers were even, it was time to stain and paint. I used my go-to stain color MinWax Dark Walnut on the top of the chest. I love the richness it gives the wood.

Next I primed and painted the body of the chest with Sherwin Williams Naval. Boy, did Miss Mustard Seed nail the navy blue color. It’s perfect. It took about 5 coats.

Miss Mustard Seed used a projector to trace the image onto her dresser. I don’t have a projector so I just taped it off like I did on my shabby union jack.

Starting with the white areas first.

Then adding the red. (Sherwin Williams Stolen Kiss)

At this point my kids saw what I was painting and said to me, “But Mom….we’re not BRITISH!”

Is there a rule that says you have to be British to think the Union Jack makes an uber-cool decorating statement? I think not. My heart belongs to the stars and stripes but hand painting 50 stars is not in my future.

I let it rest overnight. Looking at it this morning, I felt like it looked too stark.

Riley, my nosey assistant totally agreed. πŸ˜‰

So I sanded all the way around each drawer and then lightly glazed the whole chest front using Valspar’s Antiquing Glaze. I love this stuff…it is so workable. Much better than the many other glazes I’ve tried. Glazing can be tricky. If you get too heavy-handed it can make the piece look dirty.

I finished it off with MinWax paste finishing wax.

For the hardware, my first thought was to go with nickel or pewter. But I LOVED the way the brass looked on MMS’s version so I found some very simple antique brass pulls at Lee Valley.

One more look at the before…

And here is the after…

I heart ❀ this dresser. It was well worth the bazillion coats of paint and the trillion hours it took to finish it.

If you are local and love this as much as I do, I’m taking orders. You’re gonna need to make a couple of trips to the ATM though. πŸ˜‰

Don’t forget to enter my french letter box giveaway!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Linking up here:
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Designer Garden

44 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mel #

    A – M A Z I N G!

    You’ve knocked it out of the ball park.

    March 2, 2011
    • My exact sentiment. I liked Marions and thought it a fun project to consider doing one day…..but this one shouts a big WOW!!

      March 5, 2011
  2. What an awesome knock-off!
    I’m totally impressed.
    Great job!

    March 2, 2011
  3. Kim #

    Lots of work and great job. Thanks for linking up to WUW this week.

    March 2, 2011
  4. Bravo, Susan! This. looks. awesome. Great handles, too! Something tells me you’ll be receiving some local orders very soon… πŸ™‚

    March 2, 2011
  5. British or not, I’m in total LOVE with this! Hmmm…wonder if I could do this to my ugly bathroom vanity and create a British themed room? πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing. Happy Wednesday! πŸ™‚

    March 2, 2011
  6. Amazing knock off!! Great work!

    March 2, 2011
  7. Cynthia Cross #

    This is fabulous! Finally, something my college-aged son will love (made by his mom)! Thank you for a great project!

    March 2, 2011
  8. Clydia #

    Great job! I’ve been eyeing this on her blog too! πŸ™‚

    March 2, 2011
  9. Allison #

    You did a great job with this piece! I bet you sell this one very quickly. I’m impressed with how your fixed the drawers. Good for you!

    March 2, 2011
  10. Oh, you are very talented, but this is one of those pieces that I wish you would have restored to it former glory instead of painting it.

    March 2, 2011
  11. Great job, Miss Mustard Seed would say so herself.

    March 2, 2011
  12. Love it!

    March 2, 2011
  13. Meg #

    LOVE IT! You did a fabulous job! Isn’t Miss Mustard Seed awesome? I would rank this right up there with her creations, too! πŸ™‚ Great job!
    I’m having TWO giveaways right now–love it if you could check them out!

    March 2, 2011
  14. Love it! It is very striking, especially with the stained wood contrast. Here in Ontario, Canada we are very familiar with the Union Flag. For many years the Red Ensign made up the Canadian flag. In fact it is part of our provincial flag of Ontario, and I believe Manitoba as well! The Red Ensign and provincial crest make up the Ontario flag. I would love to find a piece like that to paint. I can hardly wait for garage sale season.

    March 2, 2011
  15. you have done (as always) a fantastic job. I had admired MMS’s and have been searching for the right dresser to work on myself. Your blog is quite an inspiration – keep up the great work!

    March 2, 2011
  16. Sue #

    Perfectly knocked off!!! Love it!

    March 2, 2011
  17. you did a beautiful job!!!! it looks incredible!

    March 2, 2011
  18. Very striking! I love your dresser.

    March 2, 2011
  19. I’m so jealous you had a dresser like that in your garage!! i’ve been searching for one everywhere since Marian first blogged about her dresser. Still looking as I can’t wait to try this out for myself. You did a great job!
    cheers Fiona from

    March 3, 2011
  20. This turned out fantastic!
    Love your word…. “wonky”.
    Have to steal that~
    Thanks for your inspiring post!

    March 3, 2011
  21. The most impressive part of this whole thing is the improvised drawer stoppers. It’s gorg and the paint is great, but those stoppers? That’s usin’ your noggin, there!

    March 3, 2011
  22. v #

    This is PHENOMENAL!! I love it. (And I’m not British either..) πŸ™‚ Over from Finding Fabulous.

    March 3, 2011
  23. Blimey!!! I love it!!!! ;}
    {and, uh, oh yes…God save the Queen! ;}

    m ^..^

    March 3, 2011
  24. You done her proud!! What an adorable dresser!! Vanna

    March 4, 2011
  25. So great! MMS is THE ONE to copy, so full of inspiration and awesome ideas!

    March 4, 2011
  26. You did a FABTABULOUS knock off here girl! I’ve been loving this idea as well and you are so right about Marian being a trendsetter. I would be delighted if you would link this up to my VIP party today πŸ™‚

    Sommer @ Designer Garden

    March 4, 2011
  27. It looks great! I love MMS style too!

    March 4, 2011
    • UNREAL! You did such a great job! Isn’t MMS talented? Honey….you’re not too shabby either! Check out what happened when I tried her panels! I wouldn’t even dare try this dresser. The post is Faith of a Mustard Seed. I think you might see how good you really are. Love, Me

      March 5, 2011
  28. wow you did a great job.. love it

    March 4, 2011
  29. The Frosted Gardner #

    This is just so um um incredible. You have to be screaming with joy – it is just amazing. Well done my friend!

    March 5, 2011
    • Okay. Can’t believe I got a comment from “THE” Frosted Gardner. This made my day! πŸ™‚

      March 5, 2011
  30. You totally rocked it! I have been looking for a dresser to do that to. Isn’t MSS inspiring? Can’t wait to check out your other posts.

    March 5, 2011
  31. WOWSERS! I love the Union Jack, I am a sepf professed Anglophile! This would be fabulous in my art room πŸ˜‰ Glad I followed the Saturday Nite Special blog party on over here! Pop on by and say hi :

    March 5, 2011
  32. Wow this turned out amazing! I love it and especially because I was born in England.
    Great job!

    March 6, 2011
  33. Wow, you did a fabulous job with this! Truly. It got featured on SNS #71’s sidebar this weekend it as just that awesome. πŸ™‚


    March 6, 2011
    • Thank you, thank you, thank you Donna! I’m pinching myself! πŸ™‚

      March 6, 2011
  34. This look wonderful!! You did such a great job and the “…but we’re not British” comment made me laugh. My husband suggested I paint a dresser with an American flag on it. “Naw. It’s too americana for my taste.” “But, we’re in AMERICA. Don’t you think someone would like it?!” Funny. He just doesn’t get it’s not about patriotism, it’s about the look. πŸ™‚

    March 7, 2011
    • Somebody pinch me…I gotta comment from THE Miss Mustard Seed herself! Thanks, Marian. This made my day! πŸ™‚

      March 7, 2011
  35. Kerri #

    THANK YOU for the drawer stopper idea! An antique dresser I bought at a garage sale did the same thing and I didn’t now how to fix it – but now I do!

    August 29, 2011

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