Something Bad Happened to The Waterfall Dresser

Something Bad Happened to The Waterfall Dresser

Sigh! It’s hard not to fall in love with the art deco lines of a waterfall dresser. For those of you who just said, “A what now?” Waterfall is the term given to the dressers, nightstands, armoires, or any other piece of furniture with that rounded top edge. These were popular in the 1930’s and in my mind, they have remained popular ever since. [su_pullquote align=”right”]Of course I forgot to take a before picture but that was not the only bad thing that happened with this one.[/su_pullquote]

I went picking with my sister one winter day last year and found an amazing deal on one of these beautiful dressers. Only $30!

Of course, at that price point, it needed some love but it was is great shape. And then something bad happened. My sister slipped on the ice while taking it out of the truck. Don’t worry she was okay. Nothing but bruised pride (I did tell her we should move the truck off the ice after all). Unfortunately, the dresser unglued itself. And when I say unglued I mean it. It came apart at

Glued and Clamped
Glued and Clamped

every seam like a jigsaw puzzle. It could have been worse. No, I’m not being sarcastic. None of the wood was damaged so the puzzle could be put back together. If it had splintered in any way the dresser would have been toast.

So it was glued and clamped. It was probably a fortune accident because if the glue was that precarious it would have fallen apart eventually. Better with me than after I’d sold it to someone. Imagine getting something home and having it come apart.

I don’t believe the handles that were on it were original. They aren’t deco at all so I filled one of the holes so I could inlaid drawersuse some jewel knobs I had instead. I wanted full on girly for this one!

I chose Junk Gypsy Buttermilk Biscuit for this. Yes, that is my daughter doing some of the work. Junk Gypsy paint is perfectly safe for kids to use even my daughter who has asthma. We are able to paint inside all winter with no problem.

Then something bad happened. The stain bled through bad! Anyone who has ever tried to paintJunk Gypsy Paint Safe For Kids to use a piece from the 30’s knows what I mean. The tannins in the stain are drawn to the water in the paint so it will continue to bleed. No problem Junk Gypsy primer to the rescue! It’s fantastic at blocking these stains without harsh odor.

[su_pullquote]I had planned to decoupage a cherry blossom poster to the front of the drawers . . . Then something bad happened.[/su_pullquote]I had planned to decoupage a cherry blossom poster to the front of the drawers.  I got as far as decoupaging one drawer when something bad happened. The poster shrank and wrinkled when I put it on. This has never happened to me before. I wish I had taken pictures. I didn’t think about it. To be honest I just cried. I thought the piece was ruined. The hubby to the rescue!

I don’t cry over pieces so he must have been distraught to find me weeping in the basement. Somehow he got every last piece of glue and paper off the drawer. I didn’t see it because I was curled in the fetal position crying. It was a miracle. I love him so much.

first coat of buttermilk buscuitStill, after all this, I didn’t want just painted front drawers. This piece deserved something special. I turned to decoupage again and this time I used Paris themed burlap.

Then something bad happened. Here’s what people who decoupage burlap forget to mention. It gets stiff and sharp. Imagine if you will covering your drawers with 80 grip sandpaper.


Imagine grabbing the knob to open the drawer of a dresser covered with 80 grit sandpaper.


I had to fix that. I took a sanding block and knocked down the sharp pieces and then coated the drawers with Junk Gypsy clear coat. The surface was still rough but not sharp.

Once it was put together it was gorgeous. It looked so amazing in my both for about one day until someone fell in love with it and had to take it home with them.

Waterfall Dresser Redo
Finished Waterfall Dresser in the booth