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Textured Empire Dresser

This is such a gorgeous piece of furniture given to me by my cousin. These empire style dressers are made so well and have a unique style all their own. Just look at the figure on this piece! It needed a little bit of work. There were some big chunks missing in the veneer and minor repairs to do.

Empire Dresser

Empire Dresser

I wanted to strip this piece and make it all natural, but that wasn’t possible. The red paint stained the beautiful walnut so the grain wasn’t going to shine like I wanted it to. I loved the green glass handles (aren’t they fabulous?), but they weren’t going to work with what I was planning to do. BTW, Citristrip is the best!

To use this stripper:

  • Paint on with a cheap chip brush in a thick layer
  • Cover with plastic to keep from drying out
  • Let sit for the amount of time noted on the back of the container (I usually do 30 min to 1-hour, sometimes 24-hours)
  • Use a plastic scraper to remove the stripper with the residue lifted from the piece of furniture
  • Wipe clean with rag. Use denatured alcohol to remove remaining residue. Be sure all residue is removed or dry before trying to sand and applying paint or primer.

Stripping Furniture

The drawers actually stripped pretty easily and I was hoping they’d clean well. This is where I thought I would leave the drawers, at least, natural. It just wasn’t possible no matter how much I sanded. I was able to keep the strips between the drawers their natural color. This piece was definitely a huge challenge.

Stripping Furniture

I decided to use a textured finish to give this piece a different and unique look. The cement style finish actually looks pretty cool on this empire dresser. The whole process made it a lot of fun to create.

Textured Empire Dresser

Cement Finish

The base color is a hurricane gray, dry brushed with a manatee gray. I used Saltwash to get a textured finish and the cement look. Saltwash comes as a powder, and you mix any color paint of your choice with it. I applied the salt mixture with a putty knife and dragged the thick mixture across the surface. It’s a very easy application. I allowed it to dry overnight.

The bronze handles were the perfect finish for this piece!

I’m loving the results! What do you think?

A big bold statement dresser or even a storage piece for a dining room. It’s such a unique finish with enormous storage, it will fit well in any area of your home.

Dresser Empire

Do it with purpose!

Wendy 🌸

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares!” -Sal Bass