Ruby & Walnut

I had been hanging onto to this vintage dresser for months. It wasn’t until someone suggested that it might look good red that I finally started to visual its future look.

It was partially refinished in a heavy mint chalk paint when I picked it up. By heavy, I mean crusted on. By mint, I mean it just needed some chocolate chips.


I love to eat mint but I can’t stand the colour.

So off it went.

Chalk paint is water soluble so, in theory, it should come off fairly easily with a sponge, water and some elbow grease.

After an hour’s work, and some very sore elbows, I got about a quarter of the paint off one small drawer. My ever clever partner was quick to note that if I was playing a video game, I would at “about four per cent done”.

It wasn’t long before I took out the sander. And thus began my week long journey of spending all my free time getting the mint paint off.

But what I discovered was exciting and it was worth the time investment.

Under the mint paint and heavy original oil finish, lay a beautifully detailed walnut veneer. All four drawers follow the same pattern lines and are stunning.IMG_0325

Quick change of plans and I was staining the walnut in, you guessed it, walnut stain. I mixed it with a bit of ebony of darken the look.

The detailing of the two top drawers is really fun. The brass keyholes and wave design add so much to this piece.

The frame and the legs went ruby red since the sides were made of far less exciting material. I distressed them just enough to add a bit of old charm.

The original finish was very heavy and hid the walnut.
My little fairy helping.
If ever I get ambitious enough to get two cats, I’m going to call them Ruby & Walnut, in honour of this dresser and the lengthy journey we went on together.

Before & After





As time consuming as this piece was, I’m happy with it. I feel like it was freed from its minty and oily finishes and allowed to let its true colours through.

Thanks for stopping by,


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