Paint is not the enemy
Let me explain. I love stained wood. I prefer stained wood. I cringe every time I see someone scoop up a gorgeous piece of antique furniture and promptly slather on layers of chalk paint. It makes my heart hurt. I feel so strongly about it, I have adopted the principle into my moral code for life. "My name is Brooke and I'll never uneccessarily paint over a perfectly good piece of furniture."
I have spent SO many hours, days, weeks...stripping pieces that I saw potential in, underneath gobs of turquoise paint. In fact, that's exactly how this dresser started out when I snagged it off craigslist years ago. It was a horrible, turquoise blue, and underneath that, a yellowish white, and underneath that, even more layers in colors I can't remember and have probably blocked out because it was all so traumatizing.
I actually didn't intend to fully strip this one. The plan was to just repaint it with a less appalling color, but I had to do a *little* stripping to smooth the surface. One thing lead to another... and a couple of days later I had stripped him down to the wood. (pun totally intended.)
Unfortunately, I think this dresser was never meant to be naked and was probably painted at the time of manufacture. Thus, paint had soaked into the fibers of the wood and no amount of stripping or sanding would pull it out. I gave up at this point feeling defeated and knew that eventually I would have to go back to the original plan and paint it. I finally marched my butt down to Lowe's this week and picked a paint color.
I was looking for a deep hunter green, but not so dark it looked black in low light. I landed on Tree line by Valspar and choose an eggshell finish because I love that matte look. I bought a quart but I think it'd be possible to get by with a sample size. However, I have plans for the rest of the paint and like having some on hand for touch ups.
Ideally I would have removed the top and replaced it with a custom marble slab. Oh you thought I had? It looks like real marble you say? Why yes, yes I know. The faux marble countertop diy isn't revolutionary. I've watched people cover their formica counters and bathroom vanities with marble contact paper for years. So when I realized I'd have to spend roughly $200-$300 for a cut large enough, I revisited the contact paper idea. A lot of the marble paper you'll find is extremely shiny though, so I highly recommend this more matte paper. Even extremely close up, it looks like marble. It's so convincing and I'm completely obsessed. You guys, faux marble is the new cane webbing. At least in my home.
The drawer pulls are antique ones I found on craigslist years ago. The geode knobs are from anthropologie.
Someday I will pull off that top and replace it with a giant slab of marble that hangs over the back edge so that you can pull up a stool and have a seat. For now, this makes me pretty happy, and I'm satisfied.