The French Gypsy Dresser

Sunday, March 8, 2015

So there I was, feeling pretty accomplished after taking care of my annual vehicle registration and headed back to the office. Then I spotted it. The Salvation Army sign. It was like a gambler seeing the neon lights on the strip again...I had to pull over. As I parked right in front, I saw that they weren't due to open for another 15 minutes, I was going to have to leave and head to work or else I would be late...but wait! Some wonderful soul had opened early! How often does THAT happen?!

There she was....I spotted her through the glass doors, like she was waiting for me. I walked up, checked the price tag and announced...ok, maybe yelled out of excitement..."SOLD!". In less than 5 minutes I had that baby loaded and I was on my way to work, I even got there early! That, my friends, is what is known as the best way to start a day. 

A peek into one of the drawers revealed that this was a Henry Link piece, which were quite popular for a while. They made great furniture because this dresser was structurally perfect with only a few cosmetic problems, to include some broken pulls. A quick eBay search and that problem was solved. I wanted this one to be fancy with glorious colors, gold highlights and a shiny other words, a glamour girl.

Anyone that knows anything about me knows I have an addiction to the color blue. It's almost unhealthy. I love it, though, so it is my main go-to hue. I've also been hankering to give another piece a jeweled finish like my "Isabella" desk with a peacock finish. For some insight into that eye candy click here.

I hit my paint stash and came out holding these babies:
I used Miss Lillian's No Wax Chock Paint in "Ocean Depths", CeCe Caldwell's Emerald Isle and Modern Masters Metallic Paint in "Warm Silver". I also used a dark blue acrylic paint (not pictured) to highlight...or rather, lowlight some areas.
As far as technique, the best I can describe my method is "layer upon layer upon layer". I can't really describe that any other way! I layered until I liked what I saw...!
I then painstakingly highlighted the edges and grooves with the MMWS paint with a small paintbrush I stole...borrowed from my daughters stash. That process was a difficult one! I have a crazy combination of ADD and OCD...I'll just let y'all imagine what that was like.
I also decided to try my hand at adding wallpaper to the sides. I have a fabulously talented and dear friend, Lori Preece who is the creative genius/artist behind Thee Velvet Glove and she inspired me with a gorgeous red dresser, adorned with wallpaper. She was kind enough to give me some advice and I am thoroughly hooked on the look and feel of it now! Look at that dimension!

As her colors and details came together, I didn't see a "glamour girl" emerging. Rather, I saw the allure and beauty of some old painting of gypsies I saw a few years ago. So that's what she was named. "The French Gypsy". I can't get over the depth and colors of the top, it looks like the ocean to me.
Finally, I sealed the paint with General Finishes "Enduro-Var" in Semi-Gloss. I can't sing it's praises enough. It goes on so smoothly and levels out any imperfections as it dries. It isn't a sealer you'd want to use with light colors or whites, as it darkens with time but I was ok with this because my colors are dark and would only be enhanced further.
When all was said and done, I decided I needed to pull my "good" camera out because cellphone pictures were just not going to do. I have a Canon 7D that pretty much scares me, but I was determined to do this piece justice. I spent HOURS taking pictures and working with all the settings. I have a long way to go, but I am quite pleased with what I ended up with. I'll leave y'all with the glamour shots of The French Gypsy, I hope you enjoy looking at her as much as I do! I have also listed this dresser on my etsy page, she is my very first piece of furniture ever! To check her out, or if you're interested in purchasing please visit my etsy page here.


  1. Beautiful as always! You put a lot of hard work into those details to get it just as you envisioned and it shows! You do beautiful work, Claudia.

    1. Coming from you, Laura, that is just awesome to hear. Thank you so much!!!

  2. love the dresser and the color is beautiful, i would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know,

    1. I'm so sorry that I did not see this before, I would be honored if you featured my French Gypsy! :)

  3. I'm in Louisville and saw your dresser on CL and just had to stop by and let you know what a great job you did on this piece! I also think you pictures are fab too!

  4. This is so gorgeous!!
    I was curious where you found replacement drawer pulls? All the ones I have seen go for $20+ per pull!!