I spotted this antique empire dresser while driving 40 miles an hour down rt. 66 on my way to a delivery in New Haven last saturday. It was set up at a bustling tagsale on the corner. I didn't have time to stop and it broke my heart as I was positive it would be long gone by the time I got back. I thought about it the entire drive down and the entire drive back, fantasizing about how I would refinish it, wondering what the condition was like, wondering how much it had sold for.
You can just imagine my delight when I returned three hours later to see it still sitting at the tagsale. I made a beeline for it. It was in lovely condition, just some veneer issues here and there, the drawers worked nicely, and the price was right. I snatched it up straight away!!
The piece is Empire, made about 1840-1865, my favorite period in American furniture design. It had the original drawer pulls, and all but one of the backplates for the drops were there. One had been swapped for something similar. When I got home I realized that in my stash of antique pulls I happened to have one, just one, matching back plate! Destiny.
I sanded stained, and sealed the beautiful pine top, repaired the missing veneer parts, and painted the case in a custom mixed greige called 'Bennington Buff'. This piece has so much character and detail, I wanted a quiet peaceful color. I kept the original hardware but recolored it in silver.