From Drab to Fab: Spoonfuls of Colorful Fun on an Eastlake Victorian Dresser!

From Drab to Fab: Spoonfuls of Colorful Fun on an Eastlake Victorian Dresser!

Hello there, my lovely readers! Today, I wanted to share with you my latest project: custom painting an Eastlake Victorian style dresser with a mirror featuring spoon carving. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, "Why would you paint such a beautiful piece of furniture?" Well, the truth is, this piece isn't exactly authentic. While it does have stunning spoon carved details all over the mirror and dresser, the drawer construction doesn't feature pin and cove joints or dovetail joints which are typical for pieces of this age. These joints are used in quality furniture to ensure durability and longevity. 


If you're not familiar with furniture terminology, you might be wondering what the term "spoon carving" means in relation to the Eastlake style dresser with a mirror that I custom painted. Spoon carving is actually a decorative technique that was commonly used on Eastlake furniture, especially on dressers, mirrors, and other case pieces. 


From drab to fab: the transformation of this vintage beauty is about to blow your mind! Keep scrolling to see the stunning before and after photos.


The carving technique involves removing small, precise amounts of wood from the surface of the furniture to create intricate patterns and textures. On my piece, the spoon carving created stunning details all over the mirror and sides of the dresser front, adding visual interest and reflecting the Victorian era's love of ornamentation and attention to detail. 

That being said, I still fell in love with this dresser when I bought it on Facebook Marketplace from an older woman in Suffolk, VA who lived in an early 1900s farmhouse. She was downsizing and was happy to get rid of it. She was so strong she helped me load it in my car. Her home had the best fragrance of pumpkin spice, which made the whole experience even more delightful. It was last autumn when I acquired it which is part of the reason I felt like painting it was okay.


Comparison of Dovetail Joints (left) and Pin and Cove Joints (right) - Dovetail joints were commonly used in furniture construction from the 17th century onwards, while pin and cove joints became popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


I was inspired by a photo I saw on my Pinterest feed of an antique buffet with a mirror styled with dozens of blue and white porcelain vases and lamps. I wanted to bring some color and personality to this piece, so I decided to paint it in the color Park Bench by Fusion Mineral Paint. Now, I know some of you might not be thrilled with my color choice, but hear me out. This deep, rich, historic green is inspired by the classic park bench, and with exceptional ease of application, a virtually zero VOC formulation with high hiding coverage, and a built-in topcoat, it was the perfect choice for me. Plus, I paint in a drive-up storage unit that is not climate controlled, so I don't want to use a product with harmful fumes that could lead me to getting sick.

Photo Credit: ZigandCompany 

One of the best things about Fusion Mineral Paint is the wide range of colors it comes in. From deep, rich hues to soft pastels, and even metallics, the options are endless. This makes it easy to find the perfect color for your project, whether you're working on a vintage piece or something more modern. Click here to check out Fusion Mineral Paint 


Before I started painting, I bought new vintage style crystal knobs from Hobby Lobby during their 50% off sale. I painted the decorative part of the knobs with RubNBuff in the color Antique Gold. It was the perfect addition to the piece.

Here is a before shot of the pulls I picked up from Hobby Lobby and an after. I gently rubbed in the RubNBuff with my finger.


To start the painting process, I hand-sanded the entire piece down with 220 grit block and wiped down the entire piece with a wet cloth to remove debris. Then I used a brush to paint on the Fusion mineral paint. I love this paint because it doesn't need a primer, which made the process so much faster.

My antique booth needed some color for spring, and I wanted shoppers to feel inspired to use color in their home. You can purchase this dresser from or in person in my booth at Virginia Beach Antique Mall. Located at 3900 Bonney Rd Virginia Beach, VA 23452.

I had so much fun custom painting this piece, and I'm so happy with how it turned out. But, as always, I want to know your thoughts! What do you think of my color choice? Do you have any furniture that you've painted in a unique way? Let me know in the comments below.


Antiquish Home Decor

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.