DIY · Painted Furniture

The Little Dresser That Could – CeCe Caldwell

**This post contains sponsored content. Though we were compensated with product, all ideas and opinions are 100% our own!**

When I came across this dresser back in Kansas two things caught my eye.
1. There’s a Fleur De Lis.
    Y’all. I’m from New Orleans. Duh.

2. It is the perfect size and height for my bedside “table”.
Remember: Dressers = Multi-use Furniture

Trish and I just started using CeCe Caldwell Paints and we are IN LOVE. These are natural chalk and clay paint so they are non-toxic, have no VOCs, and no solvents. Whoop Whoop!

For this dresser I went with Young Kansas Wheat (how appropriate for one of my last finds in Kansas!). Always be sure to really clean the piece (inside and out) before you get started!

The paint went on exceptionally smooth. Not at all grainy or watery (like some other brands) and not too thick. It was the perfect balance and painting went very quickly. When I started out I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do with this piece (other than the main color) so I put three coats of paint onto this piece.

This is the dresser with three coats of CeCe Caldwell’s Young Kansas Wheat.

I decided at this point that I wanted a white wash effect over the entire piece. Because of that, the next step was to distress the piece.


I was not about to let that detailing go unnoticed and distressing those details lets them stand out. You will notice (more so in other pictures) that the center drawer has a crack in the veneer. I would usually repair that, but really liked how I thought it would look finished. It was still solid to the piece, structurally okay, so I very lightly distressed over that as well.

For the “white wash” effect, I used CeCe Caldwell’s (tintable) clear glaze with a touch of Vintage White. I did one thin coat of clear glaze over the entire piece using a flat brush to prep it for the wash. After allowing that to completely dry (about three hours), I made my wash using the glaze and Vintage White. CeCe recommends doing 1 part paint to 6 parts glaze but I did a bit closer to 1 part paint to 4 parts glaze. I wanted the white to really show in some of the details and over the entire piece. Using a lint-free cloth, I wiped the wash mixture onto the piece, rubbing it into some areas and letting it sit a bit more in others.

I used a plastic bowl to mix the glaze with the paint.

In the picture below, the bottom drawer only has the thin coat of Clear Glaze while the top drawer has the wash newly applied.

I applied the same wash to the original hardware.

After allowing the wash to dry (I let it sit over night), I grabbed my huge wax brush and applied CeCe Caldwell’s Clear Wax over the entire piece. For this waxing method, after applying the wax, you allow it a few hours to dry before you really buff it into the piece for the smooth and (slightly shiny) finish. When buffing, use a lint-free cloth so your hard work isn’t ruined with little specks of dust and lint working their way into the finish.


It’s never a bad idea to invest in a good wax brush. Obviously, the larger the brush, the more coverage with each stroke.


This is the finished product. (See the crack I was talking about? I kind of love it). The white wash gives dimension to the piece while keeping a classic look at the same time.


A good waxing job leaves a nice sheen that seals the piece. CeCe Caldwell’s waxes take about 30 days to fully cure.

Where the white wash is more prominent is where I let it sit a bit longer before rubbing it in with the lint-free cloth. In some crevices, I wiped it out and in others left it in. You can see all three layers, the wood finish, the Young Kansas Wheat, and the Vintage White wash.

Every step brings a new layer and dimension to the piece. It’s a timeless piece that will be so versatile throughout the house!

We can’t wait to show you videos of the step-by-steps in the future! They are coming. We promise!

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