Sunday, May 5, 2013

From plain to Zinc!

My wonderful client Kami wanted a zinc finish for this plain ole' dresser.  She got a great deal on Craigslist and wanted a complete transformation by making this baby shine with a zinc finish.

Why use a faux finish rather than paint containing zinc?  According to the U.S. General Services Administration, paints containing zinc are to be avoided when painting wood, as zinc attracts moisture.  The authority spoke, and I listened.  So off Google I went to look for instructions on a faux finish.

It wasn't hard to find THE BEST tutorial on the planet.  Jami, at Freckled Laundry has the most complete tutorial for creating this kind of finish.  Actually, it is the most complete tutorial ever.  Yes, ever.  You can't go wrong if you just take the time to watch her multiple videos.

And, after watching said videos, this is how the plain ole' dresser turned out:

I added legs, as the original dresser looked like the legs had been cut out from underneath her (yet they had not).

Just by adding the layers of paint recommended by Jamie, you can see the dimension it creates in the piece.

Since this was a zinc faux finish, I had to add a nail head design.

Thanks to Jamie, this was a very easy transformation, although time consuming.  Play around with the layers and stop when you are happy with the results.  It's hard to screw this one up.  ;)

Have fun,



  1. Aw. Thank you for the shout out, Debbie! My zinc tutorial was one of my very first and it IS a bit complete! haha I think the dresser looks awesome...LOVE the little nail detail you added.The hardware is great, too. I'm sure your client loved it. That before was quite a mess. Do you mind if I share this? xo

  2. Love this color!
    I'm visiting you today from Tuesdays at our Home. I co-host a Linky Party Tuesday and would LOVE for you to add this. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog, leave a comment and Link Up, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party

  3. Fabulous transformation. I love the zinc color. It really looks amazing. Thanks for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  4. Wow - what an amazing transformation. You did a great job. I would love for you to link this up to my Swing into Spring party that opens tonight at 8pm EST. Hope to see you then.

  5. I love your transformation!!!! Can I ask how you did the nail detail. I love the leg idea as well. I've been debating on whether to do the zinc on mine. I just need to either fill the ugly wheat design with filer or cover it somehow. Haven't figured out what. Three of my dressers have that design. So it's time to just jump in and paint them either zinc, white or the stain walnut look. I like modern look. But I want my husband to cut the curve detail on the bottom skirt. Already changed hardware. I also seen freckled laundry's video and agree its the best out there. Any extra input would be grateful. Love your work. I have painted many items including my kitchen cabinets. Just haven dealt with zinc. Thanks

    1. Hi Faith. Thanks for the compliment!

      As for the nail design, I just found a graphic that I liked, enlarged it a little bit, and used a carbon paper behind it to trace it onto the dresser. I then used carpet tacks over the design. Super simple. Also, I love to look at a piece and see if adding legs would make it better. Sometimes it can dramatically change the look of the piece. The same thing with moulding. If there are places on your piece that would benefit from adding stock moulding from Home Depot or Lowes, go for it. The zinc application takes some time, with all the layers, but it is totally worth it.

      Good luck and have fun!

    2. Hi, Debbie thanks so much for taking your time and replying back. I love the idea you came up with for the nail head. I should have mentioned it does have the dental moulding around the front. Ill take a pic and send so you can get an idea. Cause it has this carved wheat? Pattern in middle of one drawer of top dresser only. Not sure about the legs but, maybe it will work. Can have my husband take a look too. I agree it does change piece and esp with wood floors easier to clean under as well. Lol thanks again for help.

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  7. Love your dresser and I would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know, lauren

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  9. Hi Debbie! I just found your blog today and I love it! I did Freckled Laundry's method - but over annie sloan chalk paint in graphite. (don't ask how many times and finishes I did on that!) I was wondering if you think it might work over chalk paint - or did you do something different? Thanks in advance!

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