Awhile back this lovely dresser found its way to me . . .

It actually had a large mirror as well, but unfortunately, the mirror frame had been chewed to bits by some sort of insect.  Thankfully, the dresser had been spared! I love these type of pieces!

They are called empire style, and you can usually identify them by those two curved front legs. 

I’ve painted many of them, you can see some past ones here and here if you like 🙂

I also really appreciate that beautifully patterned wood veneer and wanted to save as much of it as I could.

Unfortunately, it was chipped off some on the sides and the top was pretty beaten up. The drawers were overall in good shape though, so my plan was to paint the base and leave the drawers as they were.



To prep the piece, we gave it a good scrub with Fusion’s Organic TSP, which is my new go-to cleaner.

I really do enjoy working with this product and find that it does an excellent job getting your piece clean and ready to paint.

antique empire dresser makeover with fusion mineral paint 6

If you want to know more about how to clean your furniture properly, you can read about that here

After cleaning the whole piece (including the drawer fronts which were a little grimy), I used some wood filler to repair the damaged veneer spots on the sides and then lightly sanded the base of the dresser with 180 grit sandpaper.  


There was a custom color mix I had seen going around on Facebook that I wanted to try, and I thought it would pair perfectly well with the natural wood drawers.

It’s a deep emerald green that you get by mixing 1 part Fusion’s Midnight Blue with 1 part Fusion’s Park Bench.



I used my Oval Staalmeester brush to paint on 2 coats, then let dry.

I also rubbed a bit of Hemp Oil onto the drawers fronts to help polish them up.

I’ve found with some of Fusion’s darkest colors, it’s helpful to apply a bit of wax or oil as a topcoat just to help add a touch of sheen–it does a good job of camouflaging dust and any scratches that tend to show up easily on darker colors.

I also always finish sand my pieces with a fine grit (at least 320) sandpaper to make them feel butter smooth, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and wet sand the whole piece with Hemp Oil.

Wet sanding will produce a lovely, smooth finish, and by using the hemp oil instead of water, I was also going to add a tiny bit of sheen to the finish. Work smarter not harder, right?

Fair warning–this is a messy process! So have lots of rags on hand!  


How to Wet Sand

  • You want to first brush the hemp oil onto your piece of furniture. You can also apply a bit to your sandpaper if you like.
  • Then, applying very light pressure, you sand in the direction of the grain on top of the hemp oil.
  • After you finish sanding a section, go back and wipe off the residue of oil mixed with paint dust (this is where it gets messy!).

Wipe in long, smooth strokes at first, then go back and buff in a circular motion with a soft rag.

If you’re using this method over a Fusion-painted piece, be prepared to let your piece sit for a few days before you move or use it. It takes a bit of time for the Hemp oil to really dry out and not still feel tacky to the touch. 

The end result though will be a butter-smooth finish with just the tiniest bit of sheen! 


*Pin this post for future reference!




antique empire dresser makeover with fusion mineral paint 5


Stately and elegant with that deep, rich green! I love this custom mix and will certainly use it again.


antique empire dresser makeover with fusion mineral paint 4


antique empire dresser makeover with fusion mineral paint 3


I wish you could reach through the screen and touch this finish to feel how smooth it is!


antique empire dresser makeover with fusion mineral paint 2


antique empire dresser makeover with fusion mineral paint


Wouldn’t this be a lovely piece in a dining room? Or a master bedroom?

It’s available for sale for $325 at my Antique Company Mall retail space, as well as all of the paint products I used.

And if you’re not local but want to shop all things Fusion, please visit me in my online shop!


Thanks for joining me today, and Happy Painting!



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