Mermaid Blues How-To

I had picked up this French provincial beauty off of Craigslist. It was in rough shape, super dirty, but had great lines, solid oak drawer boxes, and very well made. The original finish was chipping, the top was stained, and the front had encountered at least a few beverage spills.  I seriously wonder what people do with their furniture sometimes!

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Here are the products I’d set out to use throughout the process on this Mermaid Blues Makeover

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No secret, I HATE prep work! I group it together in days where I prep several pieces at one time to get it over with, sort of like Mondays.

I stripped the top on this piece with a harsh chemical stripper along side two other pieces. I applied the stripper, let it sit for @10 mins, then went to work scraping, this old white finish was tough so it took two rounds. Then I went to work with my sander, first with 80 grit, then 120. It was obvious right away the top had some old stains and I’d need to treat with a pre stain conditioner. 

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I started by removing all the drawers and numbering them so they went back in correctly, then took off all hardware. I found $.13 in pennies, one of the more normal things I’ve found in an old dresser! Pure profit baby! A good cleaning is one of the most important steps to make sure your paint adheres properly. 

The cleaner is a granulated cleaner formulated with TSP. This was my first time using it and I’m impressed! I dissolved two heaping tablespoons onto a bucket of hot water (yes, one of my kids sand buckets, hey it’s what I could find)

Look at that bucket and tell me cleaning doesn’t matter! Under all of that grossness, the piece itself was in great condition, so I did not sand the body.

I sent the hardware for a swim in a bath of white vinegar overnight.

Applying paint is my absolute favorite step. It’s the part where the transformation begins to happen and the new piece starts to reveal itself. For this piece, the customer chose a look from my portfolio as inspiration. The colors I used were Palmetto, in the navy, and Mermaid Tail. The blending on this one looks complicated, but is actually surprisingly simple.

I started on the drawers by framing the outside of them in Palmetto, then, with a separate brush, I outlined the insets with the bunker hill Blue, and then filled in with Palmetto. This is just the base coat so perfect blending is not so critical at this point.

I did a drawer on camera to show laying the initial color onto the drawer.

Here are the drawers after our initial coat of paint, not so pretty, but great coverage! The body got the same coat of paint, Palmetto in the majority with bunker hill Blue framing out the trim details. I next added a coat of pre stain condition to the bare wood top to keep the old stains from peeking through the new finish.

I left the drawers to dry overnight and came back to them. The next coat is pretty much the same as the first, only this timed I incorporated the Mermaid Tail just into the centers of the drawer insets by just applying a small line of paint and then blending into the surrounding Palmetto. This serves to add a bit of highlighting to the drawers, the dark blue on the frames and bright turquoise centers really sets them off. I also did a second coat on camera to see the blending. This second coat is where you really want to make sure the colors blend smoothly together.

I did a second coat on the drawers on Facebook Live HERE, if you like the video, like my page for more!

Here is a pic right after that video step:

Once our paint was on came time for wax. I used Wax in Clear to protect this beauty. From there I used the Brown and Black waxes to add depth. I applied a thin line of black wax just along the recessed details, then used a small wax brush to blend it. The results are subtle but add to the dimension of the colors.

Here is a video adding the dark waxes

Once the body was complete and protected I turned to the top. I added two coats of a dark gel stain. The gel has a bit more thickness which helped camouflage the existing discoloration in the top. The top was a veneer so I didn’t want to try to sand it out.

With nice coverage from the gel stain, I used the an Applicator Sponge to apply 6 thin coats of satinclearcoat. I dipped the sponge right into the container and wiped it on, careful not to go back over areas that had already been applied. The sponges apply super smooth coats, free of brush marks.


The final results are stunning, a scroll stopper for sure. My customer has been remodeling a home and is using this as a jumping off point to design their living room around. I believe painted furniture should evoke emotion, start conversations, and this Mermaid Inspired Dresser Makeover is just that!


This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Denise Chatterton

    Wow, you are ridiculously talented! I love every project you work on. Thank you for taking the time to educate us!

    1. Brandy K.

      Thank you so much!! Trying to keep things fresh, try new ideas, thank you for the words of support!!

  2. Brigitte

    I think I am your greatest fan – from Germany at least 🙂

    1. Brandy K.

      All the way from germany!! That’s so exciting! Thank you!

  3. Roseann

    Just beautiful!!!


    Hi from New Zealand Brandy ! always love all your work & so kind of you to share your techniques

    1. Brandy K.

      All the way from New Zealand! Thank you so much for following along and your words of encouragement!

  5. Debra Hubbs

    Hi. I recently learned of this paint when shopping for paint to paint fabric cornice valances and then saw your beautiful pieces on the company’s FB page. You are so talented, your work is gorgeous! I enjoy and learn from your tutorials so thank you for that. I had to laugh at the blending one for this piece. Kids playing and yelling in the background, you holding the phone in your right hand and painting with your left. How did you even do that without shaking the phone? lol. You thought it was bad, but I thought it was funny…and real.. and it was all for helping others to learn your techniques. I know you said you’ve watched some tutorials yourself, so you must know how some of them are. B o r i n g lol. You’re great!

    1. Brandy K.

      Omg, I love this comment soooo much!! Thank you for the sweet words! Yes, I haver a short attention span and can’t do long babbling videos, try to keep them short and to the point!

  6. Tonya Lindsay

    Hello Brandy
    You are super talented at the blending of paint. I follow you on Instagram and I’ve always wondered are you sanding your pieces when completed
    If you are what sanding sponge/paper are you using
    Always curious . If you are able to find the time to respond via email as I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find your answer on here – or the post again!

    1. Brandy K.

      Thank you! I always brush them with a fine sanding sponge in between each coat, including clear coat

  7. katie solem

    Where can i find more of your wonderful teachng videos?

    1. Brandy K.

      On my YouTube channel

  8. Jan Weiss

    Hi Brandy,
    I just found you and I am I excited! I spent the whole weekend watching you or you on YouTube and learned so much Your work is amazing! . I am retiring from nursing soon and want to get back in touch with my old creative self . I’d love to learn from you. If you’re doing any seminars near Dallas please let me know.❣️

    1. Brandy K.

      Thank you! Welcome aboard! The closest i have planned is January 18th in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out

  9. KenjiShiloh

    thank you so much for this awe-inspiring website me and my class best-loved this depicted object and brainstorm

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