9-drawer Mid Century Modern Dresser

I came across this gorgeous dresser on Facebook Marketplace. A gentleman was trying to clear out his neighbour’s apartment who had recently passed away. When I got to the place, it wasn’t in the best part of town and you could tell that the woman was a cigarette smoker.

Usually, I’d pass right away but this piece had such good bones. I’m a sucker for a mid century modern dresser with built in handles. I googled how to remove the smoke smell and I figured I would give it a shot. The worst that could happen was that it wouldn’t go away and I’d have to get rid of it.

I mixed a solution of vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle. I took all the drawers out of the dresser and left them and the frame outside to air out while I sprayed it down. After about three hours, I went out and sprayed it again. After a couple more hours, I brought everything inside and right down to the basement. I sprayed it down one more time and let sit for another day. It did the trick and the cigarette smell was gone!

Next came time to pick the colour. I worked with my local Annie Sloan stockist, The Painted Bench, to look for a dark grey mix suitable for a mid century modern piece. We went through a few different mixtures. I am so grateful for the time they take with me. It’s been like this since the first time I walked in the store.

I ended up going with a 1:1 mixture of Athenian Black and Chicago Grey. Both of these colours have a cool undertone which is reminiscent of the mid century modern era. In some lights it looks dark grey in some light and a sort of dark blue in other lights. I’m a big fan!


  • Annie Sloan chalk paint in a 1:1 mixture of Athenian Black & Chicago Grey
  • Annie Sloan clear wax
  • General Finishes gel stain in Antique Walnut
  • General Finishes gel satin top coat

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