A Bird’s Eye View: The Eleanor

As you may have guessed by now, I paint furniture.  I love painted furniture and I love painting furniture.  My aesthetic generally trends towards taking beautiful, vintage and antique pieces that have interesting detail and/or classic lines, that have seen better times, and revive them and give them a modern twist with bold, saturated color choices.  I also am very fond of the uber chippy and shabby look on more utilitarian and farmhouse style antiques.  I, mean, I’ll seriously try to paint pretty much anything I can get my hands on.  With a few notables exceptions.  Quartersawn (tiger) oak?  Not painting.  Rosewood?  Not painting.  Most dresser tops, desk tops, table tops, etc that have interesting wood grain and are in good condition?  Not painting.  And Bird’s Eye Maple!?!  Definitely NOT painting.

When I went to pick up The Huntsman (a craigslist find), the people also had this wonderful early century, serpentine tallboy that they were trying to find a new home for.


Obviously, I jumped all over it!  And who wouldn’t?!?  The bird’s eye maple veneers on the drawers were flawless and absolutely beautiful.  In fact, other than missing some hardware and having a broken drawer, the rest of the dresser was also in good condition.  But I paint furniture.  And this piece was not going to completely escape a paint job.

At first, I thought I was just going to paint the top, the rails, and the legs.  But upon closer inspection, the bird’s eye veneers on the sides had been refinished at some point, with a stain that wasn’t an exact match, and whoever did it had nearly sanded right through the thickness of the veneer.  Not even close to mint condition.  So the sides got the paint treatment, too.

Because I wasn’t going to do anything more than revive the drawer fronts with some oil (they were quite dry), I knew that whatever color I chose was going to need to not just complement the light honey tone of the drawer fronts, but also not be so bold as to distract from them.  It just so happened that I had just received a shipment of some new colors, and one of them, a deep and rich navy, was just what I was looking for!

The Eleanor

Look at how those drawers immediately catch your eye!  This dresser exudes richness and style.

The Eleanor The Eleanor The Eleanor

The Eleanor is just lightly distressed on the corners and edges, hinting at her age, but not distracting from the star of the show.  Just look at this beautiful bird’s eye maple!

The Eleanor The Eleanor The Eleanor

I kept the brass drop-pulls on the 3 larger bottom drawers but felt their size and style cluttered the top two smaller drawers.  In their place, I chose two different knobs…one is a small, cut-glass knob that seems to almost blend in with the bird’s eye, and then a more bold distressed turquoise ceramic knob that plays well with the navy and maple.

What do you think?  Feel free to leave your comments and give me your opinion.

The Eleanor is for sale and can be found in our Etsy shop!

Sharing this beauty at:

Redoux Interiors

The Dedicated House


  1. She is amazing! I love that you left the apron, as it really shows off her curves. And I am not usually a fan of the double knobs in place of handles, but with two different kinds, it really works!

  2. This is gorgeous!!! Found this on the dedicated house. Please come share this on DIY Sunday Showcase, a party a cohost. It’s opens in about 30 min!! Hope to see this beauty there!!


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