nautical dresser.

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This is Captain…the nautical dresser.  Isn’t he adorable? I mean, look at him.  He’s so great!


If you didn’t immediately say yes, then maybe you should see the before.  He used to look like this:


He was not so pretty.  Not that there was much actually wrong with him, he was just boring.  Oh, and he had a few broken handles.  But I wanted to give him a nautical dresser type of feel.  You know, something a little rustic but fun?

I gave his body two coats of cream chalk paint.  If you don’t know how to make chalk paint, here’s the tutorial.  It’s really helpful to know how to make, and can add great texture.  I sanded and polished his top.  Don’t sand completely, just enough to start making the thing look old.  No electric sander necessary.

I added numbers to his drawers.  I used a stencil for this, the kind you can find to paint numbers on doors or mailboxes.

Then I sanded.

I rubbed stain in in spots to “age” the paint.  The trick to aging is to rub stain in spots, and then wipe it off a bit with a paper towel or a rag.  That leaves the perfect amount of aging.  Finally, I buffed him down with clear wax and made him simple twine handles.  A really great thing about twine handles is that even if they wear out, they are really easy to remake and refresh.

And now he is a nautical dresser.

I am soo pleased with Captain!  He turned out exactly as I had hoped!

What furniture do you have around the house that might turn out as great as this nautical dresser with just a bit of paint and some love?

Like this?  You might also like my tutorials for a dining room bench, an office desk and chairs, and an outdoor bench.

Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Meg @ Nutmeg Place

    June 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I know you’re all on vaca and everything, but I’m featuring Captain on the All Star Block Party this week.



  2. Meg @ Nutmeg Place

    June 10, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I knew this dresser before I even clicked the link! I love it!

    Thanks for linking it up on the block party!

  3. Shasta Farrar

    June 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Good job! I like the number font you used…it goes so well with his name. I love how you name your furniture :)

    Have a good weekend,

  4. Carri Wright

    June 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I just LOVE the Captain and the sea theme…great job… I just love a great furniture save..

    Thanks for linking up with the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY… you rock!!!!
    I’m your newest follower…


  5. Holly

    June 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I really like Captain. I’m very curious about the tag with the writing that’s hanging off one of the drawer pulls….it has me perplexed and wondering…care to share? Thanks so much for linking up to our first All Star Block Party!

  6. Debbie refreshrestyle

    June 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I’m in love with the captain! Send him over ;)

  7. Shannah @ Just Us Four

    June 5, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Captain looks great! I am always amazed at the transformation that can come from paint. Great job.

  8. Bliss

    June 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Put a little Captain Morgan on his top, some nautical glasses in his drawers park him at the lake and you’ve got yourself a sand bar.


  9. Bella

    June 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Seeing as I live very close to the Whaling city…I think the Captain should come live with me :) He’s so handsome!

  10. Jen @ Four Marrs & One Venus

    June 4, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Oh Yeah Baby- He is one Nice looking gentleman! Wow…. what time is he picking me up for some dinner? Nice job Martha- Nice JOB!!

  11. Evelyn

    June 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

    OH MY! I do like this Captain guy:) I hope he is not too close to Gertie. I just wonder what their little ones would look like?? I am just leaving you with that thought…..

  12. cassie

    June 4, 2012 at 7:20 am

    i am with heather, shiver me timbers! ;)

  13. Inspire Me Heather

    June 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Ahoy there, the Captain looks great – arrr Matey!

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