Dusty Rose Romantic Gustavian Antique Dresser

Dusty Rose Romantic Gustavian Antique Dresser

A classic royal castle with a whimsical flare seems to be the backdrop of all our favourite 18th-century television shows like Bridgerton and Aristocrats. These interiors often leave us dreaming of naturally distressed walls and beautifully aged antiques in our own homes leading us to the question of how to get this antique, elegant, romantic dresser look for less? The answer is Homestead House and Fusion products! Follow along on this Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser tutorial.

Our wide array of finishes and paints not only gives you choices for customization, but these products were designed to give you both modern and authentically aged finishes. Our project is inspired by the Swedish twist on classic French styles of the 18th Century, also known as Gustavian

Let's take a look at the Before photo of our project:

The before Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser

Below is a list of supplies you will need for a Romantic Gustavian Look project:

Cleaning and Prepping for Milk Paint

This piece is a lovely 2-tier chest style that was very popular during the Victorian era in the early 19th century. It had great bones being solid pine but it did have some age marks and various repairs done to it over the decades. After a quick look over to make sure no additional repairs were needed, we proceeded to giving is a deep clean. First, we used our vacuum to remove layers of dust and cobwebs. 

Cleaning the dresser

Then we used Fusion TSP Alternative as our primary cleaner because it's great at breaking down oils and residue and removing surface-level dust and debris. If you need something to remove wax and polishes, we suggest using our Odourless Solvent to break down those finishes and remove them.


Next, we needed to fill the hardware holes as they were much too large for the hardware we chose. You can use dowels and wood epoxy to do this but our favourite method is to tape the interior holes and fill them with bondo wood filler. Once it’s dry (about 15 minutes late) you can sand smooth. 


We also made sure to give our piece a scuff sanding to help our milk paint adhere. Once your sanding is complete, just take a damp cloth to remove the dust and give you a clean surface. 

Painting with Homestead House Milk Paint

The next step in our process is to mix our milk paint. We used a 1:1 ratio of Dusty Rose milk paint to room-temperature water and mixed it with a stir stick. A tip for mixing milk paint is to make sure the paint is saturated with water completely so the pigments can break down properly. Once you let it sit for a couple of minutes, you’ll notice the paint starts to thicken. Continuously stir until your paint and water are well mixed and the consistency is that of table cream. You can add more water, for a diluted wash look, or more paint for a thicker coat. Don't worry, you can not get this wrong.

Mixing Dusty Rose milk Paint

Your first coat of paint is going to be washy and splotchy. This is due to some of the paint absorbing into the wood. Overall, this piece took 3 coats of paint for full coverage. 

Once your last coat is dry, you are ready to start chipping away at the final finish. We used our electric sander and sanding pads to smooth out our paint finish and lightly distress the edges. Using a sanding pad or block would work just as well. You’ll notice with milk paint some parts of your piece will naturally flake away or are easier to distress. Others end up having great adhesion and form a strong bond that requires a tad more effort. 

Sanding milk paint Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser

Algonquin Paint Wash

Before we seal our milk paint we want to add a paint wash to our wood top. Contrast is a great way to add some organic texture to your projects, and we love showcasing pretty wood. Sometimes natural wood colours will clash with your colour, but that’s where it can be remedied with a paint wash. A 10:1 ratio of water to FMP Algonquin is a great way to neutralize red and orange tones in the wood and give you a more naturally weathered look. Using the weak paint wash allows you to add layers until you get the tone you are looking for.

Sealing Milk Paint

Sealing milk paint is where you truly see your project start to come alive. Whatever product you use can alter the look of your milk paint and add sheen. We wanted to keep some of the matte, chalky look on our milk paint but still give it protection against any spills, so we used Liming Wax as a way to add a washed layer to our dresser.

Homestead House Liming Wax Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser

Then, we used Antiquing Wax to antique our piece further. We selectively added the Antiquing Wax to the corners and areas on our piece that would naturally age with use and make our newly refinished piece look 100 years old!

Homestead House Ageing wax Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser

The Finishing Touches for a Romantic Gustavian Look

Did we just step back in time? Or does this dresser look like a room set straight out of Bridgerton? We absolutely adore our collaboration of HHMP and Fusion™ Mineral Paint products to give us this almost fairy tale-like finish on our antique dresser. It was almost as if this shade was made entirely for this piece. 

Adding a tan wash was the perfect way to bring in those wood elements for contrast and to compliment the warm tones of this dusty antique pink shade. There are no red or pink tones to be found in our wood top, only warm cream tones to ground our piece.

Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser

This shade is also an elegant take on a traditional blush pink. Dusty Rose has warm orange and peach undertones to it, suiting it to a more neutral palette that doesn’t quite lean as feminine. This colour would certainly brighten up interiors during long, dreary winters in the Nordic region where months of limited light are common. 

Gilded, ringback pulls are a hallmark of Gustavian-style furniture. Almost all furniture and interiors produced during this era feature some kind of round or oval, ring pull that helps to maximize light in the winters while elevating the opulence of the design to reflect wealth or royalty. 

Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser

While Gustavian design may not be everybody’s cup of tea, we can definitely attest to it being a classic, romantic and elegant look that can dress up any piece into something fit for a King…literally! We hope you enjoyed this Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser makeover as something a little traditional and different using our Homestead House and Fusion products. Would you add a Romantic Gustavian Look to your home? Comment below!

Romantic Gustavian Antique Pink Dresser
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