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Friday, July 17, 2009

Darling Dresser - A refinished beauty!

I'm linking this post up to Between Naps On The Porch for her Metamorphosis Mondays. Make sure to go and check out all the other great transformations!
Remember a few months back when I mentioned that I wanted to refinish the dresser in the living room? This one?

Well, I finally had the money to order the new glass knobs, and some time to work on the dresser itself. It took me two separate weeks when Lover was out of town traveling to get it done, but now it is beautiful!

Here's the process I used:

Step One: Strip it baby!

I used one application of wood finish stripper to remove the glossy finish. This stuff smells bad and is tricky to work with, but it saves a lot of sanding time, so I went ahead and used it. Make sure to use gloves, and follow the directions to the letter, as this stuff is tempermental.

Step Two: Sand away!

I spent quite a bit of time sanding down each drawer, and the dresser body. For this project I sanded by hand, although a power sander would have made my life easier. Alas, my brother had borrowed our sander, so I had to resort to elbow grease. I gave special attention to the top, as it was scratched, had some holes and was just messed up in general. I didn't sand off all of the original stain as I wanted some of the color to show through the dark stain I was going to put on top of it. Always be sure to sand in the direction of the wood grain (the lines in the wood) to ensure a smooth finish.

Step Three: Staining on purpose.

To stain the dresser I used MinWax's Dark Walnut wood stain, applied with clean rags. I just dipped the rags in the stain, and then rubbed it over the wood, again in the direction of the grain. It took three coats to get the deep, rich color I was going for. Make sure to allow the stain plenty of time to dry thoroughly before going on the the next step.
Note: Do not attempt this step during cottonwood season. I spent more time picking cotton out of the stain than actual staining!

Step Four: Finish it up

I chose to use Rustoleum's Clear Spray Lacquer to cover the stain. I like the smooth glossy finish that this product has. Make sure to spray evenly and slowly, and be patient! This method takes a lot of coats to get an even, smooth finish!

Step Five: Nice Knobs!

Once everything is completely dry, you can put everything back and screw the knobs on. I ordered these reproduction glass knobs off of Ebay and they are lovely. I think it cost me about $20 for the eight knobs.

And there you have it! Five easy steps to customize any piece of wood furniture, or repair a well-loved piece. Now you know how to refinish a wood dresser!

I put the dresser in the dining room, instead of the living room this time. I liked how much more open the living room felt once the dresser was out of there. We'll see if it stays there.

In the course of refinishing the dresser I discovered a penciled note on the back of the dresser that said " Rosenthal 6/22/50 Maple" So, once the dresser was finished I added my own note with our last name, the date and a note saying we refinished it. Maybe down the line someone else will buy this dresser for $25 off Craigslist and will want to fix it up again!

P.S. Now that the dresser is refinished and back in the house, I'm wondering if glass knobs were the right choice. Do you think an oil rubbed bronze, or even black would look better?


Jen M July 17, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

It looks wonderful and those glass knobs are PERFECTION!

Sherry Petersik November 2, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

Oooh la la! Looks awesome. Great job!

Sherry (& John)

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