I really love scoring a solid piece of furniture that just needs a little bit of love and attention. The bones and details are gorgeous, but it’s just suffered from a bit of wear and tear (and perhaps some spilled nail polish on the the top). These diamonds in the rough are my favorite. I’m always drawn towards dressers, because these vintage ones can be multi-purpose. This could be used for its original purpose, but I could see it in an entryway, a dining room, or even an office. There is no telling where a thrifty dresser makeover will end up, but there are lots of possibilities.
I find a lot of great pieces at my local Salvation Army (remember this beauty?) – I love that they price their furniture reasonably, and don’t try to pretend that they’re some sort of antique store. But this piece was actually purchased via Craigslist. I saw it and had to have it, and made a special trip to pick it up, so no one could snatch it out from under me. Let’s take a look at where this beauty began. This post contains some affiliate links.
See what I mean by good bones? And that hardware? Swoon worthy.
The top was a bit of a mess – nail polish, and some other blemishes, so I figured I would have to take it down to the raw wood and start over again.
Remember when I talked about my Festool Rotex 90 sander? These are the projects where it earns its worth. I was able to get the dresser top down to bare wood without using any paint strippers or solvents.
Oh, that gorgeous wood!
After a thorough cleaning and sanding of the rest of the dresser, I got to work. The best way to paint pieces like this is to flip them over – that way you make sure that you get full coverage.
For this dresser, I used One Step Paint from Amy Howard Home in Kendall Charcoal. Yes, you can get the Amy Howard One Step Paint tinted in just about any color you can imagine – just another perk of this paint that appeals to me. And yes, I know it says “one step”, but I’m the paranoid sort, so I primed my dresser before painting it. I used my trusty paint sprayer to get a smooth, finished look. I know some prefer other techniques, but I’m a fan of a clean finished look (and it’s in my comfort zone), that’s just me.
Sometimes I replace the hardware on furniture, but for a vintage piece like this one, the hardware is too pretty to replace, so I opted for Rub ‘n Buff instead. It really gives old hardware a new lease on life.
If you’ve never used it before, the name says it all – you simply apply it with a clean cloth and buff it out to a gorgeous finish. I find myself drawn to the look of gold with the furniture that I’ve restored, but there are lots of Rub ‘n Buff options out there if you’re looking for something different.
As for the top of the dresser, since I opted to stain it, I needed to pay special attention to the process, and that includes using Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner before applying a stain. Again, I’m paranoid, and I know if I use a wood conditioner, the final finish won’t be splotchy or uneven. Since I’m using a water-based stain, I’m using a water-based pre-stain wood conditioner.
So, here is the top after the pre-stain wood conditioner was applied.
After this, I applied the stain – Shaker Maple by General Finishes – which ended up being WAY too red. Sigh… Suffice to say, it didn’t look anything like I thought it would based upon how it looked in the store. I was hoping for a lighter, natural looking stain, and after this mistake, I thought that I would have been better off just staining it with a clear coat instead of with the maple stain. So what does a girl do? She sands it back down and starts over from the beginning. Again.
But, in the end, it turned out beautifully. I’ve found that you can’t go wrong with General Finishes Walnut stain. It’s so rich and beautiful – a great look. I ended up doing a toning technique that I’ve shared in the past – it’s a mix of the walnut stain, with the high performance top coat. Doing this gives you some added durability built in with the stain before you do any final top coats.
The Finished Product
And here it is in all of it’s glory. Bear with me – I was experimenting with staging options.
Such a gorgeous piece of furniture that could be used in just about any room you wanted. Classic and timeless.
Gray + Gold = Gorgeous.
I have another piece that I’m still working on that is similar in style, and I’m debating about the look I want for it. I’m just drawn to this look. Until then, I’ll just admire my finished project.
Are you working on any projects? Dresser makeovers? Garage sale season is in full swing, so I’m definitely on the lookout!