Saturday, August 7, 2010

Refinishing a Vintage Dresser

This has been an eyesore in our bedroom for some time. This was a hand-me-down dresser that was given to us and we have used it for YEARS. I've always hated the look of this dresser and it wasn't able to hold all of our clothes. I've been hunting for a new dresser that was
> Wood
> Mid-century looking
> Had more storage
> Drawers that move in and out smoothly

I knew I could find a dresser for under $100 that with a little TLC I could make new again. I came upon this awesome mid-century, solid wood, long dresser for $40 at the local Goodwill. Bingo! This dresser fit all of my functional needs, I just needed to make the wood darker.

And the results....

Here's how I did it:
1) Remove hardware and wipe down the dresser. I used a damp towel to wipe down the dresser to remove any dust and dirt.

2) Sand it. I used an 80 grit sandpaper and my small Ryobi sander to remove the veneer. I had to get all of the veneer off to get the new stain to soak into the wood. This task took about 4 hours to get the entire dresser sanded down to the wood. It's important to wear a mask when sanding and it's best to do it outside. I did this in my garage and it wasn't ideal and definitely required some help from the shop vac to clean up all the sawdust afterward.

3) Sand it (again). I went back over the dresser with 200 grit sandpaper to finish off the dresser and smooth it out.

4) Wash the dresser. I used a damp cloth again to go back over the dresser and remove any sawdust left on it.

5) Apply a coat of wood conditioner. I used Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. The wood conditioner is supposed to help the stain soak into the wood.

Stain should be applied within 2 hours of applying the conditioner.

6) Stain. I used a dark walnut stain in a satin finish for this dresser. I used a product by Minwax called Polyshades. It's a polyurethane and stain in one.

I would recommend using a cheap brush for this. Thoroughly cleaning a paint brush that has stain on it is not easy. Much easier to toss it after using it.

7) Re-stain. I applied a second coat of stain to make it a richer color

My final touches for this piece was to add a metal finish. I used oil rubbed bronze spray paint to paint over the white knobs. I also used the spray paint to cover up the faux marble top.

And because I can't resist a before and after photos

Island Dreaming

I saw this kitchen island picture on HGTV's Rate My Space, it was love at first sight! The butcher block counter top is AWESOME. I have never seen a dark butcher block counter before. I went on the hunt for one but couldn't seem to find any that matched this picture.

Then came Kirei. I found this site after watching an episode of Carter Can where he uses Kirei board to cover the walls. It looked awesome so I had to Google Kirei and I found their other green building products. Low and behold they just came out with a new product...

Chocolate Bamboo


I would like to take my current kitchen island

and extend it out by 30" to provide table seating. It would look something like this lovely island I found at

I can't decide whether to paint the island cabinets white or leave them as is. Hmmmmm...