This dresser was a Craigslist find. It generally was in pretty good shape, but we already had a design in mind when we purchased it. The dresser had a sold cherry top and cherry drawers so there was a lot of intricacy to the wood grain. Josh's dad has done a lot of projects that feature a black painted body with a stained top and drawers. We decided to steal one from his playbook, and we are glad that we did.
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We used the following supplies on this dresser:
Our first step was to sand down the body and drawers. As we usually do, we start our sanding process with our orbital sander using an 80 grit sandpaper. We also sand down the areas that we sanded with the orbital sander with a 120 grit sandpaper using the orbital sander. Then we use 60 grit sandpaper to make sure all of the original finish has been properly removed. Finally, we hand sand with a 120 grit sandpaper to get a smoother wood before applying stain or paint.
After we sanded the dresser down we went ahead and stained the top using Earl American stain. Stain generally takes longer to dry, so we generally do the stained surface areas first before we start any painting. Also, as you can tell from the picture, we went ahead and removed the internal drawer slider from the center drawer slot.
Before we painted the body of the dresser we made sure to tape the inside of the of the body and the inside of the drawers. It is always important to remember to tape the inside of the body where the drawers slide in and out, and the inside portions of the drawers where paint might drip/or paint brush might touch. We will admit that this is not a necessary step, but if you want to have a re-purposed dresser that looks professional grade, then every detail matters.
After we finished taping the body and drawer we started painting. We used two coats of paint on this project.
After the stain and paint were dry we were ready to apply a coat of water based Polycrylic to both the body of the dresser and the drawers.
Poly does two things: (1) it creates a layer of protection for the furniture from everyday abuse; and (2) it creates a smooth finish. We typically apply two coats of poly, but some projects may require more. After the poly has dried we use a wet sanding technique with extremely fine sand paper to ensure that the stained areas are smooth to touch. The wet sanding process is really simple, just spray on some lemon oil and lightly sand over the stained areas with an 800 grit sandpaper (you can also do this over the painted areas, but you need to be careful not to sand too aggressively over the painted areas or you will end up with a distressed look).
Hope that you have enjoyed the finished product! Thanks for reading!
Josh and Sydney are life adventurers that love to learn and create. We are exact opposites and enjoy gaining new perspective. Our home is where our varying personalities shine, and we use it to gather our friends and family together.