Drexel Red Stain-Over-Paint Dresser
This was an incredible dresser manufactured by Drexel. Josh's sister and brother-in-law gave this dresser to us to work on, and are extremely grateful for the opportunity. This was our first stain-over-paint piece and we loved it!
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We used the following supplies on this dresser:
Step One: Stripping the Original Paint
The first step was to remove the original stain from the body of the dresser. Since the top of the dresser featured a veneer, we decided to use CitriStrip, for we wanted to use something to remove as much of the paint as possible before we started sanding the dresser down (so that we would not sand through the veneer). We applied the Citristrip using a super cheap paintbrush (think dollar bin at Home Depot). After letting the CitriStrip sit for about an hour, we removed most of the original stain from the body of the dresser using scrapers.
Note that you might want to use a combination of steel wool and mineral spirits to ensure that the CitriStrip has been completely removed.
Step Two: Sanding Down the Dresser
After the stripping process, we sanded the body and the drawers down. We usually start our sanding process with our orbital sander using 80 grit sandpaper. Then, we use 60 grit sandpaper to ensure all of the original finish has been properly removed. Finally, we hand sand with 120 grit sandpaper to get a smoother wood before applying paint. Note that we did not use the orbital sander on the drawers on this dresser because of their curved nature (they were sanded by hand)).
Step Three: Taping the Drawers
Before we painted the body of the dresser, we made sure to tape the inside 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 the paintbrush might touch. We will admit that this is not necessary, but if you want to have a re-purposed dresser that looks professional-grade, then every detail matters.
Step Four: Painting
After we were finished taping the dresser, we painted the dresser red. We usually do two coats of paint to make sure that everything is sufficiently covered. We generally use Purdy paint brushes so that we can ensure that we get an excellent finish.
After the paint was dried, we also decided to distress it a little bit with 120 grit sandpaper. You don't have to do this, but you can always decide after the dresser is painted. You may want to keep in mind the type of wood that is underneath. The wood in this piece was very thirsty, so the distressed spots turned out much darker than we expected rather than fading into the paint as we intended. We think it turned out nicely anyhow!
Step Five: Stain over Paint
Sadly, we didn't get any pictures of this step of the process, but it is super easy! After the paint was completely dry, we applied dark walnut stain over the paint one section at a time. We started with the top of the dresser. Josh applied the stain with a stain pad, and I wiped off the stain immediately after he finished the entirety of the top of the dresser. Then, we moved to the sides of the body. Finally, we did all of the drawers, and we, again, immediately wiped off the stain.
Unlike when we typically stain a piece of furniture or wood, we did not need to wait for the amount of time allotted on the can. Using the paint-over-stain method is just to help the piece look more like an antique or to give the paint a darker tone.
Step Six: Applying the Finish
After the paint was 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 sandpaper 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).
1/1/2017 08:32:27 am
Awesome.....love the red with stain over!
2/7/2017 01:39:56 pm
I'm thinking that this gorgeous RED dresser has just inspired me to refinish (again) a set in my bedroom that were handmade by a great, great uncle MANY moons ago!...I rescued them, stripped and restained 30+ years ago. They have been in continuous use since then. I'm fairly certain this beautiful red will bring them back to life yet again!...Thank you for the inspiration!
2/7/2017 04:45:22 pm
We are so glad that you like the red! We love the color, and the stain-over-paint looks even better in person. It is a great way to give antique pieces an update while still telling a bit of their history.
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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.