This was a yard sale find in Stokesdale, NC. We love to go to yard sales because you truly never know what you will come across. When we pulled up to this particular yard sale we immediately spotted this dresser in the front yard. When it comes to antiques, like this dresser, you never know if the owners are going to be proud and ask an unreasonable price for it, or if they will be willing to part ways with the piece for a decent price. Luckily for us, the latter ended up being the case.
When looking for dressers we are always looking for something that has great bones as well as a certain amount of uniqueness. This dresser fit the bill. We believe the dresser dates back to the late 1800s or early 1900s, so the structure was really solid. Also, the drawers were extremely beautiful. We knew that we had a lot of work ahead of us, but the dresser had the potential to be a true show piece in someones home (especially with those gorgeous drawers!).
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.
This piece was a little bit different than most of the pieces that we have worked on so far because we decided to do a two tone top. The top already had a slight molding around its edge so we had a natural crease that made it really easy for us to create a two tone top. However, we still had to tape off the edge (that we painted later) so we could prevent as much stain as possible from entering that area. As you can tell, we also taped off the edges around the square on the sides of the dresser, because we also did a two tone stain/paint combo there as well.
After we were finished taping the top and the sides we went ahead and stained those portions of the dresser, as well as the drawers. This was our first time using the Minwax Special Walnut stain, and we were very pleased with the result.
We only have one regret on this project, and that is that we wish we would have taken a few more pictures of how we taped the stained areas so that we could paint. As you can tell, we taped the inside portion of the square on the sides, so that we could prevent the paint from getting on the stained surface. We also taped the outer edge of the stained surface area on the top of the dresser, but we had removed that tape before we could get a picture of it ( sorry about that). The Frog Tape that we generally use would not stick to the stained areas, so we had to get 3M's Hard-to-Stick Masking Tape, and it worked well enough for us to get the job done (but was still not incredibly sticky on the stained surfaces).
After we finished taping the dresser we went ahead and painted the body of the dresser using Behr's Starless Night paint color. We used two coats of paint on this dresser.
After the stain and 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 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).
This is one of our favorite projects so far!
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.