This dresser was donated to us by Josh's sister and brother-in-law, and it was a great foundation for this design. Mixing stains gives you the opportunity to create the perfect color and design for your space. We love the way this turned out! Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of pictures for this piece, so you may have to use your imagination to picture some of the steps we'll describe below.
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Before we get to the steps needed to mix the stains, you'll need to gather the following materials:
The paint that was on the dresser was extremely thick, so we were not able to just take a sander to it. So we turned to our favorite paint stripper, CitriStrip, to remove the paint before we started sanding. We use a cheap paintbrush to apply the CitriStrip, and then we let it sit for a while. You will be able to tell when it starts to work because the paint we start bubbling up. After letting it sit for a while (on this project we let it sit for a couple of hours), we will use a scraper to scrape off the paint. After scraping, it is very important to ensure that all of the CitriStrip is removed by using some steel wool and paint thinner.
After we finished scraping the paint off the dresser we sanded the body down. We start with our orbital sander using an 80 grit sandpaper. Then we hand sand with a 120 grit sandpaper. This process seems to be extremely effective in putting the dresser in its bare bones state. Make sure you wash it off with a damp cloth so that there is not any dust or residue left on it. Once it is dry, it is time to tape around the edges! You can take a look at the picture above and below for an example from another piece we've done.
After the body was painted, it was time for us to work on staining the drawers.
Sydney found an old Tupperware container in the kitchen, and she used that to hold the stain she mixed since she used a small quantity. For this custom stain, Sydney combined the stain with equal ratios. She poured about 1/3 cup of cherry and 1/3 cup of grey stain into her container. Then, she mixed the colors together with a plastic spoon. This amount provided her with more than enough stain to finish the drawers, so you can use a smaller amount if you are trying to be really conservative.
Tip: As you apply the mixed stain to the drawers, it is important to stain them all at one time so that they turn out the same. Be aware that the color, type, density, etc. of your wood can change the outcome of your dresser. You can see how we did the same thing on our Twin 2 Dresser, but the color is very different from this dresser.
Once the stain on the drawers were dry, we then added polycrylic (a water-based polyurethane) to them. Poly does two things: (1) it creates a layer of protection for the drawers 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).
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.