This dresser was found in a local garage and was being used as a workbench when we purchased it. There were multiple chips on the dresser, but we knew from the moment that we looked at it that it had a lot of potential to be a showpiece in someone's home once again.
Disclosure: The Sociable Home is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs designed to provide a means for The Sociable Home to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites at no extra cost to you; this page includes monetized links. Please see The Sociable Home's Disclosure for more details.
When deciding on a design, we always consider the dresser's best features to showcase. This dresser's drawers had an excellent wood veneer in great shape, so we decided that we would use a stain and paint combination to make this dresser pop!
We used the following supplies on this dresser:
The first step was to remove all of the original finish. After we sanded the body down, we had to address some of the body's chips.
Wood filler has been the best option for us so far in fixing chips.
Once we mixed the wood filler, we placed a good coating of the filler on each chipped area. (Just note: it is good to overcoat the chips with wood filler than to not have enough). Let it dry for the specified time on the label, and then you will be ready to start sanding it down. It will be extremely rough initially, but sanding will make it completely smooth and level with the rest of the wood.
After we fixed the chips on the dresser, we started the staining process. Because this is a mid-century modern dresser, we thought that a darker stain would be better than a lighter stain, so we went with Minwax's Dark Walnut. After the stain was completely dry, we applied two coats of Polyurethane on the drawers.
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 sandpaper (think 800 grit) 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 (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).
After the staining process was completed, it was finally time to paint the body. It is always important to remember to tape the inside of the body where the drawers will slide in and out of. We will admit that this is unnecessary, but if you want to have a re-purposed dresser that looks professional-grade, every detail matters.
Once the paint was dry, we added a coat of wax to the body of the dresser. Remember to not overcoat with wax because it will create major streaks, especially with a darker paint color. After the wax has been applied, allow it to sit overnight. It would be best if you took fine steel wool over the entire body the next day, then buff out the wax with a cloth. (Note: Make sure that you are not too aggressive with the steel wool because you may end up peeling back the paint).
After accomplishing this, you will want to let the wax cure for around seven days before putting the dresser into any significant use. Also, until it is fully cured, be careful to touch the wax with your fingers because the oil from your hands may transfer into the wax, giving it a dirty 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.