This dresser was a Craigslist find, and already had a design in mind for it when we had purchased it.
We had been toying around with the idea of using a color combination of navy blue paint and cherry stain for a little while, but never had the right project for it. When we saw this on Craigslist, we knew we had the perfect piece to accomplish our goals.
We used the following supplies on this dresser:
The first step was to remove the piece's original stain and finish. The top was vinyl so there wasn't anything that we could really do with it (as you can tell from the picture to the left). As we usually do, we start our sanding process with our orbital sander using an 80 grit sandpaper. Then we use 60 grit sandpaper to make sure all of the original finish has been properly removed from the areas that we could not reach with the orbital sander. Then we hand sand with a 120 grit sandpaper to get a smoother wood before applying stain or paint.
Before we stained the drawers of the dresser we made sure to tape the inside of the of the dresser drawers. It is always important to remember to tape 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 sanded the dresser down we went ahead and stained the top using cherry stain. Stain generally takes longer to dry, so we generally do the stained surface areas first before we start any painting.
After we were finished with staining the drawers of the dresser we painted the body with Behr paint. We usually do two coats of paint to make sure that everything is sufficiently covered. This was the first project that we used a paint roller on for a majority of the surface area. The nice thing about rolling on the paint is that you don't end up with brush strokes; however, you end up with a rougher finish. The sanding process after applying the finish will remove some of this roughness. Also, if you are looking for something that provides no brush strokes but don't have the space or money for a professional paint sprayer, then a paint roller could be a good compromise. Keep in mind we still had to use paint brushes for the trim work and any places that we could not properly reach with the roller.
After we finished painting we applied a couple coats of spray-on Polyurethane to the body of the dresser and 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 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).
The last thing that we did on this project was polish the original hardware. Brass hardware overtime corrodes and takes on a different shade than it's original bright and vibrant color. Brasso works great, but it will still take some elbow grease to get the result that you would like. We used the Brasso product in connection with kid's toothbrushes (the toothbrush bristles are soft and smaller than normal toothbrushes, allowing for more precision scrubbing without damaging the hardware).
The final result was fantastic and we believe this dresser would be perfect for a little boy's room!
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.