This dresser was found in Greensboro, NC. It needed a little bit of work, but the body was in pretty good shape and all of the original hardware was in great condition. We have certain designs that we have come to appreciate over time, and the blend of white paint and stain is a classy look that can help improve just about any room that it is put in.
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This dresser was actually fairly unique because it had that bottom lip (the reason we deem this dresser a split-level). Initially we were trying to figure out what to do with that bottom lip, but we finally decided to stain it the same color as the top of the dresser.
We used the following supplies on this dresser:
Day 1: Sanding and Initial Taping
The first step is to sand down the body and drawers. We recommend starting the sanding process with an orbital sander using an 80 grit sandpaper. Then you will want to sand down the areas that you sanded with the orbital sander with a 120 grit sandpaper using the orbital sander. Then you will want to use a 60 grit sandpaper to make sure all of the original finish has been properly removed from the areas that could not be reached with the orbital sander.. Finally, we hand sand with a 120 grit sandpaper to get a smoother wood before applying stain or paint.
After you have fully sanded the dresser down you can go ahead and do the initial taping to avoid (as much as possible) getting stain on the portions of the dresser that will be painted. Remember, it's important to wash off all of the dust with a damp cloth before moving forward.
Day 2: Staining the Top and Bottom Lip
During the second day you will focus on staining the portions of the dresser that you desire to be stained. Stain generally takes longer to dry, so you will want to give the stained surface at least 24 hours before taping off the stained areas for painting purposes.
Day 3 and 4: Second Taping and Painting
Depending on what time you stained the top the day before this may turn into a day 3 or day 4 activity (or a combination of the two days).
First, before you paint the body of the dresser you need to make sure to tape the inside of the 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 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 like a professional grade, then every detail matters.
Second, you can start the painting process.
After you finish taping the body and drawer you can start painting. We usually use two coats of paint to ensure the paint is even across the whole body.
Day 5: Applying Finish
After the stain and paint is dry you are 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. It is normal for the polycrylic to look a little creamy upon application, but it will dry with a clear finish. After the poly has dried you can perform 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).
If you follow this process you can have a beautiful dresser like this one in just five days!
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.