Furniture Re-Do

Last summer, I tackled refinishing a dresser I got for free from my in-laws. This piece has lived many lives. When my in-laws had it, it was a beautiful federal blue color with Chippendale handles like this:

However, I was not content to keep it the federal blue color. For whatever reason, I was on a Tiffany's blue box color kick. I painted the dresser and some IKEA nightstands that color. I loved that color so much that I painted the walls of the office in my old house that color too. Here's the proof:

Holy Turquoise, Batman!

Like, WHOA. And I lived with that for a few years. The dresser was the dresser in my master bedroom, then moved out to my dining room as our credenza. When we moved into our current house, we scored a finished basement and I knew the TV stand we had was going to make its way to our basement den. Then I had a lightbulb moment. I knew I needed to revamp my dresser and it would be a perfect fit.


The first step I took was using CitriStrip to aid in stripping off the paint. Let me tell you, that stuff is MAGIC.

This is not a CitriStrip ad...but it could be!

This picture was after 1 coat of CitriStrip. Pretty crazy, right? Once I applied the CitriStrip and scrapped off what I could, it was time for the sander. I've going to give you a fair warning on this. The sanding process for this bad boy is NOT for the faint of heart. And you're not going to get anywhere with a piece of sandpaper. I'm talking POWER SANDER, baby!


I had to use some additional elbow grease and power sanding on the drawer fronts because there was an imprint of the original Chippendale handles on the wood. Crazy, right?


Once I sanded the dresser down, I got to painting the body of the dresser. I wanted to add some contrast by showing the natural wood of the dresser top and the drawer fronts. I started with a can of mis-tint paint from Lowe's. This is a great tip. You can get quality paint at low prices for your furniture projects by shopping the mis-tints! The can of paint I used was $9.00, and I could have easily paid $60 at full price.


Once I painted the dresser, I wasn't in love with the color. It would be PERFECT for a baby boy's nursery, but way too light for what I was looking for. I took a trip to Lowe's and decided to experiment with some stain and antiquing techniques.


This brings me to another piece of advice. If you're not happy with the initial result of a DIY furniture re-do, you can always slap on some CitriStrip, bust out your sander, and start over. Or play with some different finishing techniques. Just channel your inner Bob Ross and remember that there are NO mistakes, only happy little accidents!

Now, back to my process. First, I rubbed on Valspar's Interior Antiquing Glaze:


We were almost there, but not quite. I also had to consider what to use to finish and protect my piece. Enter Minmax Finishing Wax in Special Dark. My hero!


At this point, I was soooooo close to the finish line. I still had to figure out how to finish the bureau top and drawer fronts, AND select drawer handles. With the bureau top and drawer fronts, there was...you guessed it. More trial and error.


I first stained the bureau top and drawer fronts in Minwax Wood Finish Stain in Classic Grey.



I normally LOVE grey (have you seen my great room?). But this was a little TOO much grey. So, I decided to tone it down with Minwax Wood Finish Stain in Weathered Oak.


I finally had the perfect blend! I finished off the bureau top and drawer fronts with Minwax Finishing Wax in Natural and I was FINALLY in the home stretch!


The final finishing touch was my drawer handles. Found these beauties at Lowe's too!


Once my wonderful hubby screwed the drawer handles in, WE WERE DONE!

Isn't she pretty? I think so. And not to brag, but Dr. Heavenly from Married to Medicine liked my picture when I posted the finished results to Instagram!!! Have any of you had a freakout over someone famous liking your posts?


Well, that's a wrap on the story of my first major furniture re-do. I'd love to hear about your own furniture re-do victories! Until then...


Happy Designing!

- Angela :)





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