I have a bit of a Goodwill addiction. Any time I see a good quality piece of furniture, a pretty framed mirror or good quality crystal I tend to find a way to bring these treasures home with me. It has become such a habit that I had to get a storage unit to hold all my fun finds. Whether I was getting something for myself or finding something that I figured might be perfect for any of my friends I love seeing an old forgotten thing with the opportunity to make it beautiful again.
About a year ago I found a great dresser for a steal (I think about $27.00). The thing weighed a ton and was made of real wood (none of that particle board stuff). It has sat in my storage unit since then just waiting for an opportunity to get spiffed up and make its reappearance.
When I moved to my new apartment the opportunity finally presented itself. After a lot of thought as to what color/finish I was going to use I finally settled on a lighter shade of its current color with a satin finish.
In its original state, an almost cherry color with a serious gloss finish, the dresser had a very dated feel. In my new place, I was going for more of a boho-chic feel and wanted the wood to take on more of a natural tone.
By far the hardest part of the entire project was stripping the original finish. It would have taken me weeks, if not months to sand it all off. I decided to take a shorter route and use a liquid stripper.
After washing all the dust and grime off the dresser I removed all the hardware, drawers and the door. The next step was to start stripping.
When you work with a liquid stripper it is important to use caution, that stuff is crazy strong. After burning through several pairs of my basic latex gloves I began to use a thick pair of garden gloves. I also noticed that the drips were burning and bubbling the concrete if left to sit so I had to lay a tarp down.
The best route to go with a stripper is to work in small batches. I poured it on fairly thick and used a paintbrush to glob it around and make sure it got into all the detailed edges of the wood.
Let the stripper sit for about twenty minutes before wiping it off with old rags. Get as much off as you can, I even used flathead screwdriver covered in a cloth to scrape out all the edges.
Once you remove the stripper go back with a stripper wash and wipe everything down very thoroughly. Once all this dries you can go back with sandpaper and remove any finish that was left behind while smoothing everything out.
I couldn’t find a stain I was crazy about and after removing the finish I had gotten pretty close to the color I had envisioned so I didn’t want to do much to change the result. I decided to try using some Annie Sloan Dark Wax to start.
I applied the dark wax pretty heavy around all the edges and in the grooves. Using my wax brush I buffed the wax inward until I achieved an effect I liked. I let the wax dry overnight before applying a few layers of satin poly spray paint.
I worked in layers with the spray paint. I used a satin finish to help protect the wood and make dusting easier. I did about three light layers allowing about 30 minutes between each layer to dry.
I wasn’t able to find new hardware that fit and I didn’t feel like filling in the old holes to make new ones so I used a gloss black spray paint to paint the old handles and reused them until I could find new ones. Again I worked in thin layers and sprayed from different angles to make sure none of the original gold would show through.
I couldn’t be happier with the way the dresser turned out and loved to be able to give this piece a new look and a second chance. Check back soon to see how I added my own special stamp on the already perfect piece of furniture this dresser has become.