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The dresser project

Friday, August 22, 2014
It's been a busy week around this place! 
Lot's and lot's of project's going on.
But one that is finally finished is our dresser/night stand makeover and I am so pleased with how it turned out!
Like super pleased and that doesn't always happen with my projects so Im extra excited to show you this one.
Let me start from the beginning and that is where I say that I have been hating my a lot. It wasn't how I wanted it and because I've promised myself I will be a mindful spender these days, going out and dropping a ton of cash on new nightstands, dresser, etc. wasn't in the cards...BOO to that! So I had to get creative and use what we already had. I knew I was done with the painted furniture look in here. Im all about stained wood that resembles anything Restoration Hardware. The trick was to get that look and really not spend very much at all.
This dresser was the first project to tackle....change this from a poorly painted white to something beautiful...easy, peasy!
Okay, so if you have ever tried to sand three layers of paint off of a piece of furniture you will soon realize that paint thinner and you should meet! Lowes makes a nice one called Tuff-Strip and we have become best buds this past week. Seriously, I started off sanding this dresser and after ten minutes of pretty much no progress the impatient part of me kicked in and I was on my way to Lowes.
This is what Tuff-Strip will do in about 10 minutes.....aaammaazzing!
I'm not going to lie, it can be a little messy but so worth it if you want to work fast.
Don't forget your gloves because if it does this to paint just imagine what it will do to your skin! Ouch!!
After all the paint was off, I started to sand it all down. Now let me tell you, this is not some expensive antique I was dealing with. Actually, it was $8 from an auction so when this happened during sanding I wasn't surprised.
Thats the bottom of the drawer laying there...damn! Some wood glue later and it was back to good. You've got to just roll with it when you pay nothing for something.
The next step was to stain. Okay, so back to being frugal...I did a little research and found out that I could just make my own stain. Yes, and not only that but make it grey! Perfect, or so I thought.
First, you start off with a vinegar and water solution and then you add a wool steal pad to it. Let it sit over night and in the morning Voila, grey stain!
{Here is before}
{24 hours later}
The next step in the process was to brush the piece with some brewed tea from any 'ol tea bags.
Easy enough and the color was looking pretty good
Okay, so then you let it all dry and then brush on the stain
It was right around this time that the stain started to dry and I started to hyperventilate!! 
Oh my God, what did I just do?!? 
Apparently, the wood was already pretty dark so instead of the stain turning the wood a washed grey color it turned BLACK! The pictures still make my heart race a little. All that hard work and I had ruined it!!! 
Brian to the rescue!
He went ahead and covered the rest of the dresser with the stain to make sure it would have the same color thru out and then sanded the entire thing down again. Then he used minwax paste to seal it. I don't have any pictures of this part because I was curled up in a ball in a corner weeping! 
After I realized he had saved the day, I was ready to push forward. I needed hardware. I found some Martha Stewart bin pulls and knobs at Home Depot and sprayed them all gold.

After all that, here is our beautiful new dresser/nightstand. I think she's the prettiest!
I love how all the variations in color come thru, this can only happen if you paint it three different colors and stain it twice, I'm kidding but it's kind of true. And the wax makes it shine and the surface super smooth. If you have never used furniture wax on a project, I highly recommend you try it! 

We were so happy with how this turned out that we refinished the other night stand too. I will be posting on Monday all about that and how our room got a complete makeover in the process! 
Until then, have a great weekend!

5 comments on "The dresser project"
  1. I totally might copy this on the very similar piece I have in my living room... I love it! Just like all the other things you do in your house! Just catching up on blogs from last week! :)

  2. Our dressers need a face lift...think I might be adding this to the projects list!

  3. Oh my goodness girl! Trial and error. Trial and error. It looks amazing!

  4. This is so gorgeous! I'm curious if you used the same technique on your kitchen table? It looks like a similar outcome. I'm over the painted everything too!!

  5. what grit sandpaper did he use on the final sanding to allow some of the stains to show through in different areas?