I am so proud of this project. It is my first attempt and refinishing furniture and I think it went pretty darn well if I do say so myself.
Asheville is loaded with second hand shops, Goodwill stores and antique shop. In fact the Goodwill store was so busy I had to wait for a parking spot.
This dresser was for sale and it had a price of $15.00, marked down from $30.00…woohoo, what a deal. It was in rough shape. Really rough shape. What it was though is solid wood, no veneer. The drawers were dovetailed and sturdy. The finish was trashed.
I just happened to have the “Man Van” with me and it was stuffed full of items that I was donating, so I could get it home.
I decided what the heck, fifteen bucks.
If I started to refinish it and it didn’t work I was not out a lot of money.
All the way home I kept thinking “Bob is going to kill me” for bringing this piece of crap home. I didn’t even want to tell him about it.
The drawers had nasty faux brass hardware.
Mice had chewed on the inside of the drawers.
There were burn marks all over the top of it. Ink stains. Water stains. The visions I had in my mind of the condition of the house that this came out of were running rampant.
I wasn’t sure what kind of wood it was but it was stained/varnished a orangish, yellowish icky color.
I had purchased earlier in the week a can of spray can of paint/varnish stripper for another project. I removed the hardware and sprayed the drawer to see what would happen. I liked the way it worked but it was going to take quite a few cans to finish the project. I decided to use the same product but in the brush on version. This was much for affordable at $10.00 a can.
I used brushed it on, let it sit for about 15 minutes and used a plastic scraper to remove the top layer of finish. Brushed on a second coat and then used steel wool and a bucket of water to remove the remaining layers.
This actually went pretty quick, about 6 hours max. I was envisioning days of this and was really motivated to get the finish off and sanded. It was helpful that the weather outside was in the 60’s and breezy. I would not like to do this inside, especially with the sanding.
After the finish was removed I determined that the wood was maple. and it was really very pretty. The top still had burn marks and the drawers had marks on the front from where the hardware was. I wanted to make sure I sanded that well because I knew I did not want to use the same hardware.
I was not able to get all the marks out. I guess I could have kept sanding but I was worried it would damage the finish.
The same applies to the top and decided the the remaining burn marks will add “character”, translate that into I was tired of sanding.
Staining well very fast….I used Min wax and an old t-shirt to rub on the stain. I put on a two coats of stain, 3 in some areas. When I was done staining I waited a few days for the stain to completely dry plus it was Thanksgiving and didn’t want to start in polycrylic finish until I had time to really focus on it.
I did 2 layers of Polycrylic from Minwax outside. This was a mistake. I could not figure out why I was getting bubbles? Well it was drying too quickly.
I was lightly sanding between each layer which was removing the bubbles.
For the final coat I brought it inside, turned off the heat to minimize the circulation of dust and give it an opportunity to even out before it dried.
It is now placed in my son’s bedroom and I think it looks awesome! I never thought that the finish would end up looking like this considering what it looked like when I started.
You can still see a couple of burn marks on the top but it is very subtle.
I am so excited about it and pretty darn proud.
I am currently scouting the Goodwill for my next project!