My mom bought me this sideboard from a local online classified. She bartered her way down to $30, and this was my birthday present last month. The listing was only up 5 minutes and she snagged it. When she was picking it up that night, the seller said he'd got over 40 more calls after she called about it. So you know your mom loves you when she'll drive over 30 miles to buy you some junk for your birthday. Actually, it's not too junky, it was in pretty good condition.
So the first step was to remove the hardware and strip the top. I use a chemical wood stripper that breaks down the polyurethane so you can just scrape it off. After it was all scraped off, I poured mineral spirits on the top and scrubbed it with a scouring pad to get rid of the chemical stripper. I also have a grout brush for the routed edges.
I was using new hardware, so you can see the white holes in the drawers that have been filled with wood filler.
I started sanding the drawer fronts and body of the sideboard, but didn't do much because I hate sanding and I'm lazy, and was painting everything and decided it wasn't necessary.
But I did sand the top, because I wasn't painting the top, but planning on staining it.
Despite hating sanding, it went pretty quick. I sanded like you're supposed to, starting with 60 grit to get out the deep gouges and sand any last spots of old varnish.
Then went to 100 grit, a round of 150 grit and finally 220 grit to make things really smooth and just raw wood.
I decided to prime first. I used oil based primer for durability and primed the front of the drawers and the body of the sideboard.
**I use a small sponge roller for painting furniture. It goes on smoother than a brush, and they are small enough you can use it on the majority of the furniture, and just fill in the cracks and edges with a brush.
I chose to stain the top straight Cherry. One coat of Minwax Cherry stain was dark enough for me. With stain you just paint it on with a brush, let it soak up to 15 min, then wipe it off with clean dry cloths. I just cut up old nasty shirts I was going to throw away, or mis-matched lonely socks work well too.
I only did one coat on the blue glazed body and drawer fronts of semi-gloss polyurethane. But for the stained wood top, I did two coats, sanding in between like the can says, even though I hate sanding again when I'm almost done with the whole project.
I decided to use more modern hardware than the flowery big handles it came with. I bought the cheap $1.20 brass pulls from Lowes again, like I did on this dresser. I don't like brass, so I refinished the handles. It's super easy: just spray with spray paint primer, then 2 coats of spray paint in Nickle.
Then you have to re-drill holes in all the drawer fronts for the new hardware. This can be a major pain to measure over and over to center the holes, then have the holes the correct distance apart.
So this is my trick that made it quick and I didn't measure anything.
I first make a paper template by poking holes for the distance between the screws on the handle.
Then on the actual drawers, I used the old holes for my guide on centering the handles. These holes were filled really poorly, and so you can really see them, but the new handles covered them so I didn't care.
So I just lined up my paper template right between the old holes, and drilled away. Obviously not a perfect technique, you can see these holes I drilled weren't perfectly between the old holes. But all the holes were the correct distance apart to screw the handles on, and overall they were centered.
Makes it quick and easy!