Antique Dresser12:25 AM
The last few months of my pregnancy, I kept my eye on the classifieds looking for a small dresser for her. Both kids are in the same room, so I wanted a smaller dresser to go in the closet. But luckily a few purchases fell through, and we got this dresser for free from Rhett's brother. I liked it so much, RJ's red dresser went in the closet and this shorter one gets to be in the room.
Rhett's older brother was cleaning out his garage, and was taking this dresser to the thrift store and I was able to snag it. It was pretty crappy...and old. Apparently his mother in law collected old stuff, and they'd had this dresser from her. I don't know how old it is, but it had been stored outdoors at some point, all the drawer bottoms had warped and the top had water stains. So it was pretty much a piece of junk.
It did still have all the original hardware--glass knobs which were cool.
I'm sure some readers cringe to see I painted an antique.
I originally planned to refinish the dresser with a complete new stain, but as I got sanding, I realized this piece isn't structurally that great, and it just wasn't worth all the effort. It's kind of falling apart, warped, and peeling beyond repair other than taking the drawer fronts and building new drawers, etc.
Plus I like the paint and stain combo better. So yes I wanted this free piece of junk to look nice to go in my house, but I didn't want to take my summer to sand it down when in the end it's still a piece of junk falling apart.
So it's in the kids' room with Ellie's clothes inside and RJ's stuff on top.
Dresser Refinish Breakdown
1. Reinforce Drawers
Pretty much every drawer needed reinforcing glue/ nails. The dresser top also needed to be glued.
I hate sanding. So when my power sander needed a new pad, this project halted for over a month until I got it ordered and it arrived. But eventually I sanded the dresser top down to raw wood.
3. Clean dresser in and out
4. Stain and Paint
I used straight Minwax Red Mahogony stain for the dresser top. I painted on one coat, then went right back to start wiping it off. So the stain was only on maybe 3 minutes and it was a saturated color, and I was good with that.
Because I wasn't sanding the body of the dresser, I just painted one coat of ivory latex semi-gloss paint.
The dresser was pretty worn down and I didn't prime the dresser first.
The painting method I used on this part was "dry brushing" where you use very little paint in the brush, and brush the paint on thinly. This way any grooves or dents remained the original dark stain, but overall the dresser looks like an aged ivory. I liked this method because the dresser is really old, and all the dents and distressing is original for the most part.
It only took one coat of the ivory, I wanted it to look aged and not a perfect glossy finish.
5. Distress edges
I did lightly sand the edges of the dresser and drawers to remove the ivory paint and show the original dark wood.
I painted 2 coats of satin finish polyurethane to seal the protect the dresser, and give it the shine on the wood.
7. Line Drawers
I had to put something in the drawers. The original wood was clean now, but just looked nasty so I cut contact paper for the bottoms.
8. Add Hardware
I ended up using the original glass knobs for the bottom drawers, but some were busted so I didn't have enough for the top little drawers. I did spray paint the screws Oil Rubbed Bronze to glam them up a little.
These old looking pulls were the original hardware from the sideboard I refinished a few months ago.
I'd like to take a drawer to an antique store some day and try to find a skeleton key that will fit the lock. That would be really awesome.
Not priming and only dry brushing one coat of the ivory really made this project faster than other furniture remodels.
It has RJ's things on top:
the lamp I painted, photo of his hands on my dad's, photo with his Dad when he was a baby, his initial block, and a vintage copy of My Father's Dragon my mom gave us.
I actually think this was my last project for the kid's room and I'm all done and should take photos of the whole room now.
What do you think of storing that vintage green suitcase under the dresser.
Cool? or just weird and out of place. It's full of Ellie's clothes for the next size up.