Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gray and White Dresser

Our next dresser was purchased for $50, and it was a bit larger than we had thought because it barely fit in Nik’s car. It was also super heavy! We finally got this clunker in the door, and decided that although it was quite solid, a lot of the wood wasn’t in great shape for sanding and staining. We decided paint would do the job.

IMG_0310         IMG_0315IMG_0313We sanded it to rough everything up, then primed everything. We had some gray paint left over from Nik’s desk project, but I decided an entire dresser in gray would be very monotone. I thought white trim on the raised areas of the drawers would add some character to the piece. After a long time applying and removing painter’s tape, we finished.

IMG_0393We experimented with sealing this piece with furniture wax, since wax can be successful over flat paint. Wax needs the porousness of flat paint to be able to get into it and cure and seal. Overall, it worked decently. We cleaned up the hardware and put it back on. We sold this dresser for $160.

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Mid-century Modern Small Dresser

This cute little dresser was purchased for $50. We originally wanted to stain the entire thing to maintain its mid-century glory, but the mark on the top left turned out to go deep into the wood so it couldn’t be sanded out.

IMG_0739 IMG_0740We re-thought our plans, and decided to paint the body and legs a sleek shiny white, and stain the drawers. The body was sealed with polycrylic. We decided to experiment with furniture wax for the first time, and bought some Minwax furniture paste. This was applied over the stained drawers with cheesecloth, then allowed to dry out, then buffed with 0000 grade fine steel wool and finally a buffing pad. The drawers came out beautiful. While furniture sealed with polyurethane feels hard and durable, and looks smooth, furniture sealed with wax feels soft and buttery and supple. Wax is relatively durable as well, but should be reapplied more frequently, depending on how often the piece is used. Waxed furniture also can’t withstand heated things being on them since wax softens even after it has cured on a piece of furniture.

The hardware on this dresser was very unique, so we spray painted it with a mixture of satin nickle spray paint over a layer of Rust-o-leum “Hammered” spray paint in copper. That stuff really does look like hammered metal, I have no idea how it works, but it came out great for the handles and the metal feet! We then sealed all the hardware with a few layers of spray on polyurethane to protect the spray paint. In the end, this piece sold for $105. 

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Bow Front Buffet Dresser

This beautiful old dresser was bought off craigslist for $50. Its a really solid piece of furniture, but the seller was getting rid of it because one drawer had a lot of veneer damage, and another drawer was missing a pull.

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We decided we could make this work by removing the drawer and making a nice shelf instead. We stripped and sanded the top, and then sanded the rest of the body and drawers. The top was stained dark walnut and sealed with polyurethane.

IMG_0219The body was primed and painted with a slate green-blue color. We also sanded out the inside of the drawer, removed part of the sliding mechanism, and painted it.

IMG_0215IMG_0216The hardware was cleaned up and put back on. To make it presentable, we bought some baskets from Michael’s for about $18. This piece sold for $150 to a family who wanted to use it as a TV console, with the empty shelf as a storage area for their DVD player and cable box.

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Andrew’s Side Table

We didn’t have much to work on, so we asked our roommate if we could redo his side table. He said sure. Here’s how it started:

IMG_0499Nik did this mostly by himself. He stripped it down and stained the top and the side panels with dark walnut stain.


Then he painted the legs with left over green and white paint. We replaced the hardware with a new knob as well. The piece was sealed with polyurethane and polycrylic. We never snapped a finished photo of this, so I’ll take one soon and add it to this post!

Waterfall Dresser

We bought this eclectic dresser from craigslist for $40. It was in decent shape, but had a lot of dings and scratches on it. We first stripped and sanded this down to the raw wood. In these pictures we’ve already sanded the drawers, but you can see how beat up it was on the top.

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Some of the veneer had chips in it, so Nik used some extra veneer we had to try to fill in the holes. We then used marker to make the new wood a little darker before staining to try to even out the color.

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After sanding, the entire piece was stained with special walnut. We sealed it all up with polyurethane. The old handles were ugly wooden things so we splurged on some cool acrylic crystal handles from Home Depot. These handles were a little wild, but they make the piece look sparkly and classy – it reminds me of the roaring 20’s!

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The entire piece and all its intricately carved details came out beautifully, and Louise decided to replace her blue dresser (see earlier post) with this one.

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White Antique Dresser

This dresser was purchased for $40 from a lady in Carrboro. It was old and needed some structural repair, but in the end we got the drawers working decently.

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We started by stripping off the old paint, and it turns out there was about 5 layers of this! We found white, yellow, orange, magenta, and pink layers of paint!

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Once we got off as much as possible, we sanded the entire piece. The top was stained a dark walnut stain and sealed with polyurethane. The body we painted a nice white color, an we cleaned up the original hardware and put that back on. Because of its age, the drawers were a bit funky inside, so I lined them with some pretty drawer liners.

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We sold this beautiful piece for $140.

Mid-century Modern Arm Chairs

Nik picked these two chairs up with his parents from a Habitat for Humanity Restore, for $15 each. They are upholstered with black leather, which we might replace some day with something nicer since it is cracking a bit. We’ve only gotten through one of these so far, just stripping and sanding down the wooden parts, restaining, and sealing with polyurethane. The second chair is on our to do list! Right now we use them as an extra  chair in our living room and in Nik’s bedroom.   

IMG_0621IMG_0628IMG_0625We also had a neighbor’s cat visit us while we were working on the first chair.