Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rehabbed Dressers

During this whole big-kid-room transition, Nathan wound up with the bum end of the deal -- no bedroom furniture.  It's a long and involved story, starting with us not knowing his gender when I was pregnant and therefore buying white furniture, and ending with us deciding that the white furniture that occupied his room would become Charlotte's.  You probably don't want to know the details -- you only need to know that he was furniture-less.

As I was relaying this story to my Mom, she mentioned that she had some old dressers that I might like to use.  They had been in my sister Audrey's room.  As I mentioned in my previous post, we are definitely being cost-conscious with these room-redos, but I also LOVE the idea of reusing and repurposing furniture.  So I went shopping in Audrey's old room, and much to my delight, the two old dressers were charming and small,  just like Nathan's room itself.

But they needed some work.  My mom bought one of them at an auction back in the 70s.  Even then, it needed some work.  I'm sure it dates back to the 30s, at least.  Somewhere along the line the top had been damaged and was replaced with a thin piece of wood -- that piece was now stained and splitting at parts.
 The front of it appeared to be in pretty good shape, though:

The other piece of furniture was a dresser that had been in my family for a while.  My grandmother had bought it second-hand, so I'm not sure how old it is.  Probably around the 30s as well.  I have LOVED this piece since I was little, especially the detail on the top drawers.  This one needed some work too, mostly on the top.  There were some watermarks and stains:

Both pieces have beautiful dovetailing at the corners of the drawers.  They just don't make 'em like they used to!

So I had my work cut out for me.  And I was pretty nervous about it, too, because both of these pieces are so special to my mom.  I didn't want to screw it up.  Here's what I did (sorry I didn't take pictures -- I wasn't sure anyone would be interested!  Next time I'll know better....)

1.  Sanded both pieces down with coarse sandpaper.  It took me about an hour.
2.  Went over both pieces with fine sandpaper to smooth it.
3.  Conditioned the wood with Wood Conditioner and let it sit for 15 minutes.
4.  Applied the first coat of Minwax Stain in Walnut and let it sit for two hours.
5.  Applied another coat of the stain and let it sit for two days.  It took a REALLY long time to completely dry.  I don't know if I applied it too thick, or the humidity affected it.
6.  Applied two coats of Polyurethane to protect the wood.
7.  Bought some raw wood drawer pulls and stained them in the Walnut as well.

They turned out so much better than I anticipated.  I'm so happy that we used these pieces rather than spend on money on something new.  Nathan's room has such "cottage charm," and these dressers fit in perfectly.  Here they are in their new home:

These pictures don't do them justice.  I know, I'm terrible at taking photos.  Katie needs to give me some pointers.  

Anyway, I'm not sure I'll ever buy a new piece of furniture again.  Rehabbing was fun!


  1. These look awesome Amy! Please come over and rehab my old house!

  2. Wow! They look great! I am so glad that you were able to use them!

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