My New Obsession....DRESSERS!

Yes, I think I have a new obsession....redoing dressers!  Several times a day I'm on Craigslist looking for dressers or on Pinterest looking for ideas for dresser redos.  I have yet to be successful with Craigslist or Goodwill for big pieces.  I find people are asking way too much for stuff on Craigslist and Goodwill, their prices are high too!  Now that the weather is getting nicer I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get up early on a Saturday to go to yard sales and on Sunday to the local flea market to find my deals!  I did find a new dresser last weekend.  I had been looking at this dresser at my favorite little antique store for a couple month, but always had another project to work on so I didn't buy it.  Well, thankfully I brought my great negotiator with me and I was able to get it for a lot less than they were asking.  Thanks honey :-)  The reason I really liked this particular dresser was the hardware.  YEP, weird I know, but the hardware was very unique as you will see.  

Here it is after we got it home.  The finish was a mess, it had cob webs all over and the drawers were super dirty and gross.

As you can see the top was also a mess with scratches, stains and who knows what else!

This is what I fell in love with...SWOON!  I loved the dingly ball hardware.  No I'm sure that's not what they're called, but that's how I've been referring to them.  They're made of brass and wood.  

The other thing I really liked was the fact it's on wheels and the wheels are original to the piece as well.

I started my refinishing journey, and yes this one was a learning experience and quite the journey, by sanding the top to get all the nastiness off.  That took a lot more work than I had expected and I was happy when I was done!

I realized after I was done that the piece was oak, which was what I had guessed.
Now what you won't see are a ton of pictures of the process.  The reason being....the process made me so frustrated I forgot to take pictures.  I started my process by staining the top Minwax dark fav.  Well, it looked awful and I mean awful.  It was splotchy and a complete, ugly mess.  SO i sanded it all off again and I wasn't happy about having to do that one bit.  Then I decided I needed to do some research on the web.  I learned that with oak it's a good idea to use a wood conditioner or pre-stain.  So off I went to Lowes to get some.  I used my pre-stain and then the next day got up enough courage to try this again. The first coat of stain went on fine, but I wasn't thrilled with it.....FIVE coats of stain later I was happy with the finish and ready for a drink!

Before I finished the top I spent hours trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of the dresser.  I was staining the top, but what about the drawers, etc?  I thought the drawers were also very unique and I didn't really know if I wanted to put paint all over them.  Each drawer has strips of burlwood veneer that's in great shape.  I thought it would be a crime to paint them.  So I decided to stain them too after a good sanding.  Funny thing....they took the stain great without the pre-stain!  Go figure!

The rest of the dresser I did in Annie Sloan Chalk Pain in Old White, but this time I decided to use only the clear wax and not the dark.  I was doing this dresser for the guest bedroom and wanted it to be light and airy.  Two coats of ASCP a coat of clear wax, some distressing with a sanding block, another coat of clear wax and it was done.

And here it is.....I swear I say this every time, but I love it!  I think this is one of my favorites.

I love the colors of the wood with the little dingly ball hardware and the old white chalk paint.  Makes me smile :-)

On the sides I gave it a really good sand.  I love how the distressing gives the piece even more character.

This is a view of the top that gave me such troubles.  I put five coats of stain and 3 coats of wax....two clear coats of wax and one coat of dark.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.

I really like how the color looks with the walls in the guest bedroom.  The walls are Icy by Sherwin Williams.

Now, the can see from this picture that the brass is gone.  I tried everything to shine it and bring it back to life, but nothing worked.  It looked like someone had replaced one of the backs with a piece of copper hardware so nothing I could do could make them all match or look right.  So I sprayed only the back round piece that's right up against the dresser in one coat of antique bronze.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  

Here you can see the burlwood inserts in each drawer.  They look even prettier in person.

This was by far my most challenging project.  The main reason it was so challenging was the fact that everything didn't go the way I had planned, but in the end I'm thrilled with the end result.  It's a piece I will enjoy for a very long time or rather my guests will enjoy while they're visiting.  

If you're local in CT and you have any dressers you want to get rid of let me know!  I'm constantly on the lookout for pieces to redo.  I'm going to start redoing more and possibly selling them....just not sure where!  I'm having so much fun on this journey I can't wait to see where it takes me!

If you have any pieces you are looking to sell please email me at


  1. Wow! Fabulous job! I'm inspired.

  2. Thank you and thanks for stopping by :-)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. shows I deleted your comment, but I didn't...Sorry not sure what happened here! I'm on vacation and away from my laptop so who knows what's going on. Sorry!!!

  5. Very clever use of the paint and the original wood. Nicely done!

  6. I love the way how it turned out! Who would think that it's been a mess? Definitely not me, right? Haha! I like its distressed effect. It adds mystery and rustic charm to that dresser.

    Retha Ison