1960's Dresser Brought Back To Life

A few months ago I was lucky enough to come across a great 60's Stanley dresser someone was selling on Facebook.  I fell in love with the lines, the details and the hardware so I bought it.  It sat for a bit until Sarah and her Husband asked me to refurbish the dresser for their master bedroom.

Here it is before.

I like the top drawer and how it's set out farther than the others.

The dresser had all the original hardware, but I had taken them off before I took the picture.  

Sarah decided on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Cream.  This is a popular color!  She wanted the top stained and the body painted in the Cream and finished in dark wax.

For the top I stripped off the finish and sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper.  After that I put on a coat of pre-stain wood conditioner and sanded the top lightly again once it was dry.  I brushed on some Dark Walnut stain and let it sit, wiped the excess and did the same thing again.  The stain wouldn't soak into the wood.  I tried Kona and Espresso and still nothing...even with some sanding in between.  I had no idea why this was happening and then realized I had to sand the top down again.  I sanded it down again but this time with 120 grit sand paper, then 220 grit paper.  I gave it another coat of pre-stain conditioner and a coat of Dark Walnut.  This time when I wiped off the excess it actually stained the wood.  I think when I stripped and sanded the first time, somehow I didn't get all of the original finish off.  It sure looked like I did!  After five hours of work and figuring out I had a gorgeous stained dresser top.  

This is before I got all the residue off from the chemical stripper.

After lots of work the top ended up looking amazing!  

This is with two coats of ASCP in Cream.

After I got the paint on I didn't get anymore progress pictures.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing I completely forget to take pictures.  I put a coat of clear wax on the entire dresser, then finished it with dark wax...even the top.  The top got 4 coats of wax with drying time in between each coat to protect the finish.  Sarah didn't want the dresser distressed, but when I waxed the paint some of the paint came of of the edges.  I liked how it looked.  It was a nice effect without being 'shabby' or distressed.

Here it is all finished and dressed up for pictures.  I have to say this one is a huge transformation.  

This dresser was meant to be painted.  The details and the hardware all pop now on the cream paint.  It's gorgeous.  The top turned out beautiful.

This dresser had great hardware that just needed a quick update with some oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  I like how the top two drawers have different hardware.

I'm thrilled with how the top turned out and the contrast between the stain and the paint.  

I couldn't be happier with how this dresser turned out.  Sarah and her Husband are happy with it as well.  This dresser proves that just because something is old and outdated, it's not 'trash'.  Pieces with great lines and detailing can always be made new again and given an extended life in your home.  Look around your house or local thrift store and see what you can transform with some paint and a brush.

Thank you for reading and have a great week!!



Primitive and Proper
Liz Marie Blog

Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. Hi Melody!
    As usual a great transformation! Looks amazing! Would you mind shooting me an email as I would LOVE to know your waxing technique. Your wax jobs always look smooth and blended and mine never do. Could you offer some advice? I use an wax brush and everything, but I don't usually like how it comes out especially on a light color. Thank you!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  2. Love how this dresser turned out, Melody! You are really so incredibly talented at transforming pieces into beautiful keepsakes. This, and all of your transformations, are beautiful!


  3. It looks amazing! That was a fantastic transformation. I'm not good at stripping furniture and it's hard work, so that's why I love ASCP. I wish I could do as good a job as you did on the top.

  4. I am always amazed at how beautiful you projects turn out. What kind of sander do you use? I have a little hand thing that takes so long and my arm will vibrate for days after! I've got an old '70's desk I'd like to redo for my 11 yr old boy and I am just dreading that part of it...

  5. That is a show stopper! I would love to do something like that to the mahogany buffet in my living room, but I can't fathom tackling a project like that, especially since I have no idea how to do it. Wanna come over and do it for me? ;-)

  6. what a classic beauty, melody! i love this piece- the hardware is gorgeous and really pops now!

  7. Lucky them getting this gorgeous "high boy". That's what pieces like that were called awhile back. They are so nice, don't take up as much room as a "dresser". I'd love to find one to redo.
    The top is indeed so pretty with the dark finish contrasted against the rest of the piece. Brings out the very nice lines of the piece, shows them off much better. The hardware is very pretty in the dark finish.
    Very good job. So glad you shared this piece with us.
    Happy week/end

  8. It looks great and I love the straight lines it has. Love it!